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155mm Artillery of Ukraine

155mm Artillery of Ukraine

Taras Safronov Taras Safronov
155-mm Self-propelled gun «Bogdana» ACS Artillery Caesar ACS KRAB M109 PzH 2000 Ukraine

There are many different 155mm artillery systems in service with the Ukrainian army: towed, wheeled, and tracked.

Most of them were sent to Ukraine at the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion.

In contrast to the 152mm caliber adopted in the USSR, the 155mm caliber is the accepted standard for divisional field artillery in NATO.

Ideas on the possibility of Ukraine’s transition to the 155mm artillery caliber, which is the standard for NATO member states, were announced in 2017. Due to them, Ukraine started to develop the 155mm Bohdana ACS.

Bohdana

The development of the first 2S22 Bohdana 155mm artillery system in Ukraine with a 52-caliber barrel length, began in 2016 at the Kramatorsk Heavy Machine Tool Building Plant (PJSC “KZTS”).

One of the development’s important points was mastering barrel production in Ukraine. The gun was installed on the KrAZ-63221 chassis with an armored cab.

Українська колісна самохідна артилерійська установка 2С22 «Богдана» 155 мм калібру. Україна. Фото з відкритих джерел

2018’s Kyiv Independence Day Parade featured Bohdana’s debut demonstration. The first long fire factory tests of the Bohdana began in 2021.

At the end of January 2022, it was reported that Bohdana had successfully passed preliminary fire tests, firing 450 shots and reaching a range of 42 kilometers.

Even without completing the full test cycle, the Bohdana self-propelled guns fell into the war.

The Ukrainian military has only one 2S22 Bohdana in service. It is known that the ACS was involved in striking Russian forces on the Zmiinyi Island at a distance of at least 36 km.

M777

The second 155mm artillery system in service with Ukraine and the first Western-made weapon of this caliber was the U.S. М777 trailer howitzer.

М777 howitzers were transferred to Ukraine by three countries: the United States, Australia, and Canada. As of November 2022, at least 152 units with M1083A1P2 trucks had been transferred to the Ukrainian military.

Американська причіпна гаубиця М777 калібру 155 мм українських військових. Україна. 2022 рік. Фото з відкритих джерел

The titanium howitzer was developed by the U.S. division of the British BAE System.

M777 howitzers, which were transferred to Ukraine, were deprived of the standard GPS system.

Soldiers note the ease of operation of the M777, which has technically more successfully thought out units, as well as the weight of the howitzer, which is about 4.2 tons.

As for firing range, this 155 mm artillery system has a 39-caliber barrel length, which allows it to fire conventional M107 shells at a distance of 24 km. When using ERFB projectiles with improved aerodynamics, the fire range is 30 km, the latest American M795 – up to 37 km, and the high-precision Excalibur – up to 40 km.

KRAB

In May 2022, 18 Polish KRAB tracked artillery howitzers were delivered from Poland to Ukraine as part of defensive support.

Польська гусенична самохідна артилерійська установка «KRAB» українських військових. Україна. 2022 рік. Фото: Радіо Свобода

In June, it became known that Ukraine had signed an agreement to acquire about 60 units of 155-mm KRAB self-propelled guns, which are assembled at the Huta Stalowa Wola plant.

InPoland the South Korean K9 chassis are integrated by Huta Stalowa Wola with a Polish-licensed turret from the British AS90 155mm self-propelled howitzer with a 52-caliber barrel length.

KRAB, which weighs more than 50 tons, can hit targets up to 30 km away with conventional ammunition and 40 km away with rocket-assisted ammunition. The maximum rate of fire is up to 6 rounds per minute, and the ACS crew consists of 5 people.

FH70

Officially, the transfer of FH70 155-mm towed howitzers to Ukraine wasn’t reported by any country. Therefore the number of howitzers in the Ukrainian Army’s service is unknown. The media reported that the FH70 arrived in Ukraine from Italy.

FH70 howitzers are also in service with Estonia. They have a specific three-color camouflage and are transported by MAN Kat trucks. The Italian FH70 is painted in one color camouflage scheme.

