Ukraine uses Vilkha-M missiles of its own production with a longer range than HIMARS

Ukraine uses Vilkha-M missiles of its own production with a longer range than HIMARS

Ukraine uses missiles of its own production with a longer range than HIMARS. Welcome Vilkha-M MLRS with a guided missile range of 110 km (HIMARS has a range of 80 km). The 220 kg warhead hits targets with great accuracy. Moreover, the production of missiles with a range of 150 km is already underway.

The range is greater than HIMARS: the Ukrainian Vilkha-M is already fighting, InfoResist reports.

Ukraine uses guided missiles on the battlefield with a greater range than HIMARS missiles. This is the Vilkha-M missile system with a flight range of 110 km and a warhead weighing 220 kg, as reported by Ivan Vinnyk, First Deputy Head of the National Association of the Defense-Industrial Complex of Ukraine and quoted  by The War Zone.

What is known about Vilkha-M

According to Ivan Vinnyk, Ukraine has developed and used in combat a guided artillery missile with a longer range and heavier warhead than the vaunted guided multiple launch rocket systems (GMLRS) munitions provided by the U.S. and allies.

Vilkha-M MLRS. Image credits: Defense Express.

The Vilkha-M is a modified 7.6 m (25 ft) long Soviet BM-30 Smerch artillery missile. 

The Vilkha-M has a range of 110 km (68 miles) and a 300 mm warhead weighing 485 pounds (about 220 kg), which can hit targets with great accuracy.

By comparison, the GMLRS munitions used by the M142 high-mobility artillery rocket systems or HIMARS and the M270 multiple rocket launch system (MLRS) provided to Ukraine have a range of up to 80 km (about 50 miles) and a 227 mm, 200-pound (90 kg ) warhead.

Vilkha-M has proved to be effective in combat

According to Vinnyk, Vilkha-M has already been used in combat. But he did not say where exactly the missiles system had been used.

He said they had been first used in combat in May 2022.

"Their precision is boosted by so-called “gas rudders” – dozens of small holes emitting propellant – used to direct the missile onto the target via GPS. While the Vilkha-M is considered to be quite accurate and a precision munition, it is currently not disclosed how accurate it is," Vinnyk explains.

Though so far produced in small numbers, the Vilkha-M gives Ukraine a munition that reaches 36 percent farther with more than twice the payload of the GMLRS. 

Modification up to 150 km 

Vinnyk told that the Vilkha-M modification program began in 2018 and that about 100 units have been produced. 

And there are plans underway, said Vinnyk, to modify the Vilkha-M to boost the range to 150km (about 93 miles). But hedid not provide details about this.

“Let’s say, hopefully just in time for the widely estimated date of counter-offensive on the south towards Azov Sea,” Vinnyk noted.  

The new versions, he added, will not be tested before they are used in combat.

“The tests will be at the battlefield,” he said.

The extended range Vilkha-Ms would have about the same range as the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) that the Pentagon recently authorized for Ukraine, but with a much larger warhead and much higher kinetic punch.

It would be especially useful against targets like bridges, large structures and heavy fortifications that are ill suited for both GLSDB and GMLRS.

“But even with a range of 93 miles, the new Vilkha-M version would still have less than half the range of the U.S.-produced Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) short-range ballistic missiles, which can hit targets at about 200 miles away. But so far, the U.S. has refused to provide them to Ukraine,” Vinnyk concluded.

As previously reported, the success of HIMARS prompts the manufacturer to double their production.  

Ukraine Front Lines


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