The Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (Russian: Гла́вное раке́тно-артиллери́йское управле́ние Министе́рства оборо́ны Росси́йской Федера́ции (ГРАУ Миноборо́ны Росси́и), tr. Glávnoye rakétno-artilleríyskoye upravléniye Ministérstva oboróny Rossíyskoy Federátsii (GRAU Minoboróny Rossíi)), commonly referred to by its transliterated Russian acronym GRAU (ГРАУ), is a department of the Russian Ministry of Defense. It is subordinate to the Chief of Armament and Munition of the Russian Armed Forces, a vice-minister of defense.

Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
Great emblem of the Main Missile and Artillery Directorate.svg
GRAU emblem
Country Russia
TypeCentral Military Authority
Part ofChief of Armament and Munition of the Russian Armed Forces
Major General Nikolay Romanovsky

The organization dates back to 1862 when it was established under the name Главное артиллерийское управление (ГАУ – GAU). The "R" from "rockets" was added to the title in 1960.

In particular, the GRAU is responsible for assigning GRAU indices to Russian army munitions and equipment.

Arsenals (Russian: Арсенал) of the GRAU, according to Kommersant-Vlast in 2005, include the 53rd at Dzerzhinsk, Nizhniy Novogorod Oblast, the 55th at Rzhev, the 60th at Kaluga, the 63rd at Lipetsk, the 75th at Serpukhov south of Moscow, and the 97th at Skolin (all five in the Moscow Military District). An additional possibly disused arsenal in MMD is the 107th at Toropets.[1] The 80th Arsenal at Gagarskiy, the 116th at Krasno-Oktyabrskiy and the 5th at Alatyr, Chuvash Republic, are all in the Volga–Urals Military District.[2]

A major series of explosions occurred at an arms depot of the 31st Arsenal of the Caspian Flotilla near Ulyanovsk on 13 November 2009. At least two people were killed in the explosion and 43 were rescued from a bomb shelter where they had taken refuge.[3]

There were fires and explosions at the 102nd Arsenal GRAU at Pugachevo (Malaya Purga) in Udmurtia (Volga-Urals Military District) in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018, and two other incidents in 2011 at the 99th Arsenal in Bashkiria and at Ashuluk. There were three more fires in 2012.

On December 26, 2013, an Antonov An-12B transport aircraft of the Irkut company was flying along the route Novosibirsk - Irkutsk, but when landing, it crashed onto a warehouse of the 109th Arsenal GRAU located near the Irkutsk Northwest Airport (Siberian Military District).[4] All nine people on board were killed - six crew members and three passengers.

On 7 October 2020, a grass fire reached ammunition in open storage at Military Unit Number 55443 (once maybe the GRAU’s 97th Arsenal) near Zheltukhino (ru:Желтухино (деревня, Рязанская область)) in Skopinsky District, Ryazan Oblast, igniting munitions.[5][6] Whether GRAU or the Western Military District was responsible for the depot was not clear. Interfaks-AVN wrote that there were 113 warehouses and bunkers with 75,000 tons of missiles, rockets, and artillery shells (including 152-mm) at the site. A women died from injuries and there were at least another 15 victims in stable condition; the fire and explosions "damaged 430 structures, public facilities, apartment buildings, and private homes."

As of December 2021, the Chief of the GRAU is Major General Nikolay Romanovsky.

On 28 June 2022 the cell "BOAK-Vladimir" published a press release claiming sabotage action on railway of Military Unit Number 55443 VD Barsovo (51st Arsenal of the GRAU) near Kirzhach in Vladimir Oblast. The rails were damaged. BOAK's press release stated, "Every stopped train helps to get rid of missiles and rockets, which could hit peaceful Ukrainian cities!"[7]

Current GRAU indicesEdit

GRAU indices are of the form ⟨number⟩ ⟨letter⟩ ⟨number⟩, sometimes with a further suffix ⟨letter⟩ ⟨number⟩. They may be followed by a specially assigned codename. For example "2 S 19  Msta-S", the 2S19 Msta self-propelled howitzer, has the index 2S19, without suffix; Msta-S is the codename.


Several common misconceptions surround the scope and originating body of these indices. The GRAU designation is not an industrial designation, nor is it assigned by the design bureau. In addition to its GRAU designation, a given piece of equipment could have a design name, an industrial name and a service designation.

For example, one of the surface-to-air missiles in the S-25 Berkut air defense system had at least four domestic designations:

  • design name: La-205
  • GRAU index: 5V7
  • industry name: Article 205 (Izdeliye 205)
  • Soviet military designation: V-300

Some Soviet general-purpose bombs bore a designation that looked confusingly similar to GRAU.[note 1]

Designation schemeEdit

The first part of a GRAU index is a number indicating which of the several main categories of equipment a given item belongs to. The second part, a Cyrillic character, indicates the subcategory. The third part, a number, indicates the specific model. The optional suffix can be used to differentiate variants of the same model.

