The Russian BM-21 MLRS has been around since the 1960’s and heavily exported, which included to Poland who bought over 200 of them. The truck aspect of the vehicle has considerably aged since then, whilst the launcher has remained functional, but required modernisation.
The answer was to develop a vehicle that utilised a new truck and mounted a modernised BM-21’s launcher, meet the WR-40 Langusta.
The Polish WR-40 Langusta MLRS uses the Jelcz P662D.35G-27 6×6 truck chassis and is powered by the Iveco Aifo Cursor 8 diesel engine, which develops 350hp. It has a large cab crew that accommodates the 4 to 6 man crew and the modernised Fire Control System, which includes GPS technology.
The launcher is made up of 40, 122mm launching tubes. This means each tube has to be reloaded by the crew rather than a self contained pod be mounted. Its reported that the crew can reload the tubes within 7 minutes. . It fires both original and newly-developed rockets. The standard rocket of the BM-21 is 2.87m long and weights 66.4 kg. The new Feniks-Z HE-fragmentation rocket has a maximum range of 42 km. There are also new cargo rockets with a range of 32 km.
The first vehicle entered service on March 20th 2007 and its understood that 36 vehicles were accepted into service by 2010. Its expected that anything from half to all Polish BM-21 launchers will be converted into WR-40 launchers.