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Order for the future: Germany will supply Kiev with new howitzers in 2 years at its best
21 September, 12:53
Order for the future: Germany will supply Kiev with new howitzers in 2 years at its best
Photo: Соцсети
After several weeks of negotiations, Germany agreed to supply Ukraine with 18 RCH-155 wheeled self-propelled howitzers, but this will not happen until 2025.

Alexander Sychev

The cost of this contract is estimated at 216 million euros and also includes the training of Ukrainian crews and the supply of spare parts.

For the first time, the RCH-155 mobile self-propelled howitzer of 155 mm caliber manufactured by Kraus-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) was presented at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris in 2016. It differs from the PzH-2000, already sent to Ukraine, in that it is mounted on the chassis of the Boxer multi-purpose armored personnel carrier, and not on a tank tracked chassis. For a well-developed road network in Germany, a self-propelled gun is ideal. In Ukraine, during the thaw seasons, its use is likely to be severely limited.

The body of the self-propelled howitzer has a triple V-shaped bottom, which provides protection for the crew of two from anti-tank mines and improvised explosive devices. Armor, consisting of steel and composite layers, in the front hemisphere can withstand 30-mm projectiles, and in the rear it protects only from heavy machine gun bullets.

The uninhabited gun turret, mounted at the rear of the APC, is made of light aluminum armor and provides protection from small arms fire and artillery shell fragments. The total weight of the self-propelled gun reaches 38.5 tons, of which the combat module itself weighs 12.5 tons.

The crew controls the turret and gun remotely. Ammunition - 30 pieces of ammunition for various purposes. Loading into the tower and loading is fully automated. The gun is suitable for use with all standard 155 mm NATO rounds. The rate of fire of the gun reaches eight rounds per minute, and the range is up to 40 kilometers with standard ammunition, and with long-range VLAP projectiles - 56 kilometers.

The gun module rotates in a circle, which allows the howitzer to fire at an area of five to ten thousand square kilometers, depending on the type of ammunition. At the same time, the machine does not need hydraulic supports, which reduces the deployment and relocation time to 90 seconds.

But it will take a long time for the Ukrainian armed forces to take advantage of the advantages and learn about the shortcomings of the mobile German howitzers based on the Boxer. The Germans promise to deliver the first self-propelled guns no earlier than 30 months after the start of production. According to the most optimistic forecasts, this will happen somewhere in 2025.