Discover local-made rocket launcher systems developed by Ukrainian soldiers to fight Russian troops

Ukrainian soldiers have developed indigenous rocket launcher systems using 122mm rocket launcher tubes mounted on a Unimog light truck and S-8 rocket launcher pod from a Ka-52 helicopter mounted on a Mitsubishi pickup which is now used to fight Russian troops.
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Ukrainian soldiers have developed indigenous-made rocket launcher vehicles based on a Unimog light truck and a Mitsubishi pickup. (Picture source Facebook)

Due to the lack of weapons systems to fight the Russian, the Ukrainian army has developed indigenous rocket launcher systems using tube launchers of BM-21 122mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) as well as an S-8 rocket launcher system recuperated from a Kamov Ka-52 helicopter.

The first local-made rocket launcher system developed by the Ukrainian soldier is based on a Unimog light truck chassis. According to our observations, no changes have been made to the standard vehicle which has a crew cabin at the front and a flat bed at the rear which is now equipped with four 122mm tube launchers coming from a Soviet-made BM-21 MLRS.

Ukraine is not the first country to integrate rocket launcher tubes into civilian vehicles, indeed, similar systems have been used in wars in Syria, Libya, and many other Middle Eastern countries. This type of artillery system can easily be used and deployed offering great mobility and firepower. For example, Hamas has fired 122 mm rockets, typically individually and with homemade launchers, into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In fact, the BM-21 fires unguided rockets using a PG-1M panoramic telescope with K-1 collimator. Designed to deliver its munitions over an area rather than a point target, the BM-21 is not a precision weapon, but at a range of 20 km, when a full salvo of 40 rockets is fired, the lethal area extends up to 600x600 m.

The second artillery vehicle developed by the Ukrainian soldiers is based on a Mitsubishi L200 pickup vehicle, such as the Unimog rocket launcher, the vehicle does not need to undergo major modifications to be able to integrate a rocket launcher system. In this case, the rear part of the pickup has been used to integrate a rocket launcher system from a Russian Ka-52 helicopter which is able to fire the S-8 unguided rockets.

The S-8 is a family of air-launched unguided rockets which is fired from B-8 weapon station that can be mounted on aircraft or helicopters. The S-8 rocket has a diameter of 80mm and is designed to be fired from a wide variety of rocket pods from Russian fixed-wing ground attack aircraft and armed helicopters.

As for the 122mm rocket, the S-8 rocket-firing does not require a specific aiming system. The effectiveness of S-8 rockets is likely to be low, due to a relatively weak payload and the low accuracy of improvised systems in general but depending on the settings of the fuse, the rocket is able to penetrate obstacles facing the set targets, it can also explode in front of the obstacle and behind the obstacle.

A wide variety of warheads is available which includes HEAT-Frag, anti-runway, thermobaric, illumination, and others. Depending on the warhead the maximum range is 2 to 4.5 km. A 20-round rocket pod can be ripple fired in only a few seconds.