The new RM-70 Vampire systems will help Kiev strengthen its defenses against attacks by Russian forces in the Donbass region.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine recently posted a video recording the RM-70 Vampire multiple launch rocket system firing at the fortifications of Russian forces in the Donbass. It is known that these RM-70 Vampire systems are supported by the Czech Republic. The new RM-70 Vampire systems will help Kiev strengthen its defenses against attacks by Russian forces in the Donbass region.
The RM-70 is a 122mm caliber multiple rocket launcher designed and manufactured by the military company Excalibur Army, and has been in service with the Czech army since 2016. It is essentially a heavier variant of the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, providing enhanced performance. The weapon system is designed to attack armored vehicles, artillery batteries and various targets.
The RM-70 Vampir is a modernized version of the standard RM-70 122 MLRS. The first prototype was manufactured in February 2015. The original RM-70 was installed on Tatra T-813 truck chassis. The new Vampir, however, utilizes a completely new platform Tatra T-815-7 8×8 heavy-duty tactical truck. The basic configuration of the rocket launcher itself on the vehicle´s chassis corresponds with the original RM-70, but the majority of the wiring has been extensively rebuilt or completely modernized. The cabling is completely new as well.
The RM-70 Vampir rocket launcher is capable of deploying concentrated bursts of fire into larger areas occupied by the enemy and destroying personnel as well as combat machinery. The RM-70 Vampir can be ready to fire in less than 2.5 minutes and leave its combat position in 3 minutes. It can fire 40 rockets in less than 30 seconds.
The RM-70 Vampir is fitted with a 40-round elevatable launcher located at the rear of the truck chassis and an additional pack of 40 122 mm rockets to the rear of the cab for rapid loading. The rocket projectiles are highly-explosive, rotary with collapsible stabilizers. The maximum firing range is 20 km, the aerial effective range of one projectile can reach up to 3,000 square meters and with the multiple rockets launching the area is up to 3 hectares.
The weapon system is built on a Tatra T-815-7 8×8 military tactical truck chassis. The new chassis is fitted with an armored cabin with NBC protection capability, which also enables the installation of additional ballistic protection. The crew cabin provides protection against the firing of small arms of 7.62mm caliber and mine blast of 6 kg TNT explosion. The cabin and the vehicle itself have been designed so that various levels of additional armor can be added. The weight of the chassis with the unloaded rocket launcher is 18 tons, with a complete firing capacity of 24 tons. The vehicle has a crew of four.
Mobility is provided by an eight-cylinder Tatra T3C Diesel engine with 270 kW power output. The vehicle can run at a maximum speed of 90 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 1,000 km. The chassis is fitted with a central tire-pressure regulation system, which enables the driver to adjust the tire pressure to suit the type of ground being crossed. The vehicle can be fitted with a hydraulically operated BZ-T dozer blade at the front of the hull for preparing fire positions and clearing obstacles.
At the end of April 2022, the Ukrainian armed forces began to receive RM-70 Vampire systems from the Czech Republic. The weapon was immediately launched by Ukrainian soldiers in battles in the Donbass area, specifically in the Donetsk region, and it immediately promoted its outstanding effectiveness and caused “nightmares” for the opponent.