DANA-M1 M is a modernised version of vz. 77 DANA 152mm self-propelled wheeled howitzer developed by Excalibur Army to provide effective artillery support for the Czech Army. The DANA (the name being derived from “dělo automobilní nabíjené automaticky” (gun on truck loaded automatically)) is a wheeled self-propelled artillery piece. It is also known as the Samohybná Kanónová Húfnica vzor 77 (ShKH vz. 77) (self-propelled gun howitzer model 77); and was designed by Konštrukta Trenčín and built by ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom in the former Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). Introduced in the 1970s it was the first wheeled 152 mm self-propelled artillery gun to enter service. It is based on a modified 8×8 Tatra 813 chassis with excellent cross-country mobility. Currently it is in service with the Czech Republic, Libya, Poland, Georgia and Slovakia.
The DANA’s primary weapon is a 152 mm howitzer with a monolithic barrel (with a fixed rifling pitch) equipped with a single expansion chamber. The howitzer has a semi-automatic, vertically-sliding wedge-type breech which opens to the left side. The recoil assembly consists of a hydraulic buffer, two pneumatic return cylinders and a controlling plunger which governs the displacement of the buffering system. The gun laying is carried out by an electro-hydraulic drive system or an emergency manual control.
As of 2017, there are there main shell types used by DANA-M1 M
1. 152 mm Ecv – ShKH 77 (Training round 152 mm blank for ShKH 77 Dana.)
The 152 mm Ecv – ShKH 77 round perfectly enables to train activity of loading and shooting alike the utilization of live ammunition. Special plug ensures complete burning of the propellant during firing. Energy created during firing is sufficient to ensure automatic functioning of the weapon system even in extreme conditions. Considering the minimal danger area (80 meters) cost of training are just fraction of the cost needed for live ammunition firing.
2. 152 mm HE ER-HB
Projectiles of cal. 152 mm HE ER-HB serve for destruction of stationary targets, places with high concentration of infantry, field covers, light-armoured targets, weapon systems, military and transport equipment etc. The effect of the projectile on target is realised by kinetic energy of fragments of metal parts of the shell and by the blast wave of explosive charge. Max range 20,300 meters.
3. 152 mm HE ER-BB
Long range projectile HE ER-BB is primarily designed for howitzer weapon system 152 mm DANA mod. 77 and modernized. DANA-M1 CZ without modification of automatic loading system. The round is divided and consists of 152 mm projectile HE ER-BB and P740 cartridge. It is intended for destroying of enemy infantry units, firing posts, trenches, roadblocks, light armored vehicles, buildings, observation points etc. in range up to 25,500 meters.
The DANA-M1 M boasts an unbeatable rate of fire, greater firing accuracy, excellent vehicle mobility and reliable operation of the system. All these qualities predestine the DANA-M1 M Self Propelled Gun Howitzer to play a significant role in the modern era of artillery support.