LOV RAK 24/128

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LOV RAK 24/128

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History and description

During the Croatian War of Independence, the Croatian army lacked a proper light armored personnel carrier. The Croatian Ministry of Defense asked local firms to provide a solution for a light, fast, and reliable armored personnel carrier which could be produced quickly and in large quantities, without the need to import parts from abroad due to a UN arms embargo imposed on Croatia at the time. Torpedo, a local firm from Rijeka, developed a basic armored personnel carrier based on the TK-130 T-7 4x4 military truck, itself a licensed-produced and uprated TAM 110 truck. The Army ordered 50 LOV-1 vehicles in late 1993, with the initial batch delivered in 1994, and presented them to the public on a military parade in May 1995 in Zagreb.

The LOV series of vehicles has a hull of all-welded steel armor which provides protection from 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm API (Armour Piercing Incendiary) small arms fire from a range of 30 m, shell splinters from a range of 40 m, and anti-personnel mines. Some models have additional hull protection against more powerful mines. The driver is seated on the front left with a bulletproof window to his front, which is provided with a windscreen wiper and an additional bulletproof window on either side. Above the driver’s position, which is raised slightly above the hull top for improved visibility, is a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the front. The commander is seated to the right and has a rectangular roof hatch that opens to the rear and to his immediate front is a day periscope, which can be traversed left and right. On each side of the hull, to the side of the driver and commander, is a single forward-opening door, which is not provided with any observation or firing devices. On LOV RAK 24/128, the troop compartment in the rear is shortened with the troops entering and leaving via the door on the rear left that opens outwards and has a small bulletproof glass window. Under the rocket launcher is a storage room for additional rockets which can be accessed through small doors on the back side of the vehicle. There is a spare tire attached to them. The power pack, which consists of a Deutz model BT6L 912S turbocharged air-cooled diesel engine coupled to a ZF model Z5-35S manual transmission and two-speed transfer case, is mounted towards the front of the vehicle below and between the commander’s and driver’s positions. The suspension consists of leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers which are attached to the hull by rubber cushions. A winch with 38 m of 10 mm diameter cable and a capacity of 50 kN is fitted and this leads to the front of the vehicle and can be used for self-recovery or for recovering other damaged and disabled vehicles. It is also fitted with an engine-independent heating and ventilation system and an adjustable steering column. A wide range of optional equipment can be fitted including an air conditioning system, intercom, various communications systems, electric winch, NBC ventilation system, and additional sound- and waterproofing equipment. An auxiliary power unit can be fitted if required, especially when the vehicle has additional communications equipment or electrical equipment requiring additional power.

The main armament of the self-propelled combat system LOV RAK 24/128, 4x4, is a multi-barrel RAK 24/128 mm rocket launcher. Secondary armament, 12.7 mm M2HB, is placed on the roof behind the commanders’ hatch. The combat kit consists of 24 rockets in launch tubes and 24 rockets that are stored in the back of the vehicle. The rocket launcher consists of two modules, each of which contains 12 1300 mm long launch tubes with a width of 128 mm. On each launch tube, there is a mechanism for holding and launching the rocket, which through an electro-mechanical contact supplies an electrical impulse of the necessary strength and duration for igniting the ignition of the rocket engine. With its mechanism, it keeps the rocket in the tube until it reaches a certain thrust forward and prevents the rocket from falling out of the tube backward at all permitted elevations of the launch modules. The transport brake is used when transporting rockets in the launch tubes and prevents the rockets from falling out. On the left side of the rocket launcher, there is PC-1 panoramic sight within a protective box. The longitudinal and transverse quadrant planes are located on top of the rocket launcher. The entire unit is automatically or manually moveable with the use of the support structure underneath. To have better stability of the launcher, two support legs are used at the rear part of the vehicle. The fire control subsystem includes the executing part fitted on the launcher central support, and the control part consisting of the hand-held computer. It can be connected in the operator’s cockpit (the basic mode of operation) or outside the vehicle (up to 50 m away) when the fire is controlled from a shelter. The firing device has its own power-supply source and is provided with a self-testing unit. Before switching to the firing mode, which can be a single fire or salvo mode, the computer checks whether the launching tubes are within the permissible launching zone in bearing and elevation. Eventually, when all the conditions have been fulfilled, the computer gives permission for launching. Only 2 prototypes were built and presented at military parade “Pobjednički bedem” in 1997.

Specifications

  • Essentials
    • Length; 5.89 m
    • Width; 2.36 m
    • Height; 2.50 m
    • Ground Clearance; 0.31 m
    • Track; 1.86 m
    • Wheelbase; 2.85 m
    • Mass; 8.5 t
    • Driver NVD
    • Crew; 3
    • Four-wheel drive (4x4)
    • Fuel; 170 l
  • Protection
    • Armor; 6-8-9 mm (protects from 7.62x51 mm and artillery shrapnel)
    • APS; N/A
    • ERA; N/A
    • Smoke; N/A
  • Mobility
    • Engine; Torpedo Deutz BT6L 912S 6-cylinder diesel, 97 kW, 130 hp at 2650 rpm (optional 150 hp engine)
    • Power/weight; 15-20 hp/t, 12-15 kW/t
    • Transmission; 1 reverse gear, 5 forward gears
    • Top speed; 100 kph
    • Amphibious; No
    • Gradient; 65%
    • Side slope; 30%
    • Vertical obstacle; 0.50 m
    • Trench; 0.64 m
    • Fording depths; 1.00 m
    • Turning radius; 13.0 m
  • Firepower
    • Main; RAK 24/128 rocket launcher
      • 48x RAK. 128 TF M91
        • 24x ready to fire
        • Range; 8.5 km
        • Projectile mass; 23.5 kg
        • Warhead mass; 8.5 kg
        • Mass of rocket propellant charge; 4.5 kg
        • Muzzle velocity; 460 m/s
      • 48x RAK. 128 TF M93
        • 24x ready to fire
        • Range; 13.5 km
        • Projectile mass; 26 kg
        • Warhead mass; 9.0 kg
        • Mass of rocket propellant charge; 7.8 kg
        • Muzzle velocity; 460 m/s
    • Secondary;
      • 12.7 mm M2HB
        • 30 mm pen at 10 m
        • 450–600 rounds/min
        • 450 rounds in total
        • Belt capacity; 250 rounds
  • Guidance;
    • Stabilizer; No
    • Vertical; -5° / +45°
    • Horizontal; 360°
    • Rotation speed; unknown
    • Zoom; 3.7x
    • PC-1 panoramic sight
Gallery
First prototype

First prototype of LOV RAK 24/128, nicknamed Kuki II, before testing in 1993

First prototype of LOV RAK 24/128 at military training grounds in Zečevo
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Second prototype

Second prototype of LOV RAK 24/128 shown at the Zagreb fair in May 1995

Second prototype of LOV RAK 24/128 at Gašinci military training grounds
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Other pictures

First prototype (left) and second prototype (right) of LOV RAK 24/128 at Croatian military parade “Pobjednički bedem 1997”
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RAK 24/128 rocket launcher
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PC-1 panoramic sight
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Sources

Prelistaj online - Hrvatski vojnik
LOV-1 - Wikipedia
Lako oklopno vozilo – Wikipedija
128 mm M91/M93 ROCKET FOR MLRS - Agencija Alan
Panoramic Telescope PC-1 - Agencija Alan
Army Guide
Army Guide
Croatian MRLs
Otvoreni maketarski forum :: Vidi temu - Transporteri II

BOOK: Od Tina do Strijele: izrada oklopnih vozila u Hrvatskoj 1991.-1995.

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