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Excalibur Army Showcases MRSI Capability with Live Fire Test of New DITA 155mm Howitzer.

| 2023

The Czech company Excalibur Army has conducted a live firing demonstration with the new DITA 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer to demonstrate the MRSI (Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact) capability.
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The DITA is a new 8x8 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer developed and designed by the Czech company Excalibur Army. Picture source Excalibur Army)

Multiple round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) is a capability of some modern artillery systems where multiple artillery shells are fired in quick succession, but are timed to land on the target simultaneously. This technique is designed to overwhelm enemy defenses or achieve a concentrated effect on the target.

The DITA 155mm is an 8x8 155mm self-propelled howitzer being developed by the Czech defense company, Excalibur Army, to address modern-day artillery challenges. This system is derived from the Tatra 8×8 truck-mounted howitzer designs. A notable feature of the DITA howitzer is its fully automated superstructure, which enhances the rate of fire while requiring only two crew members on board: a driver and a commander.

In January 2021, the self-propelled howitzer reached a significant milestone with the completion of a functional prototype vehicle. This prototype is slated for a series of tests to assess its performance. The Excalibur Army showcased this new howitzer at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2021 in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the UAE-based defense technology company, EDGE Group.

The DITA artillery weapon system has dimensions of 13.02m in length, 3.08m in width, and 3.12m in height, weighing up to 29 tons. Its autonomous superstructure allows the howitzer to be mounted on various wheeled or tracked chassis. The ballistic crew cabin is equipped with a high-performance heating and air-conditioning system, as well as a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) filtration system. This cabin provides STANAG 4569 Level I protection to its occupants.

The DITA howitzer will be armed with a NATO-standard 155mm L45 gun, capable of firing up to a range of 39km using high-explosive base bleed (HE BB) shells. The gun can achieve a maximum rate of fire of six rounds per minute, with a sustained rate of five rounds per minute. It features an automatic loading and firing mechanism and supports various firing modes, including single-round, rapid-fire, programmed, and multiple-round simultaneous impact (MRSI). The artillery system can store 40 rounds of ammunition within its turret conveyors.

The DITA howitzer will incorporate a modern onboard control system (OCS) that includes subsystems for diagnostics, navigation, automatic gun guiding, autonomous calculation of shooting elements, and ammunition management. This system ensures rapid positioning, mission completion, and quick displacement. An optical sight will be used for aiming the gun in case of navigation system failure.

Powering the DITA is a Tatra T3C-928-90 engine with a maximum power output of 300kW. The vehicle will also feature an auxiliary 24V hydraulic power unit, serving as the primary power source for both the weapon system and turret operation. The DITA can achieve a road speed of 90 km/h and an off-road speed of 25 km/h, with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.

Defense News September 2023

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