Ukraine has “long term” plans to adopt the NATO 155 mm/52 calibre standard for its conventional tube artillery forces, a senior official has revealed.
Speaking at the IQPC Future Indirect Fires Eastern Europe conference in Bucharest, Romania, Major General Andrii Koliennikov, deputy director of the Central Scientific Research Institute of the Armament and Military Equipment Directorate noted that two new indigenous 155 mm/52 calibre systems – one tracked and one wheeled – are envisioned to replace in-service towed and SP artillery systems, which are based on Russian 122 mm and 152 mm calibres.
Although Ukraine has a proven ability to design, develop, and manufacture tracked and wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFV), its tube artillery systems are of Russian origin.
These include the tracked SP 122 mm 2S1, 152 mm 2S3, 152 mm 2S5, 152 mm 2S19, and some 203 mm 2S7.
Towed artillery systems include the 122 mm D-30, 152 mm 2A36, and 2A65, which are vulnerable to counterbattery fire as they require time to come into and taken out of action.
Ukraine has already introduced new target acquisition capabilities to supplement its Russian supplied weapons, such as new observation systems for the forward observation officer (FOO), data terminals, communications systems, and artillery location radars.
Its Russian SNAR-10 radar – based on the MT-LB multipurpose platform – has been supplemented by US-supplied AN/TPQ-36, -48 and -49 radar systems in addition to locally developed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In addition to moving to the NATO standard 155 mm/52 calibre, the Ukraine also wants to increase the number of artillery and missile troops, improve its artillery reconnaissance and management capabilities as well as its ability to execute counterbattery fire, and create a reconnaissance/strike system.
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