RS-82 rocket

RS-82 rocket

RS-82 and RS-132 (Reaktivny Snaryad; Russian: Реактивный Снаряд; rocket-powered cannon shell) were unguided rockets used by Soviet military aircraft in World War II.


Design work on RS-82 and RS-132 rockets began in the early 1930s, by a team led by Georgy Langemak, and including Vladimir Artemiev, Boris Petropavlovsky, Yuriy Pobedonostsev, and others. The 82 mm (3.2 in) and 132 mm (5.2 in) diameters were chosen because the standard smokeless gunpowder charge used at the time was 24 mm (0.94 in) in diameter and seven of these charges fit into an 82 mm cylinder. First test-firing was done in November 1929. In 1937, aerodynamically-efficient RO-82 rail launchers were designed for mounting these weapons on the aircraft. During the Great Purge in 1937, Langemak was imprisoned, tortured, tried on what are commonly viewed as trumped-up charges and then executed.Fact|date=February 2007

Operational history

First-ever use of aircraft-launched unguided rockets in combat took place August 20, 1939, during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. Five Polikarpov I-16 fighters launched RS-82 rockets against a flight of Japanese fighters, shooting down 2. Six Tupolev SB bombers also used RS-132 for ground attack during the Winter War. RS-82 and RS-132 officially entered service in 1940.

Like most unguided rockets, RS suffered from poor accuracy. Early testing demonstrated that, when fired from 500 m (1,640 ft), a mere 1.1% of 186 fired RS-82 hit a single tank and only 3.7% hit a column of tanks. RS-132 accuracy was even worse with no hits scored in 134 firings during one test. Combat accuracy was even worse since the rockets were typically fired from even greater distances. To further complicate the matters, RS-82 required a direct hit to disable light German armor with near-misses causing no damage. RS-132 could defeat medium German armor with a direct hit but caused almost no damage to light or medium armor with a near-miss. Best results were usually attained when firing in salvos against large ground targets.

Almost every Soviet military aircraft of World War II was known to carry RS-82 and RS-132, often using field-made launchers. Some Ilyushin Il-2 were field-modified to carry up to 24 rockets although the added drag and the weight made this arrangement impractical.

RS-derived M-8 and M-13 rockets were used by the famous Katyusha rocket artillery


* RS-82 and RS-132 - high-explosive warhead
* BRS-82 and BRS-132 - armor-piercing warhead
* ROFS-132 - fragmentation warhead
* M-8 - improved RS-82 with a much larger warhead (0.64 kg (1.4 lb) of explosives) and rocket motor for BM-8 Katyusha
* M-13 - improved RS-132 with a much larger warhead (4.9 kg (10.8 lb) of explosives) and rocket motor for BM-13 Katyusha, could also be carried by Ilyushin Il-2

pecifications (RS-82)

* Body diameter: 82 mm (3.2 in)
* Wingspan: 200 mm (8 in)
* Length: 600 mm (24 in)
* Weight: 6.8 kg (15 lb)
* Explosive weight: 0.36 kg (0.8 lb)
* Fragmentation radius: 7 m (23 ft)
* Maximum speed: 340 m/s (1,115 ft/s)
* Range: 6.2 km (3.9 mi)
* Spread: 16 angular mil

pecifications (RS-132)

* Body diameter: 132 mm (5.2 in)
* Wingspan: 300 mm (11 in)
* Length: 845 mm (33 in)
* Weight: 23.0 kg (50 lb)
* Explosive weight: 0.9 kg (2 lb)
* Fragmentation radius: 10 m (33 ft)
* Maximum speed: 350 m/s (1,150 ft/s)
* Range: 7.1 km (4.4 mi)
* Spread: 16 angular mil



ee also

*RP-3 - British 3 inch rocket, known as "60lb"

Related content

Related lists: List of aircraft weapons

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