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GarageImage BM-13N.jpg

The BM-13N is a gift Rank II Soviet tank destroyer with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during Update 1.67 "Assault" as part of a Victory Day Event known as "KATYUSHA" during the span of May 06 - 10. The vehicle is unlocked during the event by destroying five vehicles using the BM-8-24.

One of the most unusual vehicle in game, to say the least. Not only is its truck-based configuration not the most common, it also uses 16 x 132 mm M13 rockets as a main armament, has limited traverse, only 2 crew member, and a gun depression of +8°. The last is somewhat compensated by its ability to lean forwards with a hydropneumatic suspension system found on some Rank 5 vehicles. Its gameplay is somewhat comparable to other unique premium machines such as the T34 Calliope or Panzerwerfer 42, but remains a rather unique experience.

The BM-13N, also known as Katyusha, is an artillery piece, belonging more in an artillery formation than in a tank battle. One should stay at a distance from the enemy since its rockets have a blind zone of about 250 meters in front of the truck when moving on a flat surface. This is best used as it was back in the days: to support allies. Best used in RB, it is a nasty surprise.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Roof)
  • Structural steel (Chassis and driver's cabin)
  • Gun steel
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Driver's cabin 1 mm (77-86°) Hood
4 mm (38°) Driver's windows
1 mm (1-8°) 4 mm (86°) 4 mm
Truck bed 5 mm 5 mm 5 mm 5 mm


  • Wheels provide 2 mm of armour thickness
  • No armour in front grille, simple 7.62 mm machine gun rounds can enter and damage the engine.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 79 11 7.9 134 179 16.96 22.66
Realistic 73 10 83 94 10.51 11.9


Main armament

Main article: M13
132 mm M13 rockets
Capacity Vertical
16 +8°/+45° ±10° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 4.2 5.8 10.4 11.5 12.2
Realistic 4.2 4.9 6.0 6.6 7.0
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
10.4 9.2 8.5 8.0
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
M-13 SSM 40 40 40 40 40 40
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
in m/s
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
0% 50% 100%
M-13 SSM 355 42 0.0 0.1 4,900 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the BM-13N.
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 no

Rockets deplete right to left, columns first

Usage in battles

There is two main ways to use the Katyusha:

This truck is a real killer in an open field, provided it could hit its target before it is noticed. Since its main sight lack ranging marks, one should estimate the correct angle, shoot a rocket, watch where it lands, adjust fire, retry it as many time as it needs. Do not take too much time at range finding since a single shot can end your day. Once the correct angle is found, 'unleash hell on your enemies, blinding them with dust lifting up from the ground, detonating ammo racks and blasting off tracks. This is basically an intelligent artillery barrage. Once all rockets are fired, fall back behind ally lines, find a captured objective to reload at, repeat.

Best used in an urban combat scenario, when your team is losing. In these kind of times, enemies often rush the base/objectives without watching corners very well. This is your chance: find yourself a pile of rubble and lift the rear of the truck on it in such a way that you can fire right in front of you, past the corner. When an enemy passes by, spread it with rockets until it dies, using your good rate of fire. This tactic is often a last resort since you're cornered and encircled, you may kill 1 or more enemy if you're lucky but you will eventually be spotted or run out of rockets.

When firing, try to aim for these:

  • Tank's bellies: since almost no tank has more than 40 mm of armour underneat, it can disable them.
  • Tracks: To immobilize your foes, providing your allies a chance to finish them off. Some tanks store ammo over the tracks, it can detonate them.
  • Gun barrel: Blasting off your ennemy's gun barrell will incapacitate it from effectively firing back at your allies.
  • Engine deck: Can disable a tank's engine, in the best case scenario igniting it.
  • Turret front/ Commander's hatch: Many tanks have weak top armour, use it to your advantage.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tires Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support
This is a premium vehicle: all modifications are unlocked on purchase

Pros and cons


  • Powerful 132mm M13 rockets that can pierce 39 mm of steel
  • High fire rate
  • Moderate speed
  • High velocity rockets
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Can be used in deceptions: A similar model is used as decorations on some maps, without rockets and add-on armour, which may allow the player to hide. Works better when in group of 2 or more.


  • Horribly protected against artillery and planes, Team kills are frequent due to this
  • Distinguishable firing signature
  • Lacks of other armaments beside rockets
  • Bad gun traverse
  • Low rocket supply of 16
  • Technically has the worst gun depression in game of +8°
  • Large dead zone in front of vehicle up to 250 meters on default suspension adjustment
  • The only 2 crew members are barely protected
  • Little to no armour, as expected from a truck
  • Effectively built and intended as an indirect fire weapon, but no game mechanics exist in War thunder currently to support this playstyle.



The concept of a multiple rocket launcher system came about in June 1938, when the Soviet Jet Propulsion Research Institute was authorized by the Main Artillery Directorate to develop such system for the RS-132 rocket in use on their aircraft. A prototype by I. Gvay in Chelyabinsk was tried and fired M-132 rockets on ZiS-5 trucks, though these were unstable and were revised on the proposals of V.N. Galkovskiy to mount the launching rails longitudinally. Testing for the newly made prototype began at the end of 1938, firing 233 rounds in a couple of salvos. The rockets were found to be able to hit up to 5,500 meters out, but the system was not looked fondly upon by the artillery branch. It took 50 minutes to load 24 rockets onto the launching rail, while a regular artillery cannon and howitzer can fire about a hundred in the same time at a sustained rate.

