Artillery / Multiple rocket launchers / RM-70

RM-70

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Multiple rocket launcher

  • ORIGIN
    Czechoslovakia

  • NICKNAMES
    Vz 70 (Czechoslovak service)
    M1972 (NATO designation)
    122 RakH 89 (Finnish service)

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom

  • PRODUCTION
    1971 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Czechoslovakia
    Slovakia

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Ammunition commonality with BM-21
    Armored crew cabin
    Good off road performance
    Carries second ammunition load
    Large and heavy vehicle

Introduction

The RM-70 is a multiple rocket launcher of Czechoslovak origin. It was developed in the late 1960's to replace the old RM-51. The RM-70 uses the same 122mm rockets as used in the Soviet BM-21, which is the world's most common rocket artillery system. Although it is not as cheap and light as the BM-21 the RM-70 is seen as a more capable with its armor, second ammunition load and better off road performance.

Layout

The RM-70 is based on the Tatra T-813 8x8 heavy duty military truck and is fitted with an armored cab and the same 40 round 122mm rocket launcher as used on the Soviet BM-21 Grad. Between the armored cab and the launcher a second load of 40 missiles is stored which can be reloaded much faster than on the BM-21. The later RM-70/85 uses the T-815 chassis and has no armored cab.

Firepower

The RM-70 fires the same spin stabalized 122mm rockets as used in the Soviet BM-21 Grad. A variety of warheads is available, including various Czechoslovak versions. The standard rockets have a range of 20 km and longer range rockets have been developed. The 40 rockets can be ripple fired in 20 seconds. The time in and out of action is 2.5 and 3 minutes respectively.

Protection

The original RM-70 features an armored steel cab that protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. In order to fire at least one crew member must exit the vehicle. An NBC system is fitted, also on the RM-70/85 that has a standard truck cab.

Mobility

The original RM-70 is based on the proven T-813 heavy off road truck. The later RM-70/85 uses the newer T-815 chassis. The 8x8 chassis provides good mobility both on road and off road. The maximum road speed is 75 km/h for the RM-70 and 85 km/h for the RM-70/85.

Users

The RM-70 was widely used in Eastern Europe during the Cold War era. After the Cold War war large quantities became surplus and exports increased. The RM-70 is used all over the world including in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Variants

RM-70

The RM-70 is the original and most common version. The RM-70 is based on the Tatra T-813 military 8x8 truck chassis and is easily identified by its armored cab with sloped sides. The RM-70 can be fitted with a large metal dozer blade to dig fire positions or clear obstacles. The 40 round 122mm rocket launcher is identical to the one use on the BM-21 Grad.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew4 + 2 (commander, driver, 2 operators, 2 passengers)
Length8.75 m
Width2.5 m
Height2.7 m
Ground clearance0.4 m
Weight25.3 t combat load, 26.4 t incl dozer blade
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 8x8, 1.65 + 2.2 + 1.45 m wheelbase, 2.03 m track, 15.00 x20 tires
Turn radius?
EngineTatra T-930-3 V12 diesel, 270 hp at 2.700 rpm
Power ratio10.7 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 20 forward, 4 reverse
Speed75 km/h
Fuel400 L
Range1.100 km
Wall0.6 m
Trench1.6 m
Gradient60% gradient
Fording1.4 m
ArmorYes, steel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament122mm Grad missile launcher (40x)
Weapon1122mm Grad 40-round missile launcher
80 rounds, 40 ready to fire
0 to +55° elevation
125° left and 70° right traverse
non-stabilized
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RM-70/85

The RM-70/85 is a new version of the RM-70 that was introduced in 1985. The original Tatra T-813 chassis is replaced by the newer and more capable similar size T-815 chassis. Instead on an armored cab the original T-815 softskin military truck cab is fitted. The optional dozer blade can still be fitted. The RM-70/85 is also known as the RM-70M, but should not be confused with the Slovakian RM-70/85M which is equipped with a new navigation system and longer range rockets.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew4 (commander, driver, 2 operators)
Length8.70 m
Width2.60 m
Height3.03 m
Ground clearance0.41 m
Weight24.3 t combat load, 25.4 t incl dozer blade
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 8x8
Turn radius?
EngineTatra T3-930-51 V12 diesel, 265 hp
Power ratio10.9 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed85 km/h
Fuel?
Range1.100 km
Wall0.6 m
Trench2.0 m
Gradient?
Fording1.4 m
ArmorNo
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks12 t winch, optional VZ-T815 dozer blade
Armament122mm Grad missile launcher (40x)
Weapon1122mm Grad 40-round missile launcher
80 rounds, 40 ready to fire
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RM-70 Modular

The RM-70 Modular is an extensive upgrade of the RM-70 developed for Slovakia. The Modular package includes a new and larger crew cabin. The crew cabin includes equipment to aim the launcher, eliminating the need to leave armor protection. The new launcher may be fitted with a single pack of 28 normal or long range 122mm rockets or a pack with 6 NATO standard 227mm MLRS rockets. Instead of a second ammunition a crane is fitted to reload the launcher. The launcher's top cover folds open to each side to allow for reloading.

TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Crew3 (commander, driver, operator)
Length9.26 m
Width2.65 m
Height2.66 m
Ground clearance?
Weight20.3 t empty, 22.6 t with MRLS, 23.4 t with 122mm
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 8x8
Turn radius25 m
EngineTatra T3-930-51 V12 diesel, 265 hp
Power ratio11.3 hp/t with 122mm, 11.7 hp/t with MLRS
Transmission?
Speed80 km/h on road, 25 km/h cross country
Fuel450 L
Range1.000 km on road
Wall0.6 m
Trench2.0 m
Gradient?
Fording1.4 m
ArmorYes, steel
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
ArmamentLauncher with 28 round 122mm Grad pod or 6 round 227mm MLRS pod
Weapon1122mm Grad artillery rocket launcher
28 rounds, all ready to fire
Weapon2227mm MLRS artillery rocket launcher
6 rounds, all ready to fire
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