Гаубиця FH70 44-ї артбригади України. Жовтень 2022. Україна. Фото: Оперативне командування "Захід"

One-color and three-color FH70 with MAN Kat trucks were seen in service with Ukraine. It is also known that in Estonia the Ukrainian military is trained on these howitzers.

The FH70 155 mm howitzer is equipped with a semi-automatic loading system that provides a rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute.

FH70 also is able to make a series of 3 shots in 15 seconds. Barrel length is 39 calibers. Range of firing with standard ammunition is 24 km, with the U.S.-made М549А1 rocket-assisted projectile – 30 km.

Auxiliary propulsion allows the FH70 howitzer to move independently at a speed of 16 km/h. The weight of the howitzer with an auxiliary propulsion system is 9.6 tons.

Panzerhaubitze 2000

The most advanced self-propelled howitzer of the Ukrainian army. According to the German Ministry of Defense, Ukraine received 14 PzH 2000 155 mm self-propelled howitzers. The Netherlands officially transferred 8 of these systems to Ukraine. According to Italian media, Italy transferred 6 units of PzH 2000 to Ukraine, although all Italian defense aid packages are classified.

German media reported in July 2022 that Ukraine had ordered 100 PzH 2000 vehicles, which would be brand-new production and not be transferred from the Bundeswehr.

The Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzer is the first self-propelled howitzer created in Germany after World War II. The name symbolizes that the howitzer was supposed to become a weapon of the XXI century.

The new self-propelled guns’ chassis were mounted from the already existing Leopard tanks to keep costs down.

The turret armor provides protection against small arms and artillery shell debris.

The main armament of the PzH 2000 is a 155mm howitzer with a 52-caliber barrel length, installed in a circular rotation turret.

The maximum range of fire with a standard projectile is 30 km, and 40km with the rocket-assisted ammunition. Ukraine received DM121 shells with a range of 30 km.

The ammunition of the self-propelled guns includes the SMArt 155 projectile, which is also provided to Ukraine; it contains two homing submunitions for more accurate defeat of equipment.

It is also worth noting that due to “Lithuania Defense Services,” which is a German enterprise in Lithuania that specializes in the repair of PzH 2000, Ukraine is able to quickly and efficiently restore its German howitzers.

CAESAR

France transferred to Ukraine 18 CAESARl 155mm artillery systems with a 6×6 wheel arrangement.

France is also considering sending 6 to 12 improved CAESAR self-propelled artillery systems with an 8×8 wheel arrangement to Ukraine, which were assigned to Denmark.

САУ CAESAR Збройних Сил України. Травень-Червень 2022. Україна. Фото: Радіо Свобода

CAESAR (Camion Equipé d’un Système d’Artillerie – fr. lang. ed.) with a 52-caliber barrel length can use a wide range of 155mm NATO-standard ammunition.

Successful tests were also carried out with M982 Excalibur precision-guided ammunition, which the United States and Canada handed over to Ukraine.

The ACS is equipped with a fire control system, which includes a receiver of the NAVSTAR navigation system. Also, the self-propelled guns are equipped with an auto-loader system.

According to the Nexter official information, CAESAR is capable of hitting targets with conventional projectiles at a distance of 40 km and rocket-assisted projectiles at a distance of more than 50 km.

M109

One of the 155mm self-propelled artillery systems supplied to Ukraine, M109, has the most information available on it.

Norway officially handed over to Ukraine 23 artillery systems in the M109A3GN version, which is a German modernization of the American M109A3, armed with a new 39-caliber length barrel from the FH70.

САУ M109A3GN Збройних Сил України у Київській області. 1 червня 2022 року. Фото: Anadolu Agency

This version of the self-propelled howitzers is said to have a maximum range of 24 kilometers. Extended range projectiles can be fired at a range of up to 30 km.

Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, reported that Lithuania handed over 6 M109 self-propelled guns to Ukraine.

Lithuania acquired these systems in Austria in the M109A5OE version, which Ukraine probably received.

The Austrian M109A5OE version has a number of unique features that differ from the standard one.

The modified system has an inertial fire control system and a semi-automatic loading system.