Testing continued up until 1940 and with a prototype of a truck with the launch rails on the back. The design was approved for production before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, and mass-production began after the first month of the war, where the multiple rocket launchers proved very successful. During the war, the launchers were taken with much secrecy and operated by specialized troops such as the NKVD who do not even know its true name. Through the presence of a "K" on the vehicles from the Komintern Factory, the soldiers operating decided to nickname these launchers "Katyusha" after a popular wartime song of the same name. Up to 3,237 of all types of Katyusha launchers were produced from 1941 to the end of 1942, and more than 10,000 were made by the end of the war.

Advantages and disadvantages

Compared to the contemporary artillery systems of the time, the multiple rocket launcher system presented a different kind of artillery barrages used in the field. Advantages the multiple rocket launcher was that they were simple, extremely effective in saturation bombardment, fires lots of ordnance in a small time span, and were usually attached to mobile vehicles that can permit a quick retreat after firing to prevent counter-battery firing. Disadvantages with the system was that the rockets took a long time to reload, less accurate than regular artillery guns, and cannot sustain fire for a long period of time. However, in the battlefield, the multiple rocket launcher induces a greater psychological effect onto the targets on the receiving end due to the heavy amount of explosives able to be delivered in a short time. A battery of only four launchers could deliver their salvos of about 4.35 tons of explosives in a span of no longer than 10 seconds at a 400,000 square meter area.


Multiple variants of the multiple rocket launcher system were made in the course of the war as the design is simply the attachment of launch rails onto a variety of vehicles. Each vehicle has different names that follows a template to distinguish their types.

  • "BM-x-y" indicates a ground vehicle.
  • "M-x-y" indicates a towed variant.
  • "y-M-x" indicates a naval variant.

and "x" stands for the missile model while "y" stands for the number of launch rails available for the launcher variant. For example, the BM-8-16 indicates a ground vehicle firing M-8 rockets with 16 rails available to mount on.

Vehicles using the Katyusha launchers range from trucks, cars, and tanks. The production started with trucks such as the ZiS-6, then moving on to STZ-5 artillery tractors, then on Allied Lend-Lease vehicles. The 82 mm M-8 rockets, which saw service in August 1941, was the most popular rocket variant and saw use on the trucks and even tanks, which would make the BM-8-24 rocket launcher tank mounted on the T-60 light tank. Another attempt with tank mounting was with a KV-1 heavy tank as the KV-1K, but as a waste of heavy armour, this was scrapped.

Combat usage

The Katyusha rocket launchers first saw service during the opening of Operation Barbarossa against Germany. On July 14, 1941, under the experimental battery commanded by Captain Ivan Flyorov, seven launchers were used in Rudnya and were able to cause massive destruction to the Germans in the town before they fled in panic. This success prompted the Red Army to build up more Katyushas in their inventory and raise more batteries and regiments for the vehicle. All these units were under NKVD control for secrecy until the Germans reveal their own multiple rocket launcher system, the Nebelwerfer. The Germans nicknamed the Katyusha launchers "Stalin's Orgel", literally "Stalin's Organ" after Joseph Stalin and how the launchers are organized in a way which looks like a church organ. This German nickname became widely known in other areas in Western Europe. By the end of 1941, eight regiments and 37 independent battalions were available with a count of 554 Katyushas total.

The rocket launchers continue to become more integrated into the rest of the army as the war continued. Heavy mortar battalions were armed with the newer M-30 rocket launchers with heavy 300 mm M-30 rockets in June 1942. In July, a battalion of rocket launchers was added to the tank corps. The organization and equipment of these mortar battalions equipped with the Katyusha continue to increase and by the end of the war in 57 regiments, about 518 batteries of Katyusha launchers were available.


The Katyusha launchers, issued in large numbers in the Eastern Front, was largely successful in the strategic effect of the war, granting the Soviet Union the ability to lay down a very heavy and shocking bombardment very quickly. The success of the system prompted many other countries to pursuit such a system as well, such as the modified T34 Calliope based off the Sherman and the Germans Panzerwerfer 42s. Today, the multiple rocket launcher system is still widespread with the implementation of newer technology, rockets, and missiles that makes the rocket launcher system a very potent weapon to anyone on the receiving end.


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See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

USSR tank destroyers
Light  SU-5-1 · ZiS-30 · SU-57 · SU-57B · SU-76D · SU-76M · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · YaG-10 (29-K) · SU-85A · Khrizantema-S
Medium  SU-122 · SU-85 · SU-85M · SU-100 · SU-100P · SU-122P · SU-122-54 · IT-1 · Shturm-S
Heavy  SU-100Y · ISU-122 · ISU-122S · SU-152 · ISU-152 · Object 268 · Object 120
Rocket  BM-8-24 · BM-13N
Airborne  ASU-57 · ASU-85

USSR premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  BA-11 · RBT-5 · BT-7 (F-32) · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-126
Medium tanks  T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34E · T-34-57 (1943) · T-34-85E · T-34-100 · T-44-122 · T-55AM-1 · T-72AV (TURMS-T)
  ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"
Heavy tanks  SMK · T-35 · ▂MK-II "Matilda" · KV-1E · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6) · KV-122 · KV-220 · IS-2 "Revenge" · IS-6 · T-10A
Tank destroyers  BM-13N · BM-8-24 · SU-57 · SU-76D · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A · SU-100Y · SU-122P · Object 120
SPAA  ▂Phòng không T-34 · ZUT-37