This news was officially announced by the German government. In total, 18 wheeled self-propelled artillery installations RCH-155 caliber 155mm will be handed over to the Ukrainian Army.
This military aid package will take some time to arrive, because all 18 platforms will have to be built from scratch by the German industry.
The first rumors about the possible delivery of the RCH-155 to the Armed Forces of Ukraine appeared in September 2022. Then, this news was not confirmed by the official channels.
At that time the German media sources mentioned that Ukraine requested to provide these advanced self-propelled howitzers back in July 2022. This means that approximately 6 months were needed to finalize the decision for the transfer of these advanced artillery systems.
What makes the RCH-155 an exceptional weapon?
Simply put, it can be called an improved version of the PzH 2000.
RCH-155 uses the wheeled chassis from the Boxer armored personnel carrier. It also received an unmanned fully automated gun turret. Only two people are required to operate the entire platform, including the driving and the firing control.
One of the most impressive features – RCH-155 can be operated and driven remotely, with no crew onboard.
The maximum firing range specified by the manufacturer is up to 54 km using V-LAP ammunition.
This is impressive indeed, because this self-propelled howitzer can substitute missile launchers in order to eliminate enemy targets more cost-effectively and with better mobility. The system can also use other standard munitions, including VULCANO and EXCALIBUR.
RCH-155 can fire shells at a rate of up to 9 rounds per minute. It can also shoot while moving, which allows countering modern radars capable of determining howitzer position in real-time. The new targets can be searched in parallel with the firing operation. The total combat ammunition load is 30 shells.
The fully loaded howitzer weighs 39 tons. Despite its large weight, the armored vehicle can reach speeds exceeding 100 km/h (62 mph) on the highway. It can achieve an operational range above 700 km.
According to Defense Express, Ukraine should also become the first operator of RCH-155, because even Germany does not have a single unit in the service with its army.
The news about the transfer of these artillery systems is undoubtedly good, and it is a very important decision on the German side. Manufacturing these howitzers, however, is expected to last two and a half years – until all 18 units are produced.