Indonesian Marine Corps RM-70 Vampire 122mm MRLS Conduct Live-fire Exercise
Indonesian Marine Corps RM-70 Vampire 122mm MRLS Conduct Live-fire Exercise

Indonesian Marine Corps RM-70 Vampire 122mm MRLS Conduct Live-fire Exercise

Indonesian Marines assigned to 1st Marine Rocket Battalion conduct familiarization training on the RM-70 Vampire Self-propelled multiple rocket launcher system (MRLS) at Cibenda Sukabumi, West Java. As of today, there are three Marine Rocket Battalions of the Indonesian Marine Corps. The Indonesian Marine Corps took delivery of nine RM-70 Vampir 122mm MLRS, an upgraded version of the Czech RM-70. The system was upgraded by the Czech Company Excalibur Army. Indonesia plans to purchase a total of 36 RM-70 Vampir 122mm MLRS. In 2003, Indonesia has acquired 9 second-hand RM-70 122mm MLRS from Czech Republic. The original RM 70 was installed on Tatra T-813 chassis. The new Vampir, however, utilizes a completely new platform Tatra T-815-7.

The RM-70 Vampir is a modernized version of the standard RM-70 122 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic by the Excalibur Army. The RM-70 (Raketomet vzor 1970) multiple rocket launcher is a Czechoslovak Army version and heavier variant of the Soviet/Russian BM-21 Grad (Cherrystone) multiple rocket launcher, providing enhanced performance over its parent area-saturation rocket artillery system that was introduced in 1971 (the NATO designation is M1972). The basic configuration of the rocket launcher itself on the vehicle´s chassis corresponds with the original RM-70, but the majority of the wiring has been extensively rebuilt or completely modernized.

Indonesian Marine Corps RM-70 Vampire 122mm MRLS Conduct Live-fire Exercise (Photo by TNI AL Pasmar1)

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. The new chassis is fitted with an armored cabin with biological and chemical weapons protection capability, which also enables the installation of additional ballistic protection. The crew cabin provides protection against the firing of small arms of 7.62mm caliber and mine blast of 6 kg TNT explosion.

The 122-mm rockets are essentially the same as those fired from the BM-21 Grad system. Warhead can vary from high explosive fragmentation to enhanced warheads with pre-formed fragments. Cargo warheads can also scatter small anti-tank mines. The rocket launching is carried out by an operator in the vehicle´s cabin or from a nearby shelter with a remote control device. The rocket projectiles are highly-explosive, rotary with collapsible stabilizers. The maximum firing range is 20,381 m, the aerial effective range of one projectile can reach up to 3,000 square meters and with the multiple rockets launching the area is up to 3 hectares. The RM-70 Vampir can be ready to fire in less than 2.5 minutes and leave its combat position in 3 minutes. It can fire 40 rockets in less than 30 seconds.

Indonesian Marine Corps RM-70 Vampire 122mm MRLS Conduct Live-fire Exercise (Photo by TNI AL Pasmar1)