Belarus upgrades mid-range MRL inventory

The Belarusian military has launched an initiative to modernise its inventory of 9P140 Uragan (Whirlwind) 220 mm medium-range multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), a source from the country’s defence industry told Jane’s at the MILEX 2019 show, which was held in Minsk from 15-18 May.

“Belarus has started to upgrade its Uragan MRLs to the Uragan-M standard. The first modernised systems have already been despatched to the troops,” said the source, adding that the new programme envisages the update of “a large number” of Belarusian Uragans.

Uragan-M MRLs have already been exported to some customers. “I would point out that our vehicle has been tested in combat,” said the source, without specifying any foreign operators of the upgraded system.

The 9P140MB Uragan-M is being updated by the Volatavto company. Unlike the basic Uragan, the upgraded vehicle is based on the chassis of the Belarusian-made MAZ-631705 6×6 wheeled truck. It has received a protected cabin, automated fire control system (FCS), and modern communications suite. “The crew [can] fire the rockets without leaving the cabin,” said the source.

The Uragan-M has retained the original 16-tube launch unit of the 9P140, with the source confirming that the upgraded system “fires the rockets of the baseline Uragan” and “is fully reloaded in no more than 14 minutes”.

The 9P140MB’s combat vehicle weighs 23,100 kg and is manned by a four-strong crew. The system has a firing range of 10-36 km, a top speed of 80 km/h, and a cruising range of up to 1,350 km.