Armament Research Services (ARES) was provided earlier today with images showing the remnants of several artillery rockets in Slavyansk, Ukraine. These images show the nose cones and cargo sections belonging to 220 mm 9M27K series cluster munitions. Remains of 9M27K type rockets have previously been photographed in Syria, as identified by ARES here. The 9M27K series of rockets are fired from the 9K57 Uragan (Ураган; ‘hurricane’) multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS). Unlike the 300 mm 9M55K cargo rockets documented in Ukraine last week, the submunitions from these rockets have not yet been definitively identified from markings. Both the Ukrainian and Russian armed forces possess the 9K57 system, and neither Ukraine nor Russia are party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The photo below, taken in the Military History Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps in Saint Petersburg, shows mock-ups of the 9M27K and 9M27F (HE-Fragmentation) rockets on display. The second photo, taken at the 2006 International Defence Exhibition of Land Forces in Moscow, displays a mockup of the 9M27K warhead.
The components seen in Ukraine, part of the warheads’ cargo sections, indicate that 9M27K and/or 9M27K1 rockets were employed. The 9M27K and 9M27K1 cargo rockets carry similar 9N210 and 9N235 submunitions, respectively. Whilst it is not certain who employed these munitions, it is most likely that they were fired by Ukrainian government forces targeting pro-Russian separatists. The technical characteristics of the 9M27K are given below. Anyone with further images or video of submunitions associated with these munitions is invited to contact us.
220 mm Rocket Types Available for the 9K57
9M27K with 30 x 9N210 fragmentation submunitions
9M27K1 with 30 x 9N235 fragmentation submunitions
9M27K2 with 24 x PTM-1 anti-tank mines
9M27K3 with 312 x PFM anti-personnel mines
9M27F with HE-Fragmentation warhead
9M27S with incendiary warhead
9M51 with FAE warhead
9M59 with 9 x PTM-3 anti-tank mines
9M27K Cargo Rocket with 9N210 Fragmentation Submunitions
The 9M27K cargo rocket with 9N210 fragmentation submunitions is designed to engage concentrations of infantry and light vehicles in open terrain or light cover.
Range: 10-35 km
Weight: 270 kg
Length: 5178 mm
Warhead weight: 90 kg
Number of submunitions: 30 x 9N210 submunitions
Submunition weight: 1.8 kg
Submunition explosive weight: 0.3 kg
Number of preformed fragments per submunition: 370 to 400 x 2 g
Submunition self-destruct time: 110 sec
Special thanks to Balint Szlanko, AP television producer, for the Ukraine images. Technical specifications taken from the Splav State Research and Production Association FSUE’s website. Technical drawing from here; images from here and here. Credits: Oleg V. Bebnev, A.V. Karpenko.