M77 Dana

Manufacturer: ZTS - Special, a.s.  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Self-propelled howitzer  

The Dana 152 mm self-propelled gun-howitzer was developed in the late 1970s by ZTS to meet the operational requirements of the Czech Army for a highly mobile self-propelled artillery system.

Dana is based on automotive components of the well-known Czech Tatra 815 VP 31 29265 8 × 8.1R truck which has a good demonstrated cross-country capability.

Following trials with prototype systems, the Dana was accepted for service with the Czech Army and first production models were issued to the Kiev Artillery Battalion Jan Zizka of Trocnov based at Tabor, Southern Bohemia, in 1981.

The Czech Army designation for the system is the vzor 77 self-propelled howitzer Dana.

By early 1994, total production of this system, for the home and export markets, had reached over 750 units. As far as is known there has been no recent production of the 152 mm Dana system.

This system, and further developments of this system, are now manufactured and marketed by ZTS Dubnica nad Váhom of the Slovak Republic.

All export marketing is now being concentrated on the ZTS 155 mm/45 calibre self-propelled gun howitzer Zuzana, which is covered in a separate entry. This is now in service with Cyprus and Slovakia.

More recently, the company has completed the prototype of a 155 mm/52 calibre system, details of which are given in a separate entry. As of late 2007 this system remains at the prototype stage, with no production orders placed.


The Dana 152 mm SPH is based on automotive components of the Tatra 815 (8 × 8) truck with the driver's compartment at the front, fully enclosed turret in centre and the diesel engine compartment at the rear. All three compartments are armoured and provide protection against small arms fire and shell splinters.

A central tyre-pressure regulation system is fitted which allows the driver to change the tyre pressure to suit the type of terrain being crossed. The tyre pressure can be changed when the vehicle is on the move. Power steering is provided for the front four wheels.

The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle on the left with the vehicle commander to his right. Both are provided with a windscreen to the front and when in a combat area this is protected with two shutters, vision to the front then being maintained through two vision blocks in each shutter. The commander and driver are each provided with a forward-opening roof hatch and a vision block to give observation to the sides of the vehicle. Four circular firing ports are provided, one in each side of the compartment and one either side of the shutters.

In addition to operating the communications system, the commander also has access to the night sight. The driver operates the turret unlocking system as well as lowering or raising the stabilisers for firing.

The 152 mm ordnance is fitted with a muzzle brake and fires the same ammunition of the separate loading type, projectile and charge, as the Russian 152 mm 2S3 tracked self-propelled artillery system, as well as locally produced ammunition.

The breech mechanism is of horizontal wedge type with the empty cartridge cases being ejected as the breech opens. The cartridge cases are then removed by means of a moving belt.

The Dana is fitted with a fully automatic loading system, which loads the projectile and then the charge using an automatic rammer. The weapon can be loaded at all angles of elevation.

The automatic loading system is hydraulic and is controlled by electrical elements and the gunner can select either single shots or fully automatic fire.

The system is ready to fire within 2 minutes of coming to a halt and can move off again 1 minute after the last round is fired. To provide a more stable firing platform, three hydraulic jacks are lowered to the ground, one at the rear and one either side between the second and third road wheels.

Optical systems fitted include a ZZ-73 rocking bar sight collimated with a PG1 M-D telescope for indirect fire and an OP 5-38-D sight for direct fire. All the sights are in the left side of the turret with two openings being provided in the turret front as well as a roof-mounted periscope.

Turret traverse is limited to 225 to each side due to cables, so no full traverse through 360 is possible.

The turret is in two parts with the 152 mm ordnance being mounted in the aisle between them. Each half of the turret is fully enclosed and is provided with access doors, roof hatches and vision devices. As the 152 mm weapon is outside the turret, no fumes can enter the cabin.

The left cabin houses the gunner and loader operator while the ammunition handler is in the right cabin and sets the fuzes of the 155 mm projectiles manually. Before the weapon is fired for the first time, the breech has to be opened manually. This is achieved by one of the crew members in the left cabin using his hand which is encased in a rubber glove attached to the side of the turret.

