Bellingcat

Monday, 17 February 2014

More Evidence Of BM-30 Smerch Launched Rockets In Syria

Since my post earlier this week on 9M55 series rockets, as launched by the BM-30 Smerch, appearing in Syria, more evidence of the use of these rockets has appeared.  First, this video showing cluster munitions from the town of Kafr Zita, Hama


As the Armament Research Services website details, these are unexploded 9N235 fragmentation submunitions, deployed by 9M55K rockets, fired from the BM-30 Smerch and 220 mm 9M27K1 rockets for the BM-27 Uragan MLRS.  Considering the remains of a nearby 9M55 series rocket, it seems very likely those rocket remains would be the 9M55K.

In addition to the remains of the rocket uploaded on February 12th, two photographs were posted online today that appear to show the remains of a large rocket motor

[Source]
[Source]
The source of the first picture claims this is a Fajr-5 rocket, but it shares many similarities with images of 9M55K rockets, and the second picture was reportedly taken in the town of al-Tah, 20km north of Kafr Zita, where the earlier example of a 9M55K rocket was found.  Chris Kabusk put together the following composite image to demonstrate what the separate parts would look like compared to a complete 9M55K rocket


Thanks to Mads Dahl for highlighting the two images in this post.

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com.


3 comments:

  1. Is there any chance that the Russians developed a variant of the system deployed in an independent and disposable launcher? It's kind of doable isn't? As far as we knew the Syrian government never bought the complete system before the war and it will be complicated, expensive and hard to take the complete 42 tons launcher all the way to Syria

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  2. The Assad regime still controls all of Syria's ports, and the Russians still have a base in Tartus. I don't see why shipping heavy equipment via searoutes now would be any more difficult than when before the war started.

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