Ukrainian OTRK "Thunder-2": a bold name and dubious prospects

The Ukrainian defense industry is trying to win a place in the international market of weapons and equipment, for which it is trying to create new projects and samples. One of the main hopes of the last time in this context is the promising operational-tactical missile system "Grim-2" ("Thunder-2"), which, not even having time to go to the tests, was able to find a foreign customer. However, the future of this complex and the contract for its delivery to a foreign buyer is very vague and still raises a lot of questions.

Tangled story

The history of the project "Thunder-2" is very curious and in a logical way continues the long-term epic with the creation of its own Ukrainian tactical missile system. Before 2013, Ukraine developed its own project of the Sapsan PTRC, but the lack of funding, limited industry capacity and the lack of real success led to a natural result. The state has stopped funding this project. However, soon the industry proposed a new project of the technology of the same class.

A prototype of the Thunder-2 OTRK launcher. Photo KB "Southern"

The first version of the project "Glow" appeared in the same year 2013. Subsequently, the project was brought and processed, and to date, customers are offered a complex called “Thunder-2”. From the very beginning, the projects of the “Thunder” family faced problems of a financial and organizational nature. In addition, the coup d'état of 2014 and its consequences negatively affected the entire defense industry. In particular, all of these factors led to a shift in testing time. Initially, the rocket and complex were planned to be tested in the winter of the 2015 of the year, but then this part of the schedule shifted to the end of the 2016.

The lead developer of the system "Thunder-2" is the design bureau Yuzhnoye (Dnepropetrovsk). In addition, the project attracted Pavlograd chemical plant. From a certain time in the works participated Kharkov Design Bureau for Machine Building them. A.A. Morozov and Kharkov factory of transport equipment. The joint work of the four main developers and a number of suppliers of the necessary components, as expected, should have led to the emergence of a full-fledged PTRC.

Ukrainian OTRK "Thunder-2": a bold name and dubious prospects
Mock rocket "Thunder". Wikimedia Commons Photos

Quickly enough, the Graeme project faced the same problems as its predecessor. The Armed Forces of Ukraine could not be viewed as a reliable potential customer, and therefore the project risked being left without funding. Fortunately, at the beginning of 2015, we managed to sign a contract with Saudi Arabia, which wanted to pay for the design work. And then buy a number of ready-made complexes. In accordance with that agreement, the finished products “Thunder-2” were to be sent to the customer in 2018 year.

According to known data, development work continued until the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, and by that time the necessary documentation had been prepared. In addition, the construction of a mock-up launcher and the assembly of other components of the complex started. In January, 2017 from a Ukrainian source learned that Saudi Arabia had not financed a new phase of work involving the assembly and testing of prototypes. As a result, the contractor temporarily suspended the project “Thunder-2”. However, as further events showed, the issue of financing was resolved, and work on the new complex continued.

Launcher "Thunder" in the assembly shop. Photo

About a year ago, in May of the 2017, a previously unknown special machine was seen on one of the highways of the Kharkiv region. It soon became clear that this was a mockup model of a self-propelled launcher for the Thunder-2 OTRK. Probably, a few months earlier, it was this sample that appeared in an unfinished form in the official photograph from the assembly hall. The car was assembled and sent for testing. Aft launchers for protection from prying eyes covered with a tarpaulin.

At the very beginning of January, 2018, Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, published a number of interesting information on the progress of the Grim-2 project. In addition, the messages were accompanied by an interesting video with fragments of tests of individual components of this complex. As it turned out, to date, the OTRK developers have completed a series of inspections of various equipment and are now going to begin the next stage of work. In the near future it was planned to prepare for the upcoming acceptance tests of technology demonstrators.

The published video showed the full appearance of a self-propelled launcher without a masking tarpaulin, and also contained test shots of two experienced rocket engines. In addition, the results of various tests carried out as part of a common project were listed. As it turned out, over the past time, Ukrainian specialists, having received the required funding from a foreign country, were able to do a lot of work. However, it was not without problems.

Finished car on the test, May 2017. Photo

The most interesting recent test is the testing of two experienced solid-fuel engines designed for the Thunder-2 rocket. Both test launches were held at a special stand of the Pavlograd Mechanical Plant. The first experimental product worked out normally. The second engine at the end of the required operating time created excessive pressure inside the hull and collapsed, scattering dying fuel over the landfill. It is alleged that the designers managed to find out the causes of the accident and take the necessary measures.

