155mm Krab SPH is game-changer in Severodonetsk, says Ukraine
The comments were made by Jakub Palowski for Defence24. Their assessments, opinions and comments on the topic do not reflect the position of BulgarianMilitary.com
WARSAW ($1=4.46 Polish Zlotys) — The deployment of Polish Krab self-propelled howitzers [SPH] in the battle for Severodonetsk allowed “to change the situation” and stabilize the defense of Severodonetsk, reports the Ukrainian agency Ukrinform.
According to Ukrinform, citing a statement by Interior Minister’s adviser Roscislav Smirnov, Polish Krab howitzers have already been put into action in Severodonetsk. Their inclusion in the defense of this city made it possible to change the situation in the context of the activities carried out and to stabilize the defense. Currently, the heaviest battles are being fought in the area of this city.
Severodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk could allow the Russians to declare full control of the Luhansk region and potentially encircle a much larger area of Ukraine to the east.
The representative of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs stressed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have a lot of information about the targets, but have too few weapons with the appropriate range. The Polish Krab SPH, like the French Caesar [the supply of six more guns was announced by President Macron], has 52-caliber barrels, thanks to which they can fight with targets even at a distance of 40 km.
At present, these are the systems of the greatest Western origin that Ukraine has. Other guns, including the American M777 and M109 and the Italian FH-70, have barrels of 39 calibers and a range of up to 30 km. Soon, the Ukrainian army should receive new guns with 52-caliber barrels – the Slovak Zuzana 2  and Panzerhaubitze 2000 from Germany and the Netherlands [12 pieces].
Authorities in Kyiv are seeking the supply of long-range artillery weapons because of Moscow’s advantage in this regard. It is important that while Kyiv has several long-range post-Soviet artillery systems [such as 203 mm 2S7 Pion guns, 152 mm 2S5 Giacint-S guns, or 220 mm BM-27 Uragan missiles], the quantities of ammunition for them are already exhausted. And their complementarity with the Western allies is either impossible at all, or possible only to a limited extent.
Of course, the introduction of modern artillery systems such as the Krab has other advantages, including higher accuracy, as well as reduced exposure to anti-battery fire [the howitzer can begin to leave its position in less than 30 seconds after firing]. So far, 18 Krab howitzers have been delivered to Ukraine as part of military aid, and Kyiv has decided to buy another 54.
Krab is a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer manufactured by Huta Stalowa Wola using the Polish Topaz fire control system manufactured by the WB Group. The development project has been implemented since the 1990s. The key to its mass production was the acquisition of a license for the chassis of the South Korean howitzer K9 from Hanwha Defense in 2014. So far, a total of 122 guns have been ordered for the Polish army, most of which have been delivered. Further purchases are expected.
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