Czech howitzers and Tatra trucks for Ukraine

Czech howitzers and Tatra trucks for Ukraine
Author: Excalibur Army|Caption: DANA M2
07 / 06 / 2021, 10:00

In recent weeks, the Ukrainian Army tested the Czech self-propelled DANA M2 cannon howitzer on a Tatra chassis during rigorous tests. This happened in preparation for the purchase of more than two dozen of these artillery systems for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Excalibur Army from the Czechoslovak Group (CSG) holding company and Tatra Trucks become important partners of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Excalibur Army has previously been involved in the supply of military equipment to Ukraine, and current projects mean expanding cooperation with the Ukrainian side. In addition, CSG holding companies are strengthening Ukraine's connection with NATO and the European Union, of which the Czechia is a member, which is of strategic importance for this country.

Ukraine plans to equip its army with 26 brand new and modern DANA M2 howitzers. During recent tests in Ukraine, this artillery system proved to be in a very good light. Dana M2 successfully passed the army exams and passed all 18 tests, including live fire tests. The Ukrainian Army also had the opportunity for the first time to officially test a new weapon system developed and manufactured in one of the countries of the European Union. Passing the tests was a prerequisite, and also a condition of the Ukrainian side, for the start of negotiations on a contract for the supply of howitzers for the local armed forces, which urgently need to replace armaments reminiscent of Soviet times.

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

Excalibur Army will also cater to Ukrainian partners in the production of new howitzers and the provision of service. The Ukrainian companies will participate in the production of some howitzer components and the service facilities in Ukraine will be located. The country will therefore be able to operate howitzers from its own resources. Excalibur Army is the first company in the field of defense industry from EU countries to offer such a range of cooperation to Ukraine. Ukrainian companies will be able to participate in an international project, which will help them increase their production and technological capabilities and can open the door to further contacts and cooperation with European partners.

"Working with the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the DANA project is a great opportunity for us. Our relationship has lasted for years and we have good experience. In previous years, for example, we have delivered some vehicles, equipment and components to Ukraine. But this is the first time we can offer a completely new finished product. It is the result of our hard work, which we have not achieved overnight. But now we can offer Ukrainian partners a howitzer and we also had the opportunity to demonstrate its capabilities and performance directly in Ukraine," Richard Kubena, sales director of Excalibur Army, said

The DANA M2 howitzer is a beneficial part of modernization plans for the Ukrainian Army. It will get a modern artillery weapon with top electronic systems and accurate firing capabilities, but at the same time he will not have to buy new ammunition. The Ukrainian army has large stocks of 152 mm caliber ammunition in storage, for which the DANA M2 howitzer weapon is designed. DANA M2 with its combat performance and modern equipment significantly exceeds the capabilities of the current artillery equipment of the Ukrainian Army, for example in the speed and accuracy of fire, range or automation of activities, etc.

See also: New DITA self-propelled wheeled howitzer pushes the possibilities of modern combat further

During the tests, Ukrainian soldiers acknowledged the ability of the Czech howitzer to operate in a coordinated manner within the firing range of several howitzers, but also completely independently, thanks to the digital fire control system and other electronic systems. Even one DANA M2 howitzer is able to act effectively and with great accuracy on selected targets. During the evaluation, they also highlighted the speed with which the howitzer was deployed. According to Ukrainian observers, the time that elapsed between its cessation and the start of the fire did not exceed 40 s, and approximately the same amount of time elapsed between the end of the fire and the departure of the site. These are values ​​that are vital in combat deployment.

Specialists from the Ukrainian Army were satisfied with both the performance of the weapon system and the abilities that DANA M2 demonstrated when driving in difficult terrain. These are due to the fact that the howitzer uses a modernized Tatra chassis, which is equipped with improved air-cooled twelve-cylinder also brand Tatra with an output of 265 kW. According to Ukrainian soldiers, the qualities of the Tatra chassis are at a high level, which they expected, as Tatra cars are not unknown in Ukraine. According to them, the concept of the DANA M2 howitzer is also advantageous for the Ukrainian Army in that no additional vehicle is needed to transport the weapon system to the battlefield, as is the case with towed howitzers still used by the Ukrainian Army, which should replace the DANA M2.

See also: French CAESAR cannons on a Czech chassis are a rational choice for the Czech Artillery

At present, in cooperation with the Ukrainian partner Ukrinmash, the first deliveries of the entire fleet of Tatra cars for the Ukrainian Armed Forces are already underway as part of the first orders for the Neptun project and others. In addition, Tatra Trucks, together with Ukrinmash, is preparing other projects in which various Ukrainian manufacturers of special superstructures will be involved. Ukraine allegedly plans to place, for example, Vilcha, Vilcha-M, Hrim-2 and other missile systems on Tatra chassis.

In this context, we can also mention the reports that have appeared in the Ukrainian media in recent months. They concern the plans of the Ukrainian Army to unify wheeled platforms for various combat and non-combat uses, and Tatra vehicles were described as a hot candidate for the modernization of the Ukrainian ground forces. At the end of last year in Ukraine also conducted military tests of missile artillery means of Ukrainian production. The common denominator was the use of Tatra chassis.

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