On the right side of the turret roof is mounted the 12.7 mm NSV machine gun which can be used in the direct fire or air defence roles.

The automatic loading system enables 30 rounds of ammunition to be fired in 30 minutes or 90 rounds in 1 hour with the projectiles and charges stowed in magazines. The projectiles and charges are rammed using a chain-driven rammer, which is located above the ordnance. Firing is accomplished using a foot pedal.

A total of 60 projectiles and charges is carried in the chassis and inside the turret. This limits the maximum road speed to 70 km/h. Approximately half the ammunition is stowed in the turret vertically, with the charges in the left cabin and the projectiles in the right cabin. The standard HE projectile (EOF D-20) weighs 43.56 kg and has a maximum velocity of 693 m/s. This has a maximum range of 18,700 m. Using a HEAT projectile maximum muzzle velocity is 717 m/s. There is also an enhanced projectile, the Czech EOFd, with a maximum range of 20,080 m.

More recently the EKK projectile has been developed which is of the base bleed type and contains 42 fragmentation bomblets, each of which are claimed will penetrate 100 mm of conventional steel armour. This projectile has a maximum range of 28,230 m.

Minimum range, at an elevation angle of +70 and using charge 6, is 4,600 m.

Standard equipment includes an NBC system which is provided with filter ventilation and an air conditioning system which distributes fresh air to both the cab and the turret.

Pressure for the hydraulic system of the self-loading system as well as for weapon elevation and turret traverse is supplied by a pump driven from the main engine, although manual back-up systems are provided for all powered elements.


  • 152 mm ShKH Ondava

This is a further development of the Dana and has a 152 mm 47 calibre ordnance which fires a new high-explosive projectile with a base bleed unit which enables a maximum range of 32,000 m to be achieved.

Onboard ammunition supply is only 40 projectiles and charges. As far as is known, this system remains at the prototype stage. It is no longer being marketed.

  • 155 mm Zuzana

Details of this system, which is fitted with a 155 mm 45 calibre ordnance, are given in a separate entry. Main marketing emphasis is now on this system which has been built for Cyprus and Slovakia.

Production of the system is undertaken on an as-required basis for the home and export market.

  • Tatrapan ACV

In 1993, the prototype of an armoured command post based on the Tatra T 815 (6 × 6) chassis was completed. Full details of this model, a small quantity of which have been built to support the new ZTS 155 mm self-propelled gun-howitzer Zuzana (8 × 8) systems now in service with Slovakia, are given in a separate entry.

  • MUR-20 EW system

The MUR-20 is a mobile system for the identification of radar systems in the forward battlefield area, for example ELINT/ESM (electronic intelligence/electronic support/surveillance measures). Typically three or four MUR-20 systems would be used together. It is based on an armoured Tatra 8 × 8 chassis with automatic levelling and an antenna mast.

  • RADWAR N-22 low-level surveillance radar

This is mounted on a similar Tatra 815 8 × 8 chassis and has a fully enclosed armoured cab in the centre and an elevatable mast at the rear. It is used to provide target information to low-level air defence systems such as the Russian 9K33 Osa (NATO SA-8 'Gecko') self-propelled surface-to-air missile system. Prime contractor for the N-22 is the RADWAR company of Poland.

Property Value
Main weapon caliber (mm)
Number of wheels
Number of drive wheels
Weight (kg)
Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Height (mm)
Ground clearance (mm)
Wheelbase (mm)
Max. road speed (km/h)
Fuel capacity (l)
Max. road range (km)
Fording depth (mm)
Gradient (%)
Side slope (%)
Vertical obstacle (mm)
Turning circle radius (mm)
Trench (mm)
Engine power output (h.p.)
Barrel length (calibres)
AA gun caliber (mm)
Elevation (degree)
Depression (degree)
Traverse arc (degree)
Rate of fire (rds/min)

M77 Dana quantities:
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M77 Dana
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