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RM-70 multiple rocket launcher
T813 army2.JPG
Czech Republic Land Forces RM-70
Type Self-propelled multiple rocket launcher
Place of origin  Czechoslovakia
Service history
In service 1972-present
Used by See users
Wars 2008 South Ossetia war, Sri Lankan Civil War
Weight 33.7 tonnes (74,295 lbs)
Length 8.75 m (28 ft 8 in)
Width 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Height 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
Crew 6

Caliber 122.4 mm (4.8 in)
Barrels 40
Maximum range 20 km (12 mi)

Armor Steel
Universal machine gun vz. 59
Engine T-903-3 V-12 multi-fuel
250 hp (184 kW)
Suspension 8×8 wheeled
400 km (250 mi)
Speed 85 km/h (53 mph)

The RM-70 (raketomet vzor 1970) multiple rocket launcher is a Czechoslovakian army version and the heavier variant of the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, providing enhanced performance over its parent area-saturation artillery system that was introduced in 1971 [1] (but the NATO designation is M1972).

Overview[edit | edit source]

RM-70 was developed in Czechoslovakia as a successor for the RM-51, achieving initial operational capability with its Army in 1972. Originally, it was sold to East Germany. After the Soviet Union collapse and the split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, it was sold to several states in Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

RM-70 replaced the Ural-375D 6x6 truck by a Tatra T813 "Kolos" 8x8 truck as carrier platform for the 40-round launcher. The new carrier vehicle provides enough space for carrying 40 additional 122mm rockets pack for reload. Nevertheless, RM-70 performance remains near the same as Grad even in terms of vehicle's speed and range. This rocket launcher can fire both individual rounds and volleys, principally by means of indirect fire. It is designed for concentrated fire coverage of large areas (up to 3 hectares in one volley) by high explosive fragmentation shells. The fire is robust with almost 256 kg of explosives used in one volley of 40 rockets. The rockets used are either the original Soviet 9M22 and 9M28, or locally developed models. These are the JROF with a range of 20.75 km, the JROF-K with a range of 11 km, the "Trnovnik" with 63 HEAT-bomblets and with a range of 17.5 km, the "Kuš" with five PPMI-S1 anti-personnel mines or the "Krizhna-R" with 4 anti-tank mines PTMI-D and with a range of 19,450 m.

The vehicle is provided with a central tyre pressure regulation system (to allow its adaptation to the nature of the traversed ground), a headlight with white light on the forward cab roof and, if necessary, with a snow plough SSP 1000 or a dozer blade BZ-T to arrange its own emplacement or to remove obstacles.

Variants[edit | edit source]

RM-70 Slovakian army.

Czech and Slovak Republics[edit | edit source]

  • RM-70 - Basic model, as described.Photos
  • 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. Sometimes called RM-70M.Photos
  • 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. Slovakia has ordered 50 upgrade packages.Photos
  • RM-70 Modular - In December 2000, the Slovak Ministry of Defense and Delta Defence started the RM-70 Modular German-Slovak modernization project. RM-70 Modular allows this artillery system to launch either twenty-eight 122mm rockets, or six 227mm rockets as used on the M270 MLRS. This way the system became fully NATO interoperable. The truck cabin is entirely armored. The Slovak Republic signed for 26 upgraded artillery systems with the first one delivered on May 20, 2005. RM-70 Modular is being offered as an upgrade for RM-70 owners.Photos
  • Vz.92 "Križan" VMZ (velkokapacitní mobilní zatarasovač) - Engineer vehicle, based on the Tatra T815 36.265 with a lightly armoured cabin. The vehicle comes in different configurations, the standard being a 40-round rocket launcher (for "Kuš" and "Krizhna-R" rockets), a mechanical mine layer for anti-tank mines (PT Mi-U or PT Mi-Ba-III) and two dispensers for anti-personnel mines (PP Mi-S1).Photos

Croatia[edit | edit source]

  • LRSV-122 M-96 "Tajfun" (samovozni višecijevni lanser raketa) - Modified version with 4 rows of 8 launch tubes on an unarmoured Tatra T813 truck. Like the M-77 Oganj and the Chinese Type 90A, the launcher and reloading pack are covered by a collapsible awning for protection and camouflage when traveling. Combat weight: 23.5 t. Only a very small number was built.

Operators[edit | edit source]

File:RM 70 MRL.jpg

Polish RM-70/85

  •  Angola - 58
  •  Bulgaria - 12 imported in 2009[1]
  •  Cambodia
  •  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  •  Czech Republic - 60 RM-70 (decommissioned as of end of 2011 without replacement)
  •  Ecuador - 6 RM-70
  •  Finland - 36 RM-70/85 (locally known as 122 RakH 89)
  •  Georgia - 48 RM-70
  •  East Germany - 265 RM-70 and RM-70M; delivered to Greece after the collapse of the GDR
  •  Greece - 116 RM-70 (formerly German)
  •  Ghana
  •  Indonesia
  •  Iran
  •  Libya - 36 (sold by Czech Republic between 1975-1976)
  •  Burma
  •  Poland - 30 RM-70/85
  •  Rwanda - 5
  •  Slovakia - 87 RM-70/85
  •  Sri Lanka - 30+ RM-70 and RM-70M
  •  Uganda
  •  Uruguay - 4 RM-70
  •  Yemen
  •  Zimbabwe - 52 RM-70/85

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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