1 (Radio and electronics equipment)Edit

2 (Artillery systems)Edit

3 (Army and naval missiles)Edit

4 (Naval missiles and army equipment (munitions, reactive armour, etc.))Edit

5 (Air defense equipment)Edit

  • 5Ae: Computers (5Ae26, a specialized multi-CPU computer with a performance of 1.5 MIPS)
  • 5B: Surface-to-air missile warheads (5B18, the warhead for the S-125's V-601 missile)
  • 5P: Surface-to-air missile launchers (5P75, the four-missile launcher for the S-125 air defense system)
  • 5V: Surface-to-air missiles (5V55, SAM for S-300 air defense system)
  • 5Ya: Surface-to-air missiles (5Ya23, a SAM for the S-75 air defense system)
  • 5#
* 51T6 (SH-11/ABM-4 Gorgone), an exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile interceptor for the A-135 air defense system
* 53T6 (SH-08/ABM-3 Gazelle), an endoatmospheric interceptor for A-135 air defense system

6 (Firearms, air defense equipment)Edit

  • 6B: Body armor (6B1; 6B13, for mountain troops; 6B23, MOLLE; 6B43, MOLLE for airborne, naval and special troops), helmets (6B6)
  • 6Ch: Firearm equipment (6Ch12, the PBS-1 flash suppressor and silencer; 6Ch63, AK modernize kit; 6Ch64, front grip)
  • 6E: Firearm equipment (6E7, flashlight)
  • 6G: Firearms (6G3, the RPG-7 man-portable, rocket-propelled grenade launcher; 6G17, the VOG-25 40 mm grenade cartridge)
  • 6Kh: Knives and bayonets (6Kh3, a sword-bayonet for the AKM)
  • 6P: Firearms (6P1, the 7.62 mm AKM, and 6P41/6P41M, PKP)
  • 6Sh: Firearm equipment (6Sh5, a rifle sling; 6Sh92, tactical vest; 6Sh104, SVD/VSS vest for sniper and backpack with rain cover and 2 side MOLLE pouches; 6Sh105, normal or digital tactical vest; 6Sh112, MOLLE tactical vest for PKM/PKP machine-gunner)
  • 6T: Firearm equipment (6T2, Samozhenkov's carriage for PKS machine gun)
  • 6Ts: Sights (6Ts1, the PSO-1 sight for the Dragunov sniper rifle)
  • 6U: Firearm equipment (6U1, personnel carrier vehicle carriage for PKB/PKBM machine gun)
  • 6V: Firearms (6V1, the Dragunov sniper rifle)
  • 6Yu: Firearm accessories kit (6Yu4, accessories kit for the AKM)
  • 6Zh: Firearm equipment (6Zh1M, a 100-round belt-box for the PKM machine gun)
  • 6L: Magazine (6L20, bakelite plastic 5.45×39mm magazine for the AK-74)

7 (Firearm munitions)Edit

  • 71Kh6: the US-KMO Prognoz-2 early warning system satellite
  • 73N6 Baikal-1: an automated air defense command and control system
  • 75E6 Parol-3: the IFF interrogator for the S-75M and S-125
  • 76N6: a low-altitude target detector radar

8 (Army missiles and rocketry)Edit

9 (Army missiles, UAVs)Edit

10 (Equipment)Edit

  • 10P: Sights (10P19, the PGO-7V sight for RPG-7V grenade launcher)
  • 10R: Radios (10R30 Karat-2, a radio transmitter)

11 (Rocketry and associated equipment)Edit

14 (Rocketry and associated equipment)Edit

  • 14A: Rockets (14A15, is the "Soyuz-2-1v")
  • 14D: Rocket engines (14D30, the "Briz" booster's S5.98M liquid fuel engine)
  • 14F: Satellites (14F10, the IS-MU Naryad anti-satellite weapon)
  • 14I: Ground equipment (14I02, the ground equipment for the "Briz" booster's 8P882 system)
  • 14P: Ground equipment (14P72, the service system for the "Briz" booster)
  • 14S: Boosters (14S12, the "Briz" booster)
  • 14T: Ground equipment (14T81, the storage equipment for the "Briz" booster)

15 (Strategic Missile Forces equipment)Edit

17 (Rocketry and associated equipment)Edit

  • 17D: Misc. rocket engines (17D58Ae, the stabilization and orientation engine of the "Briz-M" booster)
  • 17F: Satellites (17F15 Raduga-1, a telecommunications satellite)
  • 17K: Space-based systems (17K114, a space-based reconnaissance and targeting system)
  • 17P: Ground equipment (17P31, the start system for 11K25)
  • 17S: Rocket stages (17S40, Unit D of the Proton launcher)
  • 17U: Ground equipment (17U551, the "Briz-M" booster testing system)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ For example, the FAB-250sch entered service in 1944 with the designation 7-F-334, which was not assigned by GRAU.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kommersant-Vlast, Vys Rossikaya Armiya, 2005
  3. ^
  4. ^ Описание катастрофы на Aviation Safety Network; Катастрофа Ан-12 Корпорации Иркут в районе а/п Иркутск-2 (борт 12162), 26 декабря 2013 года.
  5. ^ "Минобороны РФ окажет помощь в ремонте жилых домов и инфраструктуры в военном городке, пострадавшем при пожаре на арсенале в Рязанской области -". Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  6. ^ "The Latest Arsenal Fire". Russian Defense Policy. 2020-10-13. Retrieved 2023-05-21.
  7. ^ "Sabotage action on the railway of military unit 55443 VD Barsovo (51th Arsenal of the Main rocket-artillery department of Russian Defense ministry) | Anarcho-Communists Combat Organization".
  • The initial version of this article was based on material from It has been released under the GFDL by the copyright holder.
  • Dictionary of GRAU designations at

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  • History of the GRAU (in Russian)
  • - arsenal fires, 2020