BM-21UM Berest is a 122mm multiple rocket launch system (MRLS) developed by Ukraine’s state-owned Shepetovskyi Repair Plant (ShRP), a part of UkrOboronProm. It is an upgraded variant of the Soviet-era BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher.
The Berest MRLS was presented by UkrOboronProm for the first time at the international exhibition “Weapons and Security” held in Kiev, Ukraine, in October 2018.
ShRP concluded the factory testing of the Berest MRLS in the first quarter of 2020. The new system is intended to replace the BM-21 Grad MRLS in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is expected to enhance the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian artillery forces.
The BM-21UM Berest MRLS can engage critical, time-sensitive targets including artillery units, air defence systems, mechanized units, and infantry.
BM-21UM Berest design and features
The new MRLS is based on the chassis of KrAZ-5401NE 4×4 all-wheel-drive truck. The vehicle features a crew cabin accommodating five personnel in twin-row seat layout. The forward section of the cab is protected by a two-piece windshield.
The cabin is fitted with four doors that allow the crew to enter and exit the vehicle. It offers sufficient space to house the computation and fire control equipment.
The Berest system uses locally made components and system, significantly reducing production costs for the manufacturer.
The integration of advanced digital fire control technologies and systems into the efficient vehicle platform expand the performance of the new multiple rocket launcher system.
The BM-21UM carries 50 3m-long tubes in five rows each, a 25% increase over the launcher of the 40-tube BM-21 Grad.
Armament on board BM-21UM Berest
The rear hull of the truck is mounted with a launcher with 50 3m-long tubes in five rows, delivering 25% more capacity when compared to the 40-tube BM-21 Grad MRLS.
The rectangular-shaped launcher can be rotated away from the cab towards the direction of the designated targets. Each rocket fired by Berest can engage targets at a range of more than 50km. It can be armed with different types of warheads including high-explosive fragmentation, incendiary, and chemical, or anti-tank submunitions.
The MRLS can be prepared for firing in 30 seconds and the crew can fire all 50 rockets within 25 seconds without the need for leaving the cabin.
Its high firepower allows the operators to engage the enemy targets and quickly distribute fire between multiple targets.
Fire control system
The new digital fire control system installed in the cabin allows the crew to safely handle the firing sequence.
The new battlefield information system on board the MRLS enables the crew to collect and analyse the real-time information sourced by multiple platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), counter-battery radars, and surveillance systems.
The onboard fire control system in combination with artillery guidance system ensures superior firepower, highly accurate firing and reduced preparation time when compared to the Grad MRLS.
BM-21UM Berest vehicle and mobility
The KrAZ-5401NE military truck is powered by a YaMZ-536 engine producing a maximum power output of 312hp. The engine is coupled to a mechanical transmission system.
The vehicle has the capacity to carry a maximum load of 9t. It is equipped with two fuel tanks with a total storage volume of 330l. The truck has a maximum speed of 95km/h and can reach a maximum distance of 600km.
The vehicle carries a spare tyre and is fitted with a central tire inflation system (CTIS) to deliver superior mobility in off-road conditions. The CTIS allows the driver to adjust the air pressure in each tire to ensure ride comfort when travelling on different terrains.