TechThe Netherlands boosts Ukraine's artillery with advanced Czech howitzers

The Netherlands boosts Ukraine's artillery with advanced Czech howitzers

DITA at the MSPO trade fair
DITA at the MSPO trade fair
Images source: © Own materials | Przemysław Juraszek

11:16 AM EST, February 28, 2024

Some nations, unable to provide military equipment directly to Ukraine, have instead contributed by funding purchases from other countries. For example, a joint initiative led to the procurement of 16 Slovak Zuzana 2 howitzers for Ukraine.

In a similar vein, following their sponsorship of the modernization of T-72 tanks in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands has opted to acquire nine DITA howitzers for Ukraine. The DITA, a newly introduced model in 2021 exhibited at the Polish MSPO defense industry fair, signifies a step forward in artillery technology.
### DITA—enhancing the Dana to meet NATO standards
A noteworthy upgrade of the vz.77 DANA howitzer, the DITA transitions to a NATO-compliant 155 mm, 45-caliber gun. While it preserves the chassis of the DANA, the Tatra 815 VP31 underpinning the DITA has undergone significant enhancements.

The DITA howitzer stands out for its sophisticated design, which allows operation by just two soldiers through extensive digitization and automation. Encased in an airtight and armored cabin compliant with the STANAG 4569 standard class I, the crew is shielded against artillery shell splinters up to 155 mm caliber from a distance of about 328 feet and small arms fire.

Boasting a striking range of approximately 24 miles with standard projectiles, the DITA's reach can be further extended when firing rocket-assisted projectiles like the M549A1. Initially, the howitzer can achieve a firing rate of up to 6 shots per minute, stabilizing at 5 shots per minute.

Furthermore, the DITA can quickly occupy or vacate a firing position in under a minute and can execute MRSI (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact) fire missions. This capability entails launching multiple projectiles that converge on the target simultaneously, markedly boosting Ukrainian artillery capabilities.

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