Ukraine will soon receive the new DANA M2 8×8 152mm self-propelled howitzers from the Czech Republic.
Weapons continue to be sent to Ukraine. Since the outbreak of war, the West has sponsored Ukraine with many artillery pieces to turn the tide of the war. And Ukraine will soon receive the new DANA M2 8×8 152mm self-propelled howitzers from the Czech Republic. Currently, the Ukrainian Army has deployed the DANA 152mm self-propelled howitzer, aided by the Czech Republic, in eastern Ukraine. About more 20 Dana howitzers delivered by the Czech Republic in April 2022 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Before the war broke out, Ukraine had negotiated with the Czech Republic to buy 26 DANA M2 systems – the latest generation of DANA, but due to a price scandal, this contract was delayed. The Dana itselft was developed in the late 1970s by ZTS to meet the operational requirements of the Czech Army for a highly mobile self-propelled artillery system.
The DANA M2 was modernized by Excalibur Army which features a new more resistant cabin and the NBC filtration system – numerous improvments of controls, navigation, aiming and fire control system, diagnostics, communication and back-up systems. The howitzer is based on a modified 8×8 Tatra 815 chassis offering high mobility in all-terrain conditions. Compared to tracked vehicles, wheeled vehicles have the advantages of being cheaper to build and easier to maintain with greater mobility. Tire pressure can be regulated to allow good mobility off-road and there is power-assisted steering on the front four wheels. It lowers 3 hydraulic stabilizers into the ground before firing, and has a roof mounted crane to assist with ammunition loading.
The new cabin is equipped with two large bulletproof windows at the front and one on each side for enhanced situational awareness. The turret is divided into two parts, with the gunner and loader operator on the left, while the ammunition handler is on the right and sets the fuzes of the projectiles manually.
The Dana M2 is armed with one 152mm cannon which has a maximum firing range of 20 km with extended ammunition type and 21.5 km with DN1CZ ammunition. Notice that Dana-M2 is so far available only in Russian 152mm caliber, not NATO 155mm. The howitzer is fitted with a fully automatic system that loads the projectile and then the charge using an automatic rammer.
The Dana M2 is also equipped with a powerful Onboard Control System which contains subsystems of diagnostics, navigation, automatic gun aiming, computerized firing control elements, and a new ammunition selection system. The newly implemented automatic guiding system allows fast and fully automatic weapon adjustment into the fire position.
DANA has fought in many wars, such as the Libya – Chad conflict in 1978 – 1987, the Russia – Georgia war in 2008, the clash between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in 2020 and the latest on the Ukrainian battlefield. Currently it is in service with Czech Republic, Slovakia, Georgia, Poland, Libya, and now Ukraine.