RM-70 Vampir Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), Czech Republic
RM-70 Vampir, a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) developed by Excalibur Army, is an upgraded version of the RM-70 122 MLRS. The rocket launching system is intended to strike a range of enemy targets, including infantrymen, artillery units, motorised infantry, tanks, and other combat vehicles.
The first Vampir prototype was developed in the first half of 2015 and gunnery tests were successfully conducted in October 2015.
The MLRS was on display at IDEX 2017 held in February.
RM-70 Vampir design and features
The RM-70 Vampir is built on the chassis of the Tatra T-815-7 8x8 military tactical truck. The basic configuration of the rocket launcher retains the same design of the original RM-70, but has redesigned wiring.
The crew cabin accommodates three personnel on individual seats fitted with three-point seatbelt and adjustable headrest. The forward hull of the vehicle can be installed with a hydraulically operated dozer blade for the clearance of obstacles to create fire positions.
The MLRS vehicle has a weight of 18,080kg with an unloaded rocket launcher, while the weight with a load of 80 rockets is 25,890kg.
Armament and fire control
The rear section of the truck chassis is mounted with a 40-round launcher, while an additional batch of 40 122mm rockets is housed behind the crew cab for rapid loading.
The rocket launcher measures 9.97m-long and is raised by air springs. It is operated through electronic shift control in semi-automatic or manual modes. The rocket launching is accomplished by an operator either from inside of the crew cab or from a nearby shelter using a remote control device.
The MLRS features an advanced fire control system equipped with a ballistic computer. It also includes inertial navigation system and global positioning system (GPS), as well as command and control systems. The PG-1M panoramic periscope sight enables the operator to aim the targets.
The rocket launcher can fire a full salvo of 40 rockets in less than 30 seconds. The highly explosive fragmentation rockets feature collapsible stabilisers and can engage targets within the maximum range of 20.3km. Each rocket weighs 66.3kg.
The total area impacted by a full salvo of rockets is up to 70ha. The MLRS takes just three minutes to complete a launch sequence, including deployment, shoot and scoot.
The armoured crew cabin of the RM-70 Vampir MLRS offers protection against 7.62mm projectiles and artillery shell splinters. It can also withstand the explosion of 6kg TNT.
The cabin also integrates a biological and chemical weapons protection system. The cabin and the vehicle can be hinged with add-on armour for increasing the level of ballistic protection.
Engine and mobility
The vehicle is powered by an eight-cylinder Tatra T3C engine coupled to a Tatra 10 TS 210 N gearbox with semi-automatic Tatra Norgren electronic gear shifting system and additional Tatra 2.30TRS gearbox. The engine develops a maximum power output of 270kW.
The vehicle is equipped with an advanced pneumatic suspension offering variable ground clearance. It has a speed of 25km/h on rough terrain and 35km/h on dirt roads, and can attain a range of approximately 1,000km with a maximum speed of up to 90km/h.
The central tyre-pressure regulation system fitted to the vehicle allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure according to the type of terrain.
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