The Czech Republic has unveiled its long-kept secret – a new artillery configuration of its self-propelled artillery system the Morana self-propelled howitzer.
The Morana self-propelled howitzer is placed under the Truck Mounted Gun category and is manufactured by Excalibur Army. So secret is the new artillery configuration that if you were to check the company’s web portfolio today, you will not find it listed there.
The Morana SPH is built on the back of experience gained by the Czech company after it achieved serial production of the self-propelled howitzers Dana M2, Dana M1, ShKH vz. 77 Dana and 2S1 Gvozdinka.
Incidentally, the last self-propelled howitzer in the portfolio of the Czech manufacturer is 155mm Dita and a quick look at it shows that 155 / 52mm Morana is built based on 155mm Dita.
Unlike Dita, the howitzer’s designers decided to mount the artillery gun in the rear of the vehicle, which is built on the proven platform of the Tatra Force 8×8 chassis. By placing the gun to the rear of the howitzer, the designers have placed the propulsion unit behind the cabin of the vehicle, which incidentally is armored.
According to the company, the Morana SPH is a mix of light-wheeled self-propelled artillery systems of the TMG category and heavy artillery systems on a chassis.
The Morana SPH is equipped with a 155mm canon which has a barrel length of 52 calibers. The canon can be used in three basic modes: fully automatic, manual, and emergency. Loading of artillery shells is fully automatic.
The howitzer compartment is loaded with 40 artillery shells that can be fired at the rate of six per minute. In addition to this, the Morana SPH is also integrated with a 12.7 mm machine gun as a secondary weapon. The entire weapon configuration is controlled by an onboard control system with a ballistic computer.
The Morana SPH is manned by a three member crew – the leader, commander, and an operator. All three-members remain in the cabin and have total control of the howitzer including stopping, positioning, loading, aiming, and firing the 155mm artillery shell.
Since the crew sits in an armored cabin they are also completely protected.
The Morana self-propelled howitzer was unveiled in Paris by Michel Fleischmann, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to France and was attended by the Deputy Minister of Defense Tomas Kopechny, and the President of the Association of Defense and Security of the Czech Republic Jiri Hinek.
“The modern artillery system is an important technology not only for the Czech Republic but also for European security.” Said Deputy Minister Tomasz Kopeczny.