The RM-70 M1 multiple rocket launcher is an new, modified generation of the original Czechoslovak Army‟s version RM-70 and the heavier variant of the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, providing enhanced performance over its parent area-saturation rocket artillery system that was introduced in 1971 (the NATO designation is M1972).
It is designed to be used against manpower, firing devices, motorized infantry arrangements, tanks and other combat vehicles. The rocket launcher with loading device is placed on a special T-813 chassis. Sighting by dependent PG aiming rule sight, motor powered or manual guidance to target. Electrical switch-on. Firing in batches and/or individually.
RM-70 was developed in Czechoslovakia as a successor for the RM-51, achieving initial operational capability with its Army in 1972. The launcher was being produced in Dubnica nad Váhom (Slovakia). Originally, it was sold to East Germany. After the Soviet Union collapse and the split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, it was sold to several states in Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
The RM-70 is fitted with 40 launching tubes for 122 mm rockets. A standard HE-FRAG rocket is 2.87 m long and weights 66 kg. Maximum range of fire is 20.5 km. The RM-70 fires Soviet or locally developed rockets. It is also compatible with all the latest rockets, developed for the BM-21 Grad.
Vehicle has an armored cab. It provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. The fire is robust with almost 256 kg of explosives used in one volley of 40 rockets. The rockets used are either the original Soviet 9M22 and 9M28, or locally developed models. These are the JROF with a range of 20.75 km, the JROF-K with a range of 11 km, the “Trnovnik” with 63 HEAT-bomblets and with a range of 17.5 km, the “Kuš” with five PPMI-S1 anti-personnel mines or the “Krizhna-R” with 4 anti-tank mines PTMI-D and with a range of 19,450 m. This multiple launch rocket system is fitted with a secondary 7.62 mm machine gun, mounted on top of the roof.
The RM-70 uses chassis of the Tatra 813 8×8 truck. Vehicle is powered by a Tatra T-930-3 diesel engine, developing 270 hp. This multiple launch rocket system is fitted with central tyre inflation system and a front-mounted dozer blade. The blade allows to prepare a firing emplacement or to remove obstacles from the road. The RM-70 carries 40 reload rockets and is fitted with unusual reloading device. Reloading takes less than two minutes. Vehicle can also be reloaded manually.The vehicle is provided with a central tyre pressure regulation system (to allow its adaptation to the nature of the traversed ground), a headlight with white light on the forward cab roof and, if necessary, with a snow plough SSP 1000 or a dozer blade BZ-T to arrange its own emplacement or to remove obstacles.
RM-70 Modular Slovak upgrade of the basic RM-70. Vehicle an interchangeable rocket pod and is capable to launch either 122 mm Grad rockets or 227 mm M270 MLRS rockets. Slovakia ordered upgrade of 26 vehicles to the RM-70 Modular standard. First systems were delivered in 2005.
RM-70 Vampir is a recent Czech upgrade of the RM-70, developed by Excalibur Army company. It follows the lines of the original RM-70. It is based on a Tatra T815-7 heavy high mobility truck with 8×8 configuration. First operator of the RM-70 Vampir became Indonesia. A total of 8 units were delivered to Indonesia in 2016. Also it has been exported to Azerbaijan, and possibly, some other countries.