Six Western-supplied howitzers in Ukraine show malfunctions

PANAGYURISHTE ($1=1.95 Bulgarian Levs) — A list purportedly published by Ukrainian media is circulating among some Russian Telegram channels. The list lists six models of self-propelled howitzers, guns, or towed howitzers supplied from western Ukraine.

Six Western-supplied howitzers in Ukraine show malfunctions
Telegram screenshot

This list lists the problems of these six weapons technologies that the armed forces of Ukraine have faced.

At the time of publication of the article, was unable to find any Ukrainian media that published this list [individually or in its entirety], as claimed by the Russian Telegram channels.

What are the problems?

According to the information in the list, the Ukrainian army is having problems with the US-supplied M777 towed howitzer. The M777 does not retract the barrel after frequent firing. This further disables the cannon. After 30 shots, the listing says, the bolt wedge needs serious maintenance. There are also problems with the M109 howitzer, where the loading sealing rings often burn out.

Six Western-supplied howitzers in Ukraine show malfunctions
Photo credit: Telegram

Problems were also found in one Italian (FH70) and one German (PzH 2000) howitzer. The Italian FH70 often reduced the nitrogen pressure in the gun’s balancing mechanism. While the German PzH 2000 has a problem with some electronic devices such as the control unit monitors overheating. The Ukrainians have also identified another problem with the PzH 2000 – rapid failure of the obturator rings and the charging system.

The last two weapon systems on the list are the Polish Krab howitzer and the French Caesar. Crabb often breaks the shaft on the bolt wedge guard under heavy firing. The same thing happens with the wedge bolts. Whereas on the French Caesar howitzer the guidance blocks spontaneously failed. The Ukrainians also discovered another problem with Caesar – the aiming program calculates incorrectly: the first shot is always undershot by 600-800 m.

The list may be real

Although there is no real evidence proving the problems described, they are entirely possible. An intense artillery war is being waged in Ukraine, and the loading of weapon systems is logical. Both by the Ukrainian artillery and by the Russian artillery.

Let’s not forget that German media published at the end of July an existing problem with the German self-propelled artillery PzH 2000, which is used in Ukraine. Then Spiegel wrote that Kyiv informed the Defense Ministry in Berlin that some of the seven Panzerhaubitze 2000 guns delivered in late June were showing error messages after intense shelling of Russian positions, indicating that several howitzers need repair.

German PzH 2000s in Ukraine wear out: error message after heavy fire
Photo credit: YouTube

The Bundeswehr suggests that the problems are related to the high rate of fire with which the Ukrainian armed forces use guns in the fight against the Russian invaders. As a result, the howitzer’s loading mechanism is subjected to enormous stress.

The troops considered 100 rounds a day a high-intensity mission, but the Ukrainians apparently fired many more shells. In addition, it is said that the soldiers at the front initially tried to fire special ammunition at too great a distance.

Gepard anti-aircraft gun also with problems

New problems also arose with the replenishment of ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank, the first five systems of which were recently delivered to Ukraine, informed Spiegel in the same report.

Germany might deliver 35mm autocannon Gepard SPAAG