According to the information of the beginning of the current year, the ready OTRK was absent, but by that time some elements of the future rocket and launcher for it were assembled and tested. How long it will take to complete the current work and the construction of a full-fledged prototype, and when it will be possible to carry out tests and obtain the desired results - it remains only to guess. At the same time, there are considerable reasons for doubts about the possibility of completing the project in 2018, in accordance with the existing Ukrainian-Saudi contract.

Technical appearance

According to known data, the project "Grim-2" provides for the creation of a self-propelled operational-tactical missile system with some special features. The complex should include the rocket itself with the required characteristics and several self-propelled means: a launcher, a transport-charging and transport vehicle, a command post, etc. At the moment, in the form of mock-ups, only some of these tools exist, and the timing of the appearance of the remaining products remains unknown.

Launcher without containers with missiles. Photo KB "Southern"

One of the main elements of the complex "Thunder-2" - self-propelled launcher, a prototype of which appeared about a year ago. This car was built on the basis of a five-axle special chassis, probably designed specifically for the promising OTRK. This chassis is a special bonnetless machine with large units in the front of the frame. There are located the crew cabin, hardware compartment, etc. The back of the chassis is given for mounting the launcher of the launcher. During preparation for firing, a self-propelled machine must be hung on hydraulic jacks.

An interesting feature of the OTRK "Grom-2" is the ammunition launcher, including just two missiles. It is proposed to place two rectangular transport and launch containers for missiles on the swinging frame of the hydraulically driven installation. Before firing, both containers should be raised to a vertical position and installed on the ground with a pair of square support platforms. There is every reason to believe that on board the self-propelled machine there must be various instruments to prepare for firing and working with missiles.

The complex is proposed to equip a single-stage solid-fuel rocket. Finished products of this kind, apparently, are not yet available, but earlier layouts were shown at exhibitions. The project involves the manufacture of a rocket with a long head fairing formed by several conical surfaces. Behind it is a cylindrical body of the engine, on the tail of which are located aerodynamic control surfaces.

Raising the launcher in the combat position. Photo KB "Southern"

The rocket must be equipped with a solid-fuel engine with a body made of composite materials. The product with a length of 3,74 m and a mass of 3,14 t has a charge of weight 2735 kg. Polybutadiene with ring hydroxyl groups (HTPB in English terminology) is used as fuel. Reportedly, the engine has a nozzle unit with electric thrust vector control systems. Thus, the control of the rocket in the active area is carried out by aerodynamic control surfaces and a rolling nozzle.

Most likely, the rocket of the GRIM-2 complex should have an inertial control system ensuring the passage along a predetermined ballistic trajectory. The use of other systems, including those allowing a rocket to independently find a target and be aimed at it, is unlikely, but it should not be completely excluded yet.

According to the developer, the missile complex "Thunder-2" can carry combat units of different types, designed to solve different combat missions. Perhaps the use of high-explosive or penetrating high-explosive charge or cluster munition. The allowable weight of the warhead is 480 kg. It is assumed that the presence of several different combat units with different capabilities will allow the range of combat missions to be expanded.

The fighting machine is ready for launch. Photo KB "Southern"

Previously appeared information about the tactical and technical characteristics of the future rocket. According to open data, it was planned to develop a product with a firing range from 50 to 300 km, intended for deliveries to foreign customers. In the interests of its own army, Ukrainian industry could create a rocket with a maximum range of 500 km. Recently, some sources mention and discuss the possibility of creating another modification of the rocket, this time with a range of about 650 km.

The Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and other participants in the promising project have so far demonstrated only a limited number of components of the future rocket complex. Other means - even if they exist - have not yet appeared in official publications. In particular, it remains unknown the exact shape of transport and transport-charging machines, self-propelled battery command center and other products necessary for the correct use of missiles. Perhaps all of these developments will be presented soon.

Mixed prospects

Assessing the prospects of the PJSC “GRIM-2”, it is necessary to take into account several characteristic factors that determine the development of the Ukrainian defense industry over the years. First of all, it is not at all difficult to imagine the prospects of a new development in the context of the rearmament of the Ukrainian army. Rather, it is obvious that in this case the new project has almost no future.

