128mm RAK-12 MLRS: A Croatian version of the M-63 Plamen

The 128mm RAK-12 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is a Croatian-built M-63 Plamen version developed in Yugoslavia in 1963. This powerful weapon boasts twelve 128

Eric Sof

128mm RAK-12 MLRS designed and developed in Croatia as successor of the M-63 Plamen
128mm RAK-12 MLRS designed and developed in Croatia as successor of the M-63 Plamen (Photo: XY)

The 128mm RAK-12 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is a Croatian-built M-63 Plamen version developed in Yugoslavia in 1963. This powerful weapon boasts twelve 128 mm tubes, allowing it to be towed by lighter vehicles like Jeeps. Equipped with a range of rockets, the Croatian Army can deliver sudden and strong firepower over various terrains and in diverse weather conditions. This article will explore the features, applications, and variants of the 128mm RAK-12 MLRS.

Rockets and Range

The heart of the 128mm RAK-12 MLRS lies in its arsenal of rockets. It boasts two types of rockets: the M91, with a range of 8,500 meters, and the M93, which extends that range to a staggering 13,000 meters. These rockets are a force to be reckoned with, capable of neutralizing enemy personnel, artillery, command posts, communication centers, observation posts, paratrooper landing areas, transportation lines, harbors, and air bases.

M-63 Plamen is ex-Yugoslavian MLRS developed in 1963
M-63 Plamen is an ex-Yugoslavian MLRS developed in 1963 (Photo: XY)

Adaptability and Power

The RAK-12 MLRS is designed to excel in any battlefield scenario. Its lightweight construction, impressive range, and rocket destruction power make it highly versatile. Regardless of the terrain or weather conditions, this rocket launcher system stands ready to deliver devastating blows to the enemy. Equipped with 128mm caliber rockets such as the M91, M91A1, and M91A2, and fitted with fuses RUK M92 and RUTI M94, the RAK-12 guarantees optimal performance in a temperature range from -30 °C to +50 °C.

Swift Deployability

In the heat of battle, every second counts. The RAK-12 MLRS shines in conversion time, seamlessly transitioning from transport to firing configuration in a mere 1 minute and 30 seconds. Reverting from firing to transport configuration is equally efficient, taking just 1 minute. Manned by a well-coordinated crew of five soldiers led by a group commander, the RAK-12 MLRS ensures rapid deployment and maximum efficiency on the battlefield.

128mm RAK-12 MLRS side view
128mm RAK-12 MLRS side view (Photo: XY)

Transportation and Deployment

The 128mm RAK-12 MLRS is designed for quick and seamless transportation, allowing it to be swiftly deployed wherever needed. Its primary method of transportation is towing by truck, but it can also be moved by railway, ship, or aircraft. When empty, the launcher can be towed at impressive speeds of up to 80 km/h on asphalt roads, 50 km/h on off-road, and 25 km/h on challenging terrain. Even when loaded with rockets, it can reach up to 60 km/h on asphalt roads, 40 km/h on off-road, and 15 km/h on difficult terrain.

Export and Variants

The 128mm RAK-12 MLRS has garnered international attention, with exports to Azerbaijan (10 units) and Ukraine (2 units) further highlighting its growing reputation. This successful export showcases the trust and confidence in Croatia’s defense capabilities and the RAK-12 MLRS as a reliable and effective weapon system. Additionally, the LOV RAK-24 variant, featuring a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher mounted on the Croatian-made light armored personnel carrier LOV, enhances the system’s firepower and mobility, offering even greater versatility in the field.

Conclusion

Croatia’s RAK-12 MLRS has emerged as a true force multiplier in modern warfare challenges. With its devastating firepower, adaptability to diverse conditions, and swift deployment capabilities, the RAK-12 MLRS has become a crucial asset for the Croatian Army. Its range of rockets, including the M91 and M93, ensures that no target is out of reach, while its quick conversion time and well-trained crew enable rapid response on the battlefield.

The 128mm RAK-12 MLRS is not only making waves in Croatia but also gaining recognition on the global stage through its exports to Azerbaijan and Ukraine. This demonstrates the system’s effectiveness and other nations’ confidence in its capabilities. Moreover, the LOV RAK-24 variant, with its 24 128mm pipes mounted on a lightly armored personnel carrier, further enhances the firepower and mobility of the RAK-12 MLRS.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Croatia
Manufacturer:M Adler D Ltd.
Caliber:128mm
A number of tubes:8540 m
Up to 2,1 A12
Tube length:1200 mm
Horizontal field of action:± 15°  
Vertical field of action:-1° to 46°  
Fire modes:burst fire12 rockets in 9,6 s
 single rocket fire1 rocket in 1 s
Remote controller cable length:25 m
Battery:12 V / 7 Ah
Battery charging voltage:DC external source12 – 24 V
 AC external sourcepublic electric grid: 110 – 220 V
Charging current:up to 1A
Impulse current:Time to convert the launcher from the firing configuration to the transport configuration (launcher loaded):
Impulse length:55 ms
Launcher mass in transport:720 kg
Launcher mass in firing position:unloaded weapon695 kg
 loaded weapon975 kg
Spare parts and accessories box weight:25 kg
Towing eye force:450 N
Launcher length in transport configuration:trails closed3740 mm
 trails extended3785 mm
Clearance in transport configuration:270 mm
Track width:1550 mm
Launcher width in transport configuration:1710 mm
Width in combat configuration (trails extended):2890 mm
Height of empty launcher:1300 mm
Height in combat configuration (46° elevation):1885 mm
Wheels dimensions:165R13
Time to load the launcher (rockets prepared in advance, equipped with fuses and armed):1 min 20 sec
Up to 3 min 30 secUp to 1 min 30 sec
Time to convert launcher from transport configuration to the firing configuration (rockets already loaded):Up to 1 min
Time to convert the launcher from the firing configuration to the transport configuration (launcher loaded):up to 1 min
Angular division:64 – 00
Traversing and elevation mechanism:mechanical
Firing control unit electricity usage – fire control unit switched onup to 80 mA
Firing control unit electricity usage – button ARM pressedup to 190mA  
Firing control unit electricity usage – impulse usage with ARMED pressedup to 2,4mA  
Operating temperature range:-30° to 50°C  

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