Czech company Excalibur Army announced on 22 February that it has signed an agreement with Indonesian defense company PT Republik Defensindo (PT. RDI) for the joint production of RM-70 Vampire multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) for the Indonesian armed force. The multiple rocket launchers will be produced in the Indonesian city of Batam, with deliveries to the Indonesian Armed Forces set to commence this year. The production deal for the 122 mm MRLs was signed at the 21–25 February International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2021 in Abu Dhabi and includes “the transfer of the necessary technologies”. RM-70 Vampire MRLs will be mounted on 4×4, 6×6, and 8×8 Tatra truck chassis.
Excalibur Army multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) vehicles are built on the unique Tatra truck chassis which allows them to pass through very difficult terrain with certainty and at surprising speed. The launcher platform is derived from the well-known, proven and widely used RM-70 and BM-21 MLRS systems. The RM-70 (raketomet vzor 1970) multiple rocket launcher is a Czechoslovak army version and 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).
RM-70 performance remains near the same as Grad even in terms of vehicle’s speed and range. RM-70 replaced the Ural-375D 6×6 truck by a Tatra T813 “Kolos” 8×8 truck as carrier platform for the 40-round launcher. The new carrier vehicle provides enough space for carrying 40 additional 122mm rockets pack for reload. This rocket launcher can fire both individual rounds and volleys, principally by means of indirect fire. It is designed for concentrated fire coverage of large areas (up to 3 hectares in one volley) by high explosive fragmentation shells. 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.
RM-70 Vampire is an upgraded version integrated on a Tatra T-815-7 truck chassis powered by a Tatra T3C V8 engine with 270 kW of output, coupled with a Tatra 10 TS 210 N gearbox, with semi-automatic Tatra Norgen drive system and an additional gearbox Tatra 2.30TRS. It has a range of around 1,000 km (620 mi) and a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) with an armored and NBC-protected crew cabin. In 2016, Indonesian Marine Corps took delivery of nine RM-70 Vampire 122mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), an upgraded version of the Czech RM-70. The system was upgraded by the Czech Company Excalibur Army. Indonesia Marine Corps Multiple Rocket Launcher Battalion plans to operate a total of 36 122mm multiple rocket launchers.