Experienced engine for the Thunder-2 rocket. Photo KB "Southern"

It is worth remembering that the immediate predecessor of the "Thunder" was the project "Sapsan", which several years ago had to close due to lack of finance. If we take into account the recent events, it is hardly to be expected that in the foreseeable future Kiev will be able to find money for the purchase of new PTRCs in sufficient quantity. However, it is quite possible that the Ukrainian army will be able to acquire several new complexes, and will submit such a purchase as an outstanding achievement, bringing the country's defense capability to an unattainable level.

However, a more likely scenario is another scenario in which Ukraine, having developed a new missile system, will not be able to adopt it due to a banal lack of money. As a result, the “Thunder-2” risks becoming an exclusively export product, produced only on the order of third countries. At the same time, similar prospects for the missile complex do not look outstanding.

Interest in the Ukrainian “Thunder” has already shown Saudi Arabia. Moreover, this country even agreed to pay for the development work. This may indicate that Riyadh is seriously interested in purchasing new military equipment. However, as far as is known, no other country has so far shown any particular interest in prospective OTRK. Thus, the order from the Saudi military risks becoming the only one in the history of “Thunder”. Having released a certain number of serial complexes, Ukrainian enterprises will have to continue to search for new customers, and it is unlikely that they will succeed in this.

Tests of the first prototype of the engine, which ended in success. Photo KB "Southern"

It is also necessary to take into account that before selling finished serial equipment, foreign customers need to complete design work, and then manufacture and test prototypes. To date, Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and related enterprises have prepared only mock-up samples of individual components of the complex, and the entire system is still not ready. At the same time, there is a problem with the timing. According to known data, Saudi Arabia wanted to receive the first OTRK in 2018 year. Only seven months left until the end of this period. Whether the developers will have time to complete the project and meet the deadlines is unknown.

At the moment, the project OTRK "GRIM-2", as well as its developers, as well as the entire defense industry of Ukraine, faces a number of serious problems. Enterprises suffer from a lack of funding, and the available technical and technological capabilities limit their industrial potential and hinder the solution of their design problems. Finally, the specific military-political situation in the country does not contribute to stable work with obtaining the desired results.

As a result, at the moment, the project of the operational-tactical missile complex Grom-2 may be of some technical interest, but it is still not worth overestimating it. There is reason to follow the news about this project and observe the new attempts of Ukrainian industry to master a rather complicated direction for it. However, it is hardly worth observing the situation with an optimistic view of the future. Ukraine and its enterprises have too many diverse problems to quickly and easily develop highly complex modern missile projects weapons. It is quite possible that in the foreseeable future, Saudi Arabia, seeing the real results of the work carried out at its expense, will be disappointed in the chosen partner, and the new project of the Ukrainian OTRK will again be left without funding.

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  1. +1
    31 May 2018 06: 57
    Thunder-grim, cat-kit, stool-p ... They scorned the great and mighty. But the songs are beautiful, Slavic, no matter how!
    1. +5
      31 May 2018 10: 25
      "" There was Kuritsky, and became Kuritsky ... So I ask: how
      in Ukrainian "cat"? He answers "whale."
      I ask: "What about a whale?"

      And he stopped, his eyes widened and silent. ""
      M.A. Bulgakov.
  2. +1
    31 May 2018 07: 45
    That case when the desire for show-offs makes a laughingstock. Thunder - in Ukrainian there will be a grіm. But:
    I read on a rocket (in the photo for the article) GROM. The nuance is that letter-wise transcription from Russian (!!!) played a cruel joke here: from the wiki:
    Jednostka Wojskowa Grom im. Cichociemnych Spadochroniarzy Armii Krajowej (Rus. Military Unit Grom) (Thunder), Jednostka Wojskowa 2305, JW 2305 - Polish military special forces, created July 13, 1990 (military unit No. 2305).
    That is - the Ukrainian wunderwafle officially bears the name of the Polish (!!!) military unit.
    And, even in the internet I found a restaurant (Bugugaga wassat ) with this name)))
    In general - to all stand - to be afraid)
    1. +1
      31 May 2018 11: 15
      Quote: Tarasios
      Jednostka Wojskowa Grom im. Cichociemnych Spadochroniarzy Armii Krajowej (Rus. Military Unit Grom) (Thunder), Jednostka Wojskowa 2305, JW 2305 - Polish military special forces, created July 13, 1990 (military unit No. 2305).

