RCH 155 thumbnailImage: KNDS RCH 155 thumbnailImage: KNDS

Germany finances 18 additional RCH 155 for Ukraine

It was already known that Ukraine would receive a very modern — probably even the world’s most modern — self-propelled howitzer in the form of the RCH 155. A total of 36 RCH 155s were announced in two batches of 18 each, first in September 2022 and later in February 2024. All of them were financed by the German government.

However, according to a press release published yesterday by KNDS Deutschland, Ukraine will receive a total of 54 RCH 155s. For many, including myself, this was a very positive surprise.

However, I quickly suspected where the previously unknown 18 self-propelled howitzers might have come from. My strong suspicion: Germany is financing the third batch of them.

This suspicion was kindly confirmed within a very short time by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Oleksii Makeiev. The RCH 155s were announced during the surprise visit of the German Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius to Odesa a few weeks ago, when he made a new €500 million aid package public.

Among other things, he spoke of 18 wheeled howitzers to be delivered starting in 2025. However, I and probably most others assumed that he was referring to the first batch, as these are to be delivered from November/December 2024 or Q1 2025.

A delivery of the third batch is impossible to be carried out starting in 2025, as the second batch is to be delivered from the end of 2025 until 2027. I therefore assumed a double announcement.

In fact, Pistorius has “only” mixed up the delivery dates a little, which is, of course, in the end excellent news. Ukraine needs more and more military assistance in its defence against the Russian invaders and at the same time is relying on modern and therefore much more effective systems.

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This is necessary to compensate for their disadvantages compared to Russia. On the one hand, they have fewer soldiers and less equipment, but the soldiers they do have are better trained and serve with equipment that is much more modern, effective and better protected.

The RCH 155 is probably the most modern self-propelled howitzer in the world. In basic terms, it is a fully automatic artillery gun (called AGM) mounted on a GTK Boxer.

It is equipped with a 155mm/L52 gun, the same gun that is fitted in the most modern self-propelled howitzer currently in use in Ukraine — the PzH 2000.

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