TechUkraine's stealth warrior: The M120 Rak mortar evades Russian gaze

Ukraine's stealth warrior: The M120 Rak mortar evades Russian gaze

M120 Rak, illustrative photo
M120 Rak, illustrative photo
Images source: © Wikipedia

1:49 PM EDT, May 10, 2024

A video has emerged showing Ukrainian soldiers operating the M120 Rak, a self-propelled mortar from Poland. This weapon is among the finest delivered to the battlefield through Western support and has remained almost undetectable to Russian forces. Let's delve into its features and capabilities.

Manufactured by Huta Stalowa Wola in Poland since 2016, the M120 Rak is touted as the most sophisticated weapon of its kind globally. Its design incorporates the wheeled chassis of the highly esteemed armored personnel carrier, KTO Rosomak, making it notably innovative.

At the heart of the M120 Rak is its 120 mm caliber mortar, boasting a barrel length of 25 calibers. This powerful mortar can hit targets up to 7.5 miles away, firing 6-8 rounds per minute. Consequently, its onboard arsenal of 46 shells can be deployed against adversaries swiftly. A recently shared video reveals the M120 Rak's interior and a Ukrainian soldier maneuvering the system, marking the first time such footage has been released from Ukraine.

M120 Rak in service of the Ukrainian army

Despite its rarity in frontline coverage, accessible information indicates Kyiv has received three company modules of this equipment. Each module typically comprises eight mortars, alongside support vehicles for ammunition, reconnaissance, command, and repair tasks, explains journalist Norbert Garbarek of Virtual Poland.

How many RAKs does Ukraine have from Poland?

Ukraine has deployed 24 M120 Rak mortars to the battlefield, which have largely evaded detection by Russian forces. To date, only one such mortar has been captured by the opposition, following a strike that triggered the explosion of its ammunition stock, causing extensive damage.
Beyond the mortar, the M120 Rak features a suite of additional modules, sensors, and advanced communication tools. This includes the integrated combat management system TOPAZ, enabling the crew to process target data from sources like the FlyEye reconnaissance drones, the TALIN 5000 navigation system, and a panoramic observation system.
Powered by a Scania D1 12 56A03PE engine with 490 HP, the vehicle stretches nearly 26 feet in length and can reach speeds exceeding 50 mph, ensuring the crew can swiftly maneuver into and out of combat zones.
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