      Pretty old RPG about the adventures of a Pole, a Czech and a yak against the Nazis in Tibet.
      But the Nazis - quite in the subject and are consonant with the "Thunder".
  3. +9
    31 May 2018 07: 57
    The article is a vivid example of such a phenomenon as the mechanism of repression and projection in the psyche. Its essence lies in the fact that maintaining a sense of self-esteem is achieved by projecting your own shortcomings, problems and complexes on others.
    Moreover, the more someone tries to find all sorts of flaws in the subject, the more annoying this fact, therefore. However, the authors do not even think that the effect is achieved completely opposite to what was intended.
    Authors should remember William, you see, our Shakespeare.
    1. 0
      31 May 2018 22: 00
      Is Shakespeare also from yours? Well, in the sense of Ukraine? Ingeniously !!!!))) With regards to “striking examples, read what your insists write), compatriots in Russian FB, VK, etc., but we are just not suitable for you students ...
      1. +2
        31 May 2018 22: 16
        You, apparently, already have a neurosis on the basis of Ukraine. About Shakespeare, this is a quote from the movie !!!!
  4. -1
    31 May 2018 09: 31
    Enough here to post ukrofantazii that never materialized. Tank "Navozets" from the same series as this "Thunder".
    1. +5
      31 May 2018 11: 44
      What does "stop" mean? Do you want to cause a massive mortality of hamsters from a nest?
      1. -1
        31 May 2018 12: 02
        These dill fantasies have nothing to do with weapons and weapons.
        1. +3
          31 May 2018 12: 32
          But hamsters do not care. The main thing for them is timely and proper nutrition. And given the fact that some individuals find it difficult to identify themselves, caring administrators arrange feeders in all sections.
          1. 0
            31 May 2018 12: 35
            So you live in the Netherlands, or in Ukraine?
            1. +3
              31 May 2018 13: 10
              I live in Ukraine, the whole site knows about it. This is me having lunch in Amsterdam.
              1. -1
                31 May 2018 13: 15
                That's what life-giving visa-free does laughing ! I envy Ukrainians who, thanks to the Maidan, can fly to the EU every morning to drink coffee and eat croissants.
                1. +1
                  31 May 2018 13: 19
                  I can drink coffee and eat croissants at home. But we are not able to cook bitterball for beer.
                  1. 0
                    31 May 2018 14: 32
                    But can you fly every day?
                    1. +3
                      31 May 2018 15: 18
                      I can, Kuzya, I can. And you, when you concentrate on your own tasks and will look less at the fence to your neighbors, will also be able to. Although you need something. For you everything you need on the VO website. Admins take care So all the best. Until we meet again.
                      1. +1
                        31 May 2018 17: 43
                        Well, happy for you!
        2. -2
          26 August 2018 11: 12
          "probably", "maybe", "we can assume", "maybe" is the content of the article and judging by the amount of poison in the comments, we can conclude that the Ukrainians are successful. Lack of funding is temporary, but there is everything for the development and production of missile weapons.
    2. 0
      31 May 2018 22: 10
      “Alder”, “Kozak-2”, “Malyuk ',” Gyurza-m, continue? And we laughed at all these projects, proved the failure of the defense industry ...
      1. 0
        31 May 2018 23: 15
        Palestinians also do Kassam on their knees. So, let us now classify Palestine as a "sluggish cosmic power"?
  5. +3
    31 May 2018 12: 57
    Stupid laugh in comments. They will do and will do well. Yuzhmash has a great experience.
  6. +5
    31 May 2018 15: 50

    puzzle find ten differences (color does not count) laughing
    Above is the 9M723 Iskander rocket
    1. +3
      31 May 2018 16: 20
      Well, I can’t find 10, but there are a couple: Thunder has a more clearly defined engine nozzle, and the rudders are placed a little differently, at least on the Thunder layout. and why compare these missiles, this is the same as comparing a cartridge of Russian production and any other.
    2. -3
      26 August 2018 11: 19
      I can suggest finding 10 differences between Rolls-Royce Phantom and Putin's limousine, the X-47B drone (USA) and the Russian Skat, and there are many more such examples, too lazy to list. And the first ones were made much earlier than their Russian counterparts issued for "achievements".
  7. +4
    31 May 2018 16: 34
    Quote: Sema
    Stupid laugh in comments. They will do and will do well. Yuzhmash has a great experience.

