27 June 2022


    Homemade artillery as a headache pill — a short story about the ingenuity of Ukrainian soldiers

    While the United States provide modernized lethal arms to Ukraine, Ukrainian artillerymen make mini-MLRS “Guerrilla” from trophy Russian “Grads”—a smaller version of the multiple rocket launcher firing one, two or four shells. The Ukrainian military shared photos of such homemade artillery.

    With the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion, “Guerrillas” are used not only by the artillery, but also infantry. The Ukrainian military dismantle “Grad” guide tubes from the burned and no longer useable trophy Russian equipment, and weld them to a mobile tripod or a pickup bed.

    “While a large-caliber mortar can fire up to seven kilometers, ‘Guerrilla’ can do up to twenty. Essentially, this installation consists of a guide tube from “Grad” and a corresponding projectile. ‘Guerrillas’ are also equipped with a Hertz Panorama, an optical device of ground artillery,” says Andriy Moruha, the artillery instructor at the Come Back Alive Foundation.

    Among themselves, the Ukrainian military call “Guerrilla” a “pill,” because this homemade artillery, like a headache pill, surgically suppresses enemy fire. “Guerrilla” is useful for small units—for example, scouting groups, infantry platoons and companies.

    “It often happens,” explains Moruha, “that, say, a company position is under fire by an enemy self-propelled artillery gun. This weapon works at a distance of 11-14 kilometers, so it is impossible to hit it with a mortar which the company has at its disposal—it will simply never reach it. Brigade artillery would normally not deal with a single SPG, because it has more important targets. This is where “Guerrilla” comes in handy. Even if its projectile hits 100 meters from the SPG and does not kill the crew, it will force Russians to redeploy, thereby saving the lives of our military.”


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