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KMW from Germany starts production of RCH 155 155mm howitzers for Ukraine.

| 2023

According to a Tweet published on December 31, 2022, by "Nicholas Drummond", a Defense industry consultant, the German company Kraus-Maffei Wegmann has started the production of the RCH 155 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine.
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German-made RCH 155 155mm wheeled self-propelled produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann KMW. (Picture source Army Recognition)

On December 7, 2022, the German Ministry of Defense updated its list of military equipment that will be delivered to Ukraine. The most important addition concerned the delivery of 18 RCH 155 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers manufactured by KMW (Kraus-Maffei Wegmann).

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. It was unveiled for the first time to the public in June 2014 during the International Defense Exhibition in Paris, France. Ukraine will be the first foreign customer to receive the RCH 155 which is not yet in service in any country.

The RCH 155 represents a major evolution in the field of artillery systems, in fact, the vehicle uses the main components of the German-made Boxer, a wheeled armored vehicle fitted with a fully automatic AGM (Artillery Gun Mount) which is mounted at the rear of the Boxer hull. 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 RCH 155 offers the capabilities of a modern artillery system with only a crew of two including a driver and gunner. With a combat weight of only 39 tons, it is a lighter, more flexible, and long-range artillery weapon for all areas of use which provides a high level of protection for the crew.

The Artillery Gun Module of the RCH 155 consists of an armored system and the gun weapon station 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. The vehicle carries a total of 30 ready-to-fire 155mm ammunition and charges.

The RCH 155 has a firing range of 40 km with conventional 155mm artillery ammunition and up to 54 km with V-LAP (Velocity-enhanced Long-range Artillery) also called extended-range ammunition. It can also fire guided ammunition such as the Italian VULCANO or the American EXCALIBUR.

The is based on the 8x8 suspension and motorization 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.

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