    The main thing is that there is funding, and moreover, on a regular basis. All previous projects were not implemented not because the developers did not have enough "intelligence and quick wits," namely because of the lack of regular funding. So it is now. There will be regular funding — they will do it, it won’t — the thunder will become another unrealized project, such as Borisfen, Sapsan, Korshun, etc.
    1. +2
      31 May 2018 18: 48
      Yuzhmash works one day a week. What can be done there?
      1. +2
        31 May 2018 19: 11
        stove stove?
        1. +2
          31 May 2018 20: 49
          A stove - a potbelly stove can be made at home, in a garage. In addition to Yuzhmash, another plant that can make buildings is in the process of bankruptcy and most likely will not come out of it.
          1. 0
            31 May 2018 22: 45
            I'm talking about mobile barracks (a container with a stove-stove).
            1. +2
              31 May 2018 22: 57
              It's complicated. Do not pull.
  8. +1
    31 May 2018 20: 33
    Saudi Arabia does not need Thunder-2)) But Ukraine needs funding in order to have its own tactical complexes. EUROPE also needs to have Ukraine. You can’t finance directly, you won’t be able to supply your EUROSHA - it's dumb and pale ... and it’s also dangerous, because the Iskander and Caliber are already on duty). And so, in the form of a contract, you can. Let's wait a little longer, we will not bother Ukraine. And then, sometime early in the morning, our air defense in Crimea would suddenly go blind for a short while, and the bridge would suddenly collapse, because it was not designed for a tactical missile strike. So it will be. Because, until the Thunder strikes, the "Muscovite peasants" will not only be baptized, but will not even itch.
    1. +1
      31 May 2018 20: 51
      Are you sure that the geyropeytsam need it? And if they fall into the wrong hands, which is quite possible in the current territory and they will pull him not in the direction of Moscow, but in the very opposite.
    2. 0
      31 May 2018 21: 47
      The hopes of the youngsters fed ... How pots are sure that the bridge will collapse. May he not collapse, go forth with diarrhea and rabies further wassat. Download further for your Parashka :)))).
      1. 0
        31 May 2018 22: 59
        Why do you think that the opposite direction from Moscow is Crimea? If Moscow is in the east, then what is in the west?
        1. -1
          31 May 2018 23: 19
          In fact, Crimea is located west of Moscow. And to get to the Crimea, you must go FROM Moscow.
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. +2
    1 June 2018 09: 52
    Quote: TermNachTER
    Yuzhmash works one day a week. What can be done there?

    I don’t know how many days a week Yuzhmash operates, but the fact that Yuzhmash has regularly supplied top stages for the European Vega launch vehicle for several years has been known for sure. How and how much is going to deliver in the next 3-4 years. And how many days it works - you probably know better, by the flag you are from Ukraine. Or not?
    1. 0
      1 June 2018 14: 03
      And the first step for Antares. And let hamsters talk better about the Khrunichev Center.
      1. +1
        2 June 2018 16: 23
        Quote: Curious
        And the first step for Antares

        The Yuzhny site includes the main phase of work with fuel tanks and related equipment. The main task of Yuzhnoye Design Bureau is to develop and control the manufacture of fuel tanks, high pressure tanks, valves, sensors, fuel and power supply systems, pipes, wires and other related equipment at the Yuzhmash plant.
        Engine RD 181 (Energomash) \
        Something funny in this story ... media reaction. When the flight of Antares took place, then the 1st stage was according to the version of RosSMI-Russian, when Antares-RoSMI exploded unequivocally positioned the 1st stage of the Ukrainian.
        (Ukrainian media also sinned with this, but always positioned it Ukrainian)
    2. 0
      1 June 2018 18: 41
      I will say even more, I live very close. Sometimes I’m in the city. Under the Union, 50 people worked in 000 shifts. The fact that Yuzhmash works one day a week, that there is no electricity and heating, the whole Dneprozhidovsk knows. Perhaps they produce something, but this is no longer a factory - a handicraft workshop. And not one "Yuzhmash" is involved, other plants the same either have already died, or will soon "fall".
  11. +1
    2 June 2018 00: 09
    Quote: Curious
    And the first step for Antares. And let hamsters talk better about the Khrunichev Center.

    Not anymore. This is only on the Anatres 100 series. Starting from the 200th series, and to the 300th Russian RD-181 engines. They bought them 60 pieces EMNIP
  12. 0
    2 June 2018 11: 21
    Thunder is an analogue of the Point, as I understand it. Or an analogue of Iskander (rockets are similar).
  13. +1
    4 June 2018 09: 21
    mov she is so funny

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