The Angolan War of Independence was fought from 1961 to 1975 and one of the war factions called the MPLA received supplies of munitions and equipment from the Soviet Union. One of these bits of equipment was the BM-21 Grad MLR system. South African Defence Force’s conducted a covert intervention in the war during the mid 70’s, which was known as Operation Savannah and they managed to capture BM-21’s, which were returned to South Africa. They were reversed engineered & manufactured by Somchem, a division of the Denel corporation and designated the Valkiri.
The South African Valkiri MLRS was built on the SAMIL 20 Light utility truck, the launcher was comprised of 24, 127mm launching tubes, which fired pre-fragmented warheads with proximity fuses for detonation above the ground with a range of 8 to 22km.
Development was completed in 1981, and it entered service in 1982 with the South African Defence Force (SADF) and successfully used during the South African Border War.
The South African Valkiri MLRS Spec’s
Weight – 6.4ton
Length – 5.35m
Width – 2.3m
Height – 2.32m
Crew – 2
Calibre – 127mm x 24 launching tubes
Effective range – 36km
Engine – diesel
Suspension – 4×4 wheeled
Operational range – 400km
Speed – 90km/h (road)