Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

155-mm howitzer MORANA: artillery innovation from the Czech company Excalibur

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun19,2024

155-mm howitzer MORANA: an artillery innovation from the Czech company Excalibur

At the defense exhibition Eurosatory 2024, the company Excalibur presented a new 155-mm self-propelled howitzer MORANA. This advanced artillery system is designed for quick and effective support of operational-tactical groups of ground troops. The MORANA howitzer has a complex fire control system and diagnostics, which allows it to autonomously perform combat tasks.

The MORANA howitzer was presented by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to France Michel Fleishman, Deputy Minister of Defense Tomas Kopechny and President of the DSIA Association of the Czech Republic Jiří Hinek. The presentation emphasized the importance of artillery for regional security and recognized MORANA as a significant contribution to Europe's defense capability.

The unique design of the MORANA howitzer combines a car chassis with an independent artillery turret system that provides armor protection for the crew. Here, the advantages of light self-propelled artillery systems are combined with the advantages of heavier systems with battle towers. This design provides light weight for easy transportation, high mobility on paved roads and difficult cross-country terrain, and eliminates the logistics requirements of tracked artillery systems. MORANA also has a fully automatic weapon loading, aiming and aiming system, as well as a large ammunition kit.

Equipped with a powerful on-board control and diagnostics system, MORANA includes subsystems of diagnostics, navigation, automatic gun guidance, autonomous calculation of firing elements and ammunition management. The automatic guidance system allows for quick and fully automated adjustment of the gun. The on-board control system can prepare the howitzer to fire within 40 seconds of stopping at the firing position, with all operations controlled from a secure cockpit.

The MORANA's specifications include a 155mm/52 caliber main gun, capable of firing range 41 kilometers. The howitzer holds 45 rounds and can fire up to six rounds within the first minute of positioning. The howitzer is capable of firing multiple projectiles simultaneously (MRSI) and is equipped with:

  • advanced GPS/INS navigation;
  • ballistic trajectory calculator;
  • diagnostic computer systems.

These systems are controlled through a simplified user interface that provides fast and accurate actions. Gun aiming and shooting can be done automatically or manually.

The howitzer is mounted on the latest TATRA four-axle chassis, known for its durability and ability to maintain perfect traction and reduce wear when crossing bumps. This chassis provides excellent off-road and on-road performance. The car is equipped with a real-time diagnostic system, a 600 hp engine, an automatic transmission and a central tire inflation system (CTIS). Its wider wheelbase and steered axles provide unprecedented stability and maneuverability. MORANA can be deployed by rail, sea or air.

Thanks to the fully automated system, MORANA requires the crew to  of three people: driver, gunner and commander. The crew operates from a modular EA Puma cockpit protected to STANAG 4569 level 2 against ballistic and anti-personnel threats. The cabin is sealed and equipped with NBC filters, heating and air conditioning.

In emergency situations, MORANA can directly engage enemy positions, structures and mobile equipment with a range of 5 kilometers during the day and up to 3 kilometers at night. Integrated secondary weapons offer additional protection and firepower for close combat and low-altitude UAVs. The system also includes a manual guidance mode using auxiliary optical devices if the ballistic and navigation computer systems are not available.

Finally, the MORANA turret is self-powered, ensuring the weapon's operation even if the machine's engine stops. A 24V auxiliary hydraulic power supply supports weapon and turret systems, including battery check, hydraulic pressure adjustment, and powder charge cooling.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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