Russian Katusha Zig-Zag Fuze


#1

I was told this could be Russian? I really have no clue and would love to know more about it if anyone has any info. I thought I was have recognized it on CNN when they briefly showed a close-up of a rocket Hezbolah (prob. spelled wrong) was firing into Israel not to long ago. I could be way wrong. I have seen many types of fuzes, but nothing even close to the internal designs of this one. You can extend a spring loaded rod that then ratchets itself down a zig zag later (see pics). Kinda unsual? Any thoughts?


#2

Giraffe?!? Tigers?!? Rhino?!? I guess you weren’t joking about critters in your backyard. And ridin’ shotgun.

Oh, and cool fuse, too. Lest we forget our reason for being here.


#3

Any clue on what it is?


#4

Nope. The guy at inertord.com might. But he’s on his honeymoon(per his webpage note) right now. He’s got quite a collection. Y’all need to hookup.

Rick


#5

Any other markings besides those in pic#2?


#6

That is the famous Soviet ZIG ZAG rocket fuze for the 122mm Katusha barrage rocket. Named for the unique arming structure. Excellent fuze first encountered in Viet Nam.

I LOVE THE TIGER IN THE CAR PHOTO - MUST BE FUN AT RED LIGHTS.


#7

I hit the wrong button and out up a new thread by mistake.

This is the 122mm katusha barrage rocket also called an artillery rocket.

A very popular weapon which can be launched from 2 crossed sticks or a mound of earth. These are falling on Israel nearly every day.

Katusha is a generic name which the Soviets used for this type of rocket which they used to a great extent in WW2 and since.

The ZIG ZAG fuze was such an efficient design that no unexploded ones had been found in Viet Nam after many months of use of the weapon. A large reward was offered by MACV for the recovery of a complete one. One was finally found which had landed in a tree and not impacted with enough velocity to detonate. Only then did we see the unique ZIG ZAG arming feature. A good design which is still in use.

Here are a couple of cuts which show the ZIG ZAG and the arming lever which travels down it.

A BETTER LOOK

OLD VERSION AND A NEWER VERSION


#8

Awesome! I was correct with my CNN observation! Thanks for the great info on this fuze. I have had it in my collection for 7 years and was facinated by its design. It is very unique looking and I have never seen anything like it b4.

Jason


#9

Looks like have the older version of this fuze.


#10

THESE GUYS HAVE KILLED OR INJURED MANY AMERICANS IN VIET NAM AND ELSEWHERE AND MANY ISRAELI AND ARAB CITIZENS OF THE MIDEAST AS WELL. ONE OF THE BEST FUZE DESIGNS OF THE POST WW2 ERA OR ANY ERA FOR THAT. Current electronic and mechanical fuzes have a much higher dud rate than these. NOT A SINGLE DUD WAS RECOVERED IN VIET NAM !


#11

This fuze is the Russian “MRV-U” (well, a copy). Here I think it is a licence production. Are there any other visible markings?


#12

Not allot of markings. Their is a area were you can turn a dial to adjust some type of setting? Around this hole and dial are 3 letters at different positions (M, O, and B). If you hold the fuze in your hand vertically, the “M” would be at the 9’O Clock position, the “O” at the 12’O Clock position and the “B” at the 3’O Clock position. Their is also the number 38 engraved on the silver upper part. If you separate the silver upper part from the blue lower part you can see “2653” hand written in purple ink. After removing the internals, the same #'s (2653) are also handwritten in purple on the base of the part housing the ZIG ZAG apparatus. Other then that, not much. I appreciate everyone’s help. I have heard about these rockets being launched indiscrimitly at Israel for years and especially recently. I knew they were Russian and had no clue that they were also utilized in Vietnam. It is amazing how effective this fuze is. It appears simple and mechanical. “To era is human, to really screw up takes a computer” :-)


#13

Here are the two typical manufactured launchers. Both of these are Soviet made and captured in Viet Nam. The large thin barrel facing on the right is the single launcher and the rail launcher is for the double motor (long range) version seen here mounted.

I have seen Chinese marked Soviet made ones but never a Chinese made rocket in this caliber - other Soviet calibers,yes.


#14

The Soviets were famous for making ordnance things simple which worked. The old story ; we spent millions developing a pen to write in weightless space- the Soviets used a pencil. later they got the pens from us if they wanted.

The fuze folks told me that the ZIG ZAG would never have passed our safety requirements for production at MILSPEC. The Soviets didn’t work to OUR safety requirements.


#15

Great shots of the launchers, thanks CSA! I was also told that the Russians really liked used that bakelite stuff and I am pretty sure the inner mechanism is made of it?


#16

APFSDS now I found it, your’s is the “DKZ-B” it is the predecessor of the “MRV” / “MRV-U”.
Here some general info:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BM-21


#17

Well you guys investigated & conquered that mystery for me. I now 110% know what this thing is now. Great pictures and links from everyone. I am grateful. It is definitely a interesting fuze and design. You guys rule!

Jason


#18

No. It’s MRV. The MRV-U’s (left in CSAEOD’s cutaway photo) inner construction is like an enlarged 120mm M-12 mortar fuze (much more simplier than the MRV)

Here is the MRV’s manual

Vince


#19

This design is not unique in the russian ordnance.
The PDM 3M8M fuze of the 9M17P Falanga (AT-2 Swatter) missile, and the V-24A of the S-24 rocket have very similar arming delay mechanism.

From the eastern viewpoint, the clockwork arming devices are needlessly complicated.

Regards,
Vince


#20

Thanks allot for those great technical diagrams and schmatics. Talk about detail. Fantastic information.