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Upgraded Dana-M2 in Ukrainian arsenal: Interesting facts about Czech howitzer

Upgraded Dana-M2 in Ukrainian arsenal: Interesting facts about Czech howitzer Czech Dana-M2 self-propelled artillery system could strengthen the Mariupol brigade (Defense Express)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The 152 mm Dana-M2 self-propelled wheeled artillery system is likely to be one of the elements of the Ukrainian army's reinforcement. More and more footage from the Armed Forces of Ukraine is appearing on the Internet, including this self-propelled artillery system.

Sources used: Defence24, the Facebook page of the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade of Mariupol, the military portal Defence Express and Militarnyi, Wikipedia and other open-source data.

Is Dana-M2 already in the Ukrainian Armed Forces' arsenal?

For the first time, the Dana self-propelled artillery system was mentioned as an option for strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine before the full-scale invasion of Russia. In particular, in 2021, it was announced that Ukraine intended to purchase 66 units of modernized Dana M2 self-propelled artillery systems from the Czechia, manufactured by Excalibur Army, which were in service with the Czech Army. The plan was to replace the outdated D-20 towed guns and 2C3 Akatsia self-propelled artillery systems. However, later it was reported that the order of 66 units was reduced to 26.

Upgraded Dana-M2 in Ukrainian arsenal: Interesting facts about Czech howitzerPhoto: Czechia could have delivered 26 units of Dana-M2 self-propelled artillery systems to Ukraine (

Later, in April 2021, one DANA-M2 self-propelled system was delivered to Ukraine for testing. They were carried out at a training ground in the Rivne region. A year later, when Ukrainian soldiers had already begun to repel a full-scale Russian offensive, it became known that several self-propelled artillery systems of this type had been sent from the Czech Republic to Ukraine, but without specifying the number.

At the same time, according to the Polish agency Defence24, Ukraine has already received all 26 units of the modernized DANA M2 wheeled artillery systems, along with several thousand DN1CZ shells with a range of up to 25.5 km.

Specialized agencies report that the Czech Dana-M2s have been used to reinforce the Mariupol Brigade. Such reports began to be shared after the self-propelled artillery system was spotted in a video on the official page of the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade.

Presumably, the systems are now being used to defeat Russian forces in the Donetsk region.

Dana-M2 specifications

The DANA M2 is a modernized version of the 152 mm DANA wz.77 wheeled gun on an 8x8 Tatra chassis.

Upgraded Dana-M2 in Ukrainian arsenal: Interesting facts about Czech howitzerPhoto: The Dana-M2 is a modernization of the Czechoslovakian ShKH vz. 77 Dana (

The Dana self-propelled artillery system itself was developed in the late 70s in the former Czechoslovakia in the mid-70s and has been in service since 1977 under the ShKH vz. 77 has been in service since 1977. The new self-propelled artillery system received a new cockpit and fire control system. The howitzer has an automated mode of fire when the commander only enters target data.

Tactical and technical characteristics:

  • The crew consists of 5 people.
  • The main armament is a 152 mm cannon.
  • The range of firing conventional shells is up to 18.7 km, and rocket-propelled grenades - up to 25 km.
  • The rate of fire is up to 5 rounds per minute.
  • The ammunition capacity is 50 rounds.
  • Additional armament is a 12.7 mm NSVT heavy machine gun.

Upgraded Dana-M2 in Ukrainian arsenal: Interesting facts about Czech howitzerPhoto: Dana-M2, allegedly in service with the Mariupol Brigade (screenshot)

This self-propelled howitzer is equipped with a 355 hp Tatra T3-930-52M engine (a more powerful engine than before), which works in conjunction with a 5-speed Tatra 10 TS 130 transmission.

In the field, the maximum speed of this self-propelled artillery system reaches 25 km, and on the road - 90 km/h.

Dana-M2 vs. Soviet Acatsia

Experts call the Dana-M2 an analog of the Soviet Acatsia, though it is worth noting that the Czech unit has undergone several deep modernizations, and the one sent to Ukraine was one of them. Compared to the Acatsia, it has a one-and-a-half times longer range and a much better rate of fire, thanks to an automated charging system, which is not available in Soviet counterparts.

In addition, it can fire a series of shots that hit the target almost simultaneously, and its onboard system is fast enough to make all the calculations before firing.

The Dana-M2 is much faster in maneuvers and more fuel-efficient than the Soviet-era Acatsia tracked vehicle, which consumes 180-220 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. The much lighter and more agile Czech self-propelled vehicle consumes between 60-100 liters per 100 kilometers, depending on road conditions or terrain.