RCH 155 AGM - KMW
155mm 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer - Germany
The RCH 155 is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer which was designed and developed by the German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) based on the chassis of the Boxer 8x8 armored vehicle. Developed and refined from joint operations, the complete autonomy of the overall artillery system in command, navigation and fire control, as well as its system-inherent stability, open up entirely new mission options (such as firing on moving targets, encampment defense, etc.). The RCH 155 artillery system was introduced in 2014 and unveiled for the first time to the public during the defense exhibition Eurosatory that was held in Paris (France) in June 2016. It represents the latest technology of artillery systems using the high mobility platform of the Boxer and the turret system of the PzH 2000, a German-made tracked self-propelled howitzer. Using the 155mm/L52 caliber main gun and the unmanned gun system mounted on the Boxer wheeled armored chassis results in a unique level of artillery effectiveness which a firing range of up to 54 km through 360° azimuth and all charge and elevation ranges without requiring support. The RCH 155 has firing on-the-move capabilities that were demonstrated in August 2021 at the Klietz military training area in Germany. It also has Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability which offers to fire several projectiles at a rapid firing rate all hitting the target at the same time. On December 8, 2022, the German Government officially announced the delivery of 18 RCH 155 artillery systems to Ukraine, which will be the first country to use this new 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer. Citing information published by "Nicholas Drummond" on December 31, 2022, a Defence industry consultant, the German company Kraus-Maffei Wegmann started the production of RCH 155 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine.
RCH 155 AGM 155mm howitzer variants:
- No variants at this time
The RCH 155 is equipped with a fully automatic AGM (Artillery Gun Mount) which is mounted at the rear of the Boxer 8x8 wheeled armored chassis. The turret is armed with one 155mm/L52 cannon coupled to an automatic loading system which is also used for the PzH 2000 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer. The AGM has a gun depression of -2.5° and a gun elevation of up to +65°. The turret can be rotated and fired along the full 360° azimuth. The gun has a maximum rate of fire of up to 9 rounds per minute. The charge loader will automatically compose the selected charges using any Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMOU) compliant charge module. The autoloader is powered by a 24V electrical supply. The gun can fire all the standard NATO 155mm ammunition with a firing range of 30 km using standard 155mm artillery ammunition. it can reach targets at a range of up to 40 km with base bleed projectiles and 56 km with Very Long Range Artillery Projectiles (VLAP). The vehicle carries 30 projectiles and 144 modular charges. The second armament of the RCH 155 includes one remotely operated weapon station mounted on the turret which can be armed with one 7.62mm machine gun. Two banks of four 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the main armament. They can conceal the vehicle if it has been spotted and offer a multi-spectral smoke cloud to leave its position.
|Design and protection|
The design of the RCH 155 is very unique with the crew compartment at the front of the hull and the fully automatic turret mounted at the rear of the hull. The vehicle has a crew of two including a driver who is also the gunner operator and the commander. The driver is seated at the front right side of the hull. The RCH 155 hull offers a higher level of ballistic and mine protection. It is fitted with ballistic protection modules belonging to the AMAP (Advanced Modular Armor Protection) product family made by IBD Deisenroth (nowadays Rheinmetall Protection Systems) and a mine protection kit made by GEKE Schutztechnik. The ballistic protection consists of a mix of spaced high hardness steel armor and composite ceramic add-on armor modules, allowing the Boxer drive module to reach STANAG 4569 Level 4 ballistic protection against the firing of small arms 14.5x114 AP (Armor Piercing) caliber fired from 200 m. Citing ARTEC, the producer of the Boxer vehicle, the front of the hull can withstand the Russian 30x165 mm armor-piercing rounds. The vehicle is also fitted with multi-layered floor plates capable of withstanding 10 kg of TNT detonating under the wheels or the hull. The turret is made of lightweight aluminum armor and provides protection against the firing of small arms of 7.62mm calibers and artillery shell splinters.
|The RCH 155 is based on the 8x8 wheeled chassis of the Boxer multi-role armored vehicle offering a high level of mobility on the road and off-road conditions. The vehicle is powered by an MTU V8 19TE20/21 developing 816 hp coupled to an automatic transmission. It can reach a maximum road speed of 100 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 700 km. The vehicle can negotiate a gradient of 60% and drive on 30% side slopes. It can cross a trench of 2 m wide and climb a vertical obstacle of 0.8 m. Thanks to skid steering, the turning radius of the RCH 155 is just 7.5 m and it has 0.5 m of ground clearance.|
|The Artillery Gun Module of the RCH 155 is unmanned and provides automated navigation and fire control, and features fully automated gun laying, projectile, and charge loading. These capabilities deliver a unique 360° efficiency range across all elevations and up to six modular charges without the necessity to use support during firing. This leads to a reduced crew of 2 (driver/operator, commander). On the other hand, RCH 155 is also able to perform quick “Shoot and Scoot” which provides a major advantage in terms of rapid relocation during operation. From the road position, the RCH 155 can be ready to fire the first round in less than 20 seconds, fires up to 9 rounds in one minute, and goes out of action in less than 10 seconds which prevents counter-battery fire. The high rate of fire allows the RCH 155 to conduct multiple rounds simultaneously impact (MRSI) firings with up to five rounds – the time frame between the impact of the first and the last projectile on the target is claimed to be just two seconds. Standard equipment of the RCH 155 includes a fully automatic electrical gun laying system, a computerized fire control system with integrated ballistics calculation and radio data transmission connection to an artillery control system, and a high-precision navigation system, with or without GPS support. It is also equipped with air conditioning, NBC (Nuclear, Bacteriologic and Chemical) protection system, and fire extinguishing in the engine compartment.|
|One 155mm/L52 cannon||Hull: STANAG 4569 Level 4 |
Turret: armor protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters
|Country users||Weight Vehicle|
|Designer Country||Speed Vehicle|
|Automatic electrical gun laying system, a computerized fire control system, a radio data transmission connection, air conditioning, NBC (Nuclear, Bacteriologic and Chemical) protection system, and fire extinguishing in the engine compartment.||700 km|
|2||Length: 10.5 m; Width: 2.99 m; Height: 3.6 m|
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