New Sovietskiy 9A52-4 Tornado Wheeled MLRS:

The Russian military has long had a love for truck mounted rocket launchers starting with the Katyusha rocket launcher in World War II. In many ways, the 9A52-4 Tornado is simply a continuation of this trend of operating wheeled rocket launchers.

First developed in the early 2000s and entering service in 2011, the 9A52-4 Tornado replaced a number of older rocket launchers. It was based on the standard KamAZ-63501 truck chassis with a 360 horsepower diesel engine. An eight wheel design, it was capable of speeds up to ninety kilometers per hour with a range of up to one thousand kilometers.

With regards to ordnance, the 9A52-4 Tornado could carry either eight 220 mm or fifteen 122 mm rockets. In addition, the rocket launcher vehicle incorporated advanced automation and was able to fire a variety of different guided and unguided rockets.

Even though production was relatively slow, by the time Communists once more took control of the nation in 2027, the 9A52-4 had replaced the vast majority of older systems. As it was considered a relatively new design, the new Soviet government simply continued production of the wheel rocket launching system.

Soon after the Communists got back in power, there was a revolution in incredibly strong composite materials and alloys. Overnight, the armored vehicles of the world were considered obsolete. Military forces of the world were forced to either built new armored designs or refit older designs. Many did a mixture of both depending on resources and the age of the vehicles in question.

With regard to the 9A52-4 Tornado, initially the Soviet government decided to refit existing vehicle since their were still considered relatively new. As with similar refit programs, many within the military opposed the decision, preferring an all new vehicle incorporating the more advanced materials. At the same time, the rocket launchers were adapted to fire modern ordnance types.

Unlike several other armored vehicle designs, the 9A52-4 Tornado was still in production however. It made no sense to continue production using old materials. In addition, the vehicles were far less expensive to produce than several other designs and would not interfere with other military production. As a result, an upgraded version constructed from the new revolutionary materials soon entered production. While there were no major other upgrades, the engine was replaced by a more fuel efficient engine as well.

Initially, the upgraded and new production served side by side but as more of the new build vehicles entered service, the older vehicles were retired. At first they were put into reserve units but later they were discarded. While some were scrapped, many were sold to foreign powers which they continued in service until the coming of Rifts and possibly afterwards.

Eventually it was decided however to retire the 9A52-4 Tornado. Instead of replacing it with a wheeled design, it was decided to replace it with a modified tank design. Even so, it was not until 2062 with the TM-262 missile tank. Relatively soon afterwards, the HT-281 missile hover tank was also introduced.

While the older 9A52-4 Tornado rocket vehicles were retired, it was decided to retain most of the newerwheeled vehicles. Some were sold to various friendly nations however the vast majority were put in storage with some even remaining in reserve formations. A surprising number of these wheeled rocket vehicles survived the coming of the Rifts and the destruction which followed.

Model Type:


Upgraded pre-M.D.C. Versions.



New Material Versions.

Vehicle Type: Tornado Wheeled Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Crew: Two (2 - Driver / Gunner/Commander).

M.D.C. By Location:

Upgraded Models:

New Construction:


Missile Launcher (1):




[1] Wheels (8):

40 each.

40 each.


Multi-Option Jammers (2):

25 each.

25 each.


[2] Headlights (2):

10 each.

10 each.


Reinforced Crew Compartment:




[3] Main Body:




[1] Up to one tire can be destroyed on each side of the vehicle without any appreciable loss in mobility but top speeds with be reduced by 10%. If two tires on a side are destroyed, the vehicle is reduced in top speed by 20% and has a -25% to piloting rolls when being operated off-road.

[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.

[3] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable.


Ground: 9A52-4 (Original Model): Maximum speed on land is 55.9 mph (90 kph) on roads and 31.1 mph (50 kph) off road maximum. 9A52-4UM1 (Improved Model): Maximum speed on land is 62.1 mph (100 kph) on roads and 37.3 mph (60 kph) off road maximum.

The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.

Maximum Range: 9A52-4 (Original Model): 621.4 miles (1,000 km). 9A52-4UM1 (Improved Model): 745.64 miles (1,200 km).

Statistical Data:

Height:  10.33 feet (3.15meters)

Width:   8.20 feet (2.50 meters)

Length:  36.75 feet (11.20 meters)

Weight: 49,295 pounds (22,360 kilograms) fully loaded.

Power Source: Conventional, Diesel.

9A52-4 (Original Model): KamAZ-740.50.360 diesel engine developing 360 horsepower.

9A52-4UM1 (Improved Model): KamAZ-780.60.450 diesel engine developing 450 horsepower.

Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Two carbines and one hand-held missile launcher with three reloads / magazines each are stored in a compartment in the crew compartment.

Black Market Cost: 9A52-4 (Original Model): 1.4 million credits (adjusted) was the production cost originally. 9A52-4UM1 (Improved Model): 2.4 million credits (adjusted) was the production cost originally

Remaining armored vehicles often cost double original production cost (2.8 / 4.8 million credits.) A number of the improved models remain in service with the New Sovietskiy and a few are in the hands of Russian Warlords.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Missile / Rocket Launchers: Where the cargo bed is normally carried, the vehicle mounts a single box launcher which can mount either medium or long range missiles. These missiles are effectively mounted in “cassettes” which are changed out with the vehicle able to carry either eight long range missiles or fifteen medium range missiles.

    1. Long Range Missiles: The rocket vehicle can carry up to eight long range missiles. Missiles can be used against both surface targets and against aircraft. Both guided and unguided missiles are available with smart missiles often carried.

      Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Mega Damage: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) long range missiles.

      Payload: Eight (8) long range missiles.

    2. Medium Range Missiles: The rocket vehicle can carry up to fifteen medium range missiles. As with long range missiles, medium range missiles can be used against both surface targets and against aircraft. Both guided and unguided missiles are available with smart missiles often carried.

      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

      Rate of Fire: Can fire medium range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) medium range missiles.

      Payload: Fifteen (15) medium range missiles.

  2. Multi-Option "Shtora-8" Jammers (2): These are multi-purpose jamming devices designed to stop incoming missiles and confuse an enemy targeting the 9A52-4 Tornado.

    Effect: Each firing launches two Chaff rockets, two Flare rockets, and the tank begins emitting a large cloud of smoke, both standard and Anti-Laser Prismatic aerosol ; The Chaff rockets detonate and spread Chaff over the area, the flare rockets floating down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.) The Chaff rockets have a 20% chance of interfering with the course of enemy missiles each (40%, total) that are radar guided so that they miss the tank. The flares have the same percentages, except with IR-guided missiles. The Anti-Laser prismatic aerosol reduces damage by half for any laser beam striking the tank (With the exception of X-ray lasers but not variable frequency lasers; X-Ray lasers suffer no damage modifiers, and variable frequency lasers simply cannot compensate for the variables involved), and adds a +4 difficulty to targeting the tank with a laser guidance system or visually.

    Rate of Fire: Usually once every four melee rounds; Effects are not cumulative.

    Range: Around armored vehicle only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around vehicle.

    Payload: Sufficient for ten firings; One of each type of jamming option from each side of the vehicle.


Special Notes:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2016, Kitsune. All rights reserved.