Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: the Self-Propelled Artillery

Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: the Self-Propelled Artillery
Author: 7th Army Training Command|Caption: ShKH M77 DANA Self-Propelled Gun Howitzer
18 / 07 / 2018, 10:00

Chapter 4 of the General Staff’s „Modernization Projects of the Czech Army“ document describes requirements for a new Self-Propelled Gun to replace 86 ShKH M77 DANA Self-Propelled Gun Howitzers currently operated by both artillery battalions of the 13th Artillery Regiment. According to the General Staff these vehicles are obsolete and do not answer today's requirements of compatibility with NATO caliber, different types of munition, and with the command and fire-control systems.

The DANA („Dělo Automobilní Nabíjené Automaticky“: gun on truck loaded automatically) were introduced in 1970’s. It is a 152 mm Self-Propelled Gun Howitzer (lenght of barrel: 36.6 calibres) based on a modified 8x8 Tatra 813 chassis with excellent cross-country mobility. It comes with a self-loading capacity, and offer a range of fire of 18 km, good accuracy and a rate of fire of three rounds per minute. It is designed to fight enemy artillery and mortars, command posts, fire and radar systems, manpower, permanent and field defensive constructions. Besides the 152 mm howitzer it is armed with a 12.7 mm DShKM machine gun and carries an RPG-7 anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: the multipurpose helicopters

The 13th Artillery Regiment is based in Jince, Central Bohemian Region. It is equiped with the DANA howitzers, the reconnaissance and observation system „Sněžka“ based on BVP/BMP-1 IFV, the light reconnaissance and surveillance system „LOS“ based on BVP/BMP-2 IFV, light artillery reconnaissance armoured vehicles „LOV Pz“ based on IVECO M65E19WM LMV, and the mobile counter-battery radar „ARTHUR“ by the Swedish Saab.

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: the IFVs

DANAs are operated by the Czech Republic, Libya, Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Slovakia, which deploys a modernized variant named „ZUZANA“: a 155 mm NATO caliber Self-propelled Gun with a 45-caliber barrel, with range of fire of 39.6 km.

Two upgraded variants of DANA were developed by the Excalibur Army company, member of the Czechoslovak Group (CSG): the DANA-M1 CZ has a new fire control system, new navigation aids and a modified chassis with T3-930 engine; and DANA-M2, meant initially for the Czech Army, extending the life cycle and increasing the combat capabilities with higher accuracy, better controllability of the vehicle and the reliability of operation. Both the M1 and M2 variants use the original 152 mm caliber. The previous government approved a deal in 2017 to modernize 33 ShKH M77 DANAs (M2) and to buy 17 new systems to complete and upgrade the existing artillery equipment of the Czech Army. The project has been cancelled at the beggining of 2018 by Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová, and 52 new vehicles are to be purchased instead, with the following general requirements:

Specification:

  • Crew of 4 persons;
  • Autonomous weapon system;
  • Range of fire over 40 km;
  • Sequential fire arriving on target at the same time (MRSI)
  • Lifetime of 25 years;
  • 52 self-propelled guns in total.

1. Self-propelled gun

  • 155 mm caliber;
  • Lenght of barrel 52 calibers.

2. Munition

  • High-explosive (HE), smoke (SMK), illuminant (ILL);
  • Special and precision guided (PGM/PGK).

3. Indirect fire

  • Automatic fire-control system;
  • Automated aiming;
  • At least semi-automatic loading;
  • At least 5-6 rounds per minute.

4. Muzzle velocity system

5. Camouflage and self-protection

  • Modular multispectral mobile camouflage;
  • At least 7.62 mm NATO caliber machine-gun.

6. Ballistic protection

  • Anti-mine protection;
  • Protection against artillery shrapnel and infantry weapons.

7. Mobility

  • TATRA 8x8 chassis;
  • Road speed at least 70 km/h;
  • Off-road speed at least 30 km/h;
  • Minimum range 500 km;
  • Auxiliary power unit (APU);
  • Air transportability.

8. Communication, information and other systems

  • Intercom system;
  • VHF/UHF radio for voice and data communication;
  • National command and control system integration;
  • Artillery fire-control system integration;
  • GPS and inertial navigation system;
  • Vehicle diagnostic system with open architecture;
  • Combat identification system;
  • Collective automated CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) protection.

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

 

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