STV GROUP WILL REFURBISH DANA HOWITZERS FOR THE CZECH ARMY
At the end of the year 2018, STV GROUP and Czech DoD signed a three-year contract totaling CZK 90 million for the repairs of 152 mm DANA self-propelled howitzers.
STV GROUP successfully completed overhauls of the same systems but for the Polish army. The current contract will have been completed in the time when Czech DoD and the Army are deciding about the future of Czech artillery which has been using the said DANA howitzers since the 1970s already.
Meanwhile, we will conduct the repairs in our modern, well-equipped maintenance depot in Polička, Czech Republic. This service will help our army to remain combat ready and, if needed, to be deployed to defend our territory or to fulfill the obligations of our NATO membership.
By itself, the intention to revitalize Czech artillery follows rather a widespread renaissance of “the king of battle”, as it is often called for its destructive power. As the battlefield had developed, the role of artillery, as well as main battle tanks, changed in the decades following the end of the Cold War. The dynamics of new wars required small and agile units supported either by aircraft or later drones.
Large-caliber artillery systems such as 203 mm 2S7 pion on T-80 chassis, also used by the Czechoslovak Socialist Army, were either put fully out of service or fixed for long-term storage. Moreover, the Czech army discarded popular and reliable 122 mm RM-70 self-propelled rocket launchers; and the same applied to other NATO members which reduced their artilleries especially after the year 2001.
However, as new security challenges, especially consequential armed conflicts such as the Ukraine crisis, have emerged on the international theater in the past years, there has been a general change of perspective on the role of artillery.
Some of the world´s leading armies have already demonstrated new artillery systems. In 2014, the Russian army tested a new 8x8 prototype of a self-propelled highly automated howitzer 2S35 Koalitsiya which boasts a range up to 70 kilometers. Two years later, first systems were delivered to the Russian army with 152 mm cannon; 155 guns were installed to 2S35 for export markets. The American army introduced also a new system known as M109A7 Paladin. This tracked self-propelled howitzer should match its rival and also it is set to replace older M109A6.
On the other hand, in 2015, the Czech Republic released a white book on the future development of the army up to the year 2025. There, it is stated that the artillery should be able to provide fire support up to 40 kilometers of range. DANA howitzers can currently fire half the distance.
In any case, STV GROUP is and will be ready to introduce our own solution which would cover the needs of the Czech Army; be it maintenance of the current technology, its modernization, or to offer a new artillery system.