Replacement for DANA vz.77 Howitzer
Two Czech companies – Excalibur and Tatra –jointly showed a prototype wheeled self-propelled 155mm howitzer during MSPO 2021 in Kielce, Poland, this week. The DITA, based on Tatra’s 8×8 chassis with the company’s T3C-928-90 eight-cylinder engine, was first shown publicly at IDEX 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
Featuring a modern Onboard Control System (OCS) with “high speed in taking up and leaving the firing position, great accuracy and excellent hard terrain crossability,” the prototype was built in January. The OCS contains subsystems of diagnostics, navigation, automatic gun guiding, autonomous ballistic calculation and ammunition management.
The DITA project was launched in 2019 as a replacement for the DANA vz. 77 howitzer. While the DANA was a 152mm weapon, DITA can use standard NATO 155mm munitions. It can fire in several modes: single fire; rapid fire (also with delayed detonation); programmed fire (at pre-set intervals); and MRSI [Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact]. It can fire up to six rounds and has a 60sec reaction time.
The turret is an independent system, and can thus also be mounted on a tracked platform. It includes Automatic Setting of Action Position (ASAP), ammunition management and inertial navigation systems. DITA’s range is 600km, while its achieves up to 90km/h on paved roads. Its total weight is 29t and overall length 13.02 metres.
The manufacturers claim the range is up to 39km – or greater using advanced munitions. Ammunition stowage amounts to 40 rounds, and the platform features a two-man cabin armoured to STANAG 4569 Level 1, with an air-conditioning and a filtration unit.
Robert Czulda reporting from MSPO for MON