AHS Krab Howitzer: Poland’s ‘Frankenstein’ Contribution to Ukraine

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “particular army operation” on Feb. 24, 2022, it has develop into all an excessive amount of of an artillery battle, with massed formations of all of the cannons and howitzers, previous and new, the Russians can muster towards all of the superior artillery designs the Ukrainians can produce or get hold of from all kinds of sympathetic Western powers.

In June, the Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv signed a $65 million contract with Poland for 72 Krab self-propelled howitzers, of which the primary 18 have been “donated” and delivered and are taking their place alongside the embattled entrance. Formidable a weapon although it’s, the Krab (the identify means simply what it feels like in English) is exclusive in that it combines a global consortium of designs, built-in in a single authentic, indigenously manufactured weapon.

Origins of the AHS Krab

In 1997, Poland started improvement of a brand new technology of long-range SP howitzer with a North Atlantic Treaty Group-compatible 52-caliber shell to interchange its older, Soviet-designed weapons. Quite than reinvent the tracked chassis — which started by incorporating wheels and suspension from the PT-91 Twardy (“robust”) tank, a Polish model of the Soviet T-72 — the Centrum Produkcji Wojstowej Huta Savlowa Wola (CPW-HSW) examined elements from a wide selection of international designs. Amongst these chosen for incorporation into the brand new weapon have been the British-designed AS-90M Braveheart turret, with a WB Electronics Topaz artillery hearth management system, the STX-MTU 8-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine with hydropneumatics suspension and the K9 chassis constructed by Techwin (now Nanwha Techwin) of South Korea.

Integration of those and these elements started in 2000, although monetary limitations delayed completion till 2002. By 2008, CPW-HSW had produced 80 Krabs out of a 122-vehicle manufacturing contract, however improvement continued even then as the unique gun barrel was changed by one produced by Nexter Methods of France in 2011. This was in flip changed by a Rheinmetall barrel from Germany and a more moderen K9 chassis in 2016. In 2019, CPW-HSW introduced that it was producing its personal gun barrels.

AHS Krab Stats

Weighing in at 58 tons, the Krab is 39 ft, 6 inches general and 11 ft, 10 inches vast. It could attain a most of 42 mph and has a most vary of 250 miles. Every Krab holds 40 shells and 48 fees, which the five-man crew, aided by night time imaginative and prescient and a laser rangefinder, can hearth at a fee of three to 6 rounds per minute if essential, or maintain a gradual barrage at two shells per minute. Secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun mounted atop the turret.           

Few weapons have made so literal an try to seek out “the most effective of all worlds” combining so far-flung an array of elements. As the primary weapons take their place reverse their older, less complicated however extra quite a few Russian counterparts in japanese Ukraine, consultants all over the world ought to quickly discover out whether or not the Polish Frankenstein acquired his creature proper this time round.

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