RM-70 M1972 122mm MLRS
Multiple Launch Rocket System - Czech Republic
The RM-70 is a 122mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) designed and manufactured by the Czech Republic. The vehicle was developed to replace the old RM-51. The vehicle which has the NATO designation of M1972 was first seen in 1972 during a military parade in Czechoslovakia. The RM-70 can be ready to fire in less than 2.5 minutes and leave its combat position in 3 minutes. This MLRS is always in service with the Czech Republic, Angola, Finland, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe. In December 2000 Slovak Ministry of Defense and Dhiel BGT Defence started the RM-70 Modular German-Slovak modernization project. RM-70 Modular allows this artillery system to launch both 122mm and 227mm rockets used on the M270 MLRS. In April 2022, the Czech Republic donated 20 RM-70 122mm MLRS to Ukraine.
RM-70 122mm MLRS variants:
- RM-70/85: Unarmored version of the RM-70, based on the Tatra T815 VPR9 8x8.1R truck with 265 hp engine T3-930-51. Combat weight: 26.1 t.
- RM-70/85M: Modernised vehicle with new fire control and navigation equipment, can use a new type of rocket with a range of 36 km.
- RM-70 Modular: modernization of the RM-70, with a computerized firing system, and the capacity to fire the original 122 mm ammunition as well as the NATO 227 mm MLRS ammunition).
The RM-70 is armed with a rack of 40 x 122mm rocket tubes fitted to a traversing/elevating platform mounted at the rear of a Tatra 813 8x8 truck chassis. The rocket tube arrangement is a single rectangular bank of four layers each with 10 tubes. The rocket platform can rotate from 125° left to 70° right, with elevation from +55 ° to 0°. Back of the crew cabin, there is a magazine rack with 40 rockets. The main feature of the RM-70 is its rapid reload system. Once all 40 122-mm (4.8 in) fin-stabilized rockets have been fired, the launcher barrels can be aligned with a magazine pack of a further 40 rockets that are then mechanically inserted into the empty barrels. The entire reloading process can take less than a minute, far shorter than employing the usual manual reloading methods and enabling the RM-70 to deliver two rapid, destructive salvos, each complete salvo lasting a total of between 18 to 22 seconds. For its self-protection, a 7.62mm machine gun is mounted at the right side top of the crew cabin.
|Design and protection|
The RM-70 is based on an 8x8 truck chassis Tatra. The truck is fitted with an armored crew cabin at the front of the chassis which provides protection against the firing of small arms and shell splinters. The rocket launcher is mounted at the rear of the chassis. Between the armored crew cab and the launcher, a magazine rack with 40 additional rockets is available. All fire operations are operated from inside the crew cabin, but the launch can also be operated remotely by one soldier with an electric remote control connected to the vehicle by a cable of a length of 64m.
|The 122-mm rockets are essentially the same as those fired from the Soviet/Russian BM-21 Grad (Cherrystone) system, with a range of 20,000 m. By updating the rocket motors the latest versions of these rockets can extend the maximum range up to 36,000 m. The 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 launcher system of RM-70 is carried on an 8x8 truck chassis Tatra 813. The Tatra 813 truck is motorized with a T-930-3 V-12 air-cooled diesel developing 270 hp. at 2,700 rpm coupled to a dual-range 5-speed plus overdrive gearbox providing 20 forward and 4 reverse gears. The RM-70 can run at a maximum speed of 75 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 1,100 km. The RM-70 can climb a gradient of 60%, a vertical obstacle of 0.6m, cross a trench of 1.6m maximum, and a fording depth of 1.4m without preparation.|
|The Tatra 813 chassis is fitted with a central tire-pressure regulation system, which enables the driver to adjust the tire pressure to suit the type of ground being crossed. A dozer blade is mounted at the front of the truck for preparing fire positions and clearing obstacles. The truck can be also fitted with a 22,000 kg winch. Standard equipment of the RM-70 includes also an NBC protection system.|
|40 rockets of 122mm + 40 in reserve. One 7.62mm machine gun.||Armour cab, protection against firing of small arms and shell splinters|
|Czech Republic, Angola, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Ghana, Georgia, Iran, Indonesia, Libya, Poland, Slovakia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe.||25,300 kg|
|Designer Country||Truck Speed|
|Czech Republic||75 km/h|
|Doze blade, winch, central tire-pressure regulation system, NBC protection system||1,100 km|
|6||Length: 8.8 m; Width: 2.55 m; Height: 2.96 m|
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