RM-70 Multiple Rocket Launchers
RM-70 Multiple Rocket Launchers

Czech Republic Ships RM-70 Multiple Rocket Launchers and Dana Howitzers to Ukraine

The Czech Republic has delivered multiple rocket launchers and howitzers to Ukraine among military shipments that have reached hundreds of millions of dollars and will continue. The RM-70 multiple rocket launcher systems and ShKH vz. 77 DANA 152mm self-propelled howitzers recently delivered to the Ukranian army from Czech stocks. These MRLS are essentially variants of the traditional 122mm BM-21 “Grad”, and at least 20 have been transferred for use. The Czech Republic has spare equipment that Ukrainian forces are familiar with in storage as well as a defence industry focused on upgrades and trade in such weapons. It has been among the most active EU nations in backing Ukraine.

Czech Army 152mm SpGH DANA  self-propelled howitzers
Czech Army 152mm SpGH DANA self-propelled howitzers

One agreed shipment publicised by the German government includes 56 Czechoslovak-made infantry fighting vehicles that used to be operated by East Germany and by Sweden. After the Soviet Union collapse and the split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it was sold to several countries in Africa, America, Asia and Europe. They were later sold to Czech arms firm EXCALIBUR ARMY, part of industrial and defence holding CZECHOSLOVAK GROUP that is instrumental in the Czech supplies to Ukraine. It said its supplies since the war started included heavy equipment. Reuters reported a shipment of T-72 tanks and BVP-1 (BMP-1) infantry fighting vehicles seen on rail cars in videos this week. EXCALIBUR ARMY also produces new variant of RM-70 and Dana.

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 RM-70 multiple rocket launcher systems
Czech Army RM-70 multiple rocket launcher systems

The RM-70 (the NATO designation is M1972) 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. 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 122 mm rockets pack for reload. Nevertheless, RM-70 performance remains near the same as Grad even in terms of vehicle’s speed and range. RM-70 Vampire is an upgraded version integrated on a Tatra T-815-7 truck chassis powered by a Tatra T3C V8 engine.

Czech Army RM-70 multiple rocket launcher system and 152mm SpGH DANA self-propelled howitzer
Czech Army RM-70 multiple rocket launcher system and 152mm SpGH DANA self-propelled howitzer

The DANA 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 Tren?ín 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 815 chassis. Currently it is in service with the Czech Republic, Libya, Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Slovakia. Compared to tracked vehicles wheeled vehicles have the advantage of being cheaper to build and easier to maintain with greater mobility.

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