M109A5OE is an Austrian-Swiss modernization of howitzers with a mounted M284 gun on the M182 gun turret.

M109A5OE self-propelled guns provide the possibility of hitting targets at ranges up to 22 km with standard ammunition and up to 30 km with rocket-assisted extended range projectiles.

It was repeatedly reported that the UK bought Belgian self-propelled howitzers M109 from a private defense company for Ukraine.

Presumably, the UK bought more than 20 Belgian version M109A4BE ACSs, which have a М185 gun (39-caliber barrel length) on the М178 turret.

Гусенична самохідна артилерійська установка M109A4BE калібру 155 мм на приватному підприємстві FTS. Бельгія. Фото з відкритих джерел

This version is equipped with a system of protection against weapons of mass destruction. Some changes have been made to the power plant, horizontal guidance mechanisms have been improved.

Although there was no official confirmation of this, the Italian media also claimed that Italy had given an unspecified quantity of M109L self-propelled weapons to Ukraine.

Zuzana 2

Ukraine and Slovakia signed a contract for the supply of 8 latest Zuzana 2 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers in June 2022.

The Zuzana 2 self-propelled guns ordered in Slovakia are already in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In addition, in October, Denmark, Norway, and Germany agreed to pay for the production of 16 Zuzana 2 self-propelled guns for Ukraine.

The production of these artillery systems is carried out by the Slovak Konstrukta-Defence enterprise.

Like the previous examples, the Zuzana 2 self-propelled guns are also built on the TATRA 8×8 wheel chassis.

The vehicle is equipped with a 155mm howitzer with a 52-caliber barrel length and a maximum fire range of 41 km. The cabin is armored.

The weight of the self-propelled gun is 32 tons, and the crew consists of four people. The auto-loading system allows it to fire 6 rounds per minute or 16 rounds per 3 minutes.

The manufacturer also stated that with a rocket-assisted projectile, the self-propelled guns can hit targets at a range of 50 km.

RCH 155

German media reported in September that the German government had authorized the sale of 18 RCH 155 wheeled howitzers to Ukraine by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).

The Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155 has a barrel length of 52 caliber.

According to unofficial data, the first samples of RCH 155 will be ready for delivery no earlier than in 30 months, that is, in the spring of 2025.

RCH 155 was created on the chassis of the GTK Boxer wheeled armored personnel carrier with a 8×8 wheel arrangement.

Колісна самохідна артилерійська установка «RCH 155» від німецької компанії «Krauss-Maffei Wegmann»

The system has an automated AGM turret artillery module with an artillery unit of the German PzH ​​2000 self-propelled howitzer.

The AGM module is autonomous, so the crew of the RCH 155 installation consists of just two people. The ammunition for the AGM module is 30 shells.

The combat weight is 39 tons, with an AGM module mass of 12.5 tons. The ACS has an 815 hp MTU diesel engine.

The manufacturer stated that the fire range is 40 km and up to 52 km with V-LAP projectiles. Also, the self-propelled guns are capable of using VULCANO and EXCALIBUR long-range projectiles.

TRF1

Ukraine should receive TRF1 155mm towed howitzers, according to French media, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Ukraine reportedly purchased at least 15 TRF1 howitzers through S2M equipment in early September 2022.

The sale allegedly took place with the support of the French Armed Forces Ministry.

TRF1, with a barrel of 39 caliber, is capable of firing six rounds per minute and sending a conventional 155mm round for 24 km.

Rocket-assisted projectiles can hit targets at a distance of up to 30 km.

Like the FH70 howitzer, the French TRF1 can move at speeds of up to 8 km/h.

TRF1 howitzers (Canon tracté de 155 mm Tr F1) were manufactured by Nexter, which is also the manufacturer of CAESAR self-propelled guns.

The last four TRF1 in the French army were withdrawn from service in 2022. Approximately 100 howitzers TRF1 were put in storage after being replaced with CAESAR self-propelled guns.

The number of artillery systems transferred is as of November 2022. Losses were not counted.


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155-mm Self-propelled gun «Bogdana» ACS Artillery Caesar ACS KRAB M109 PzH 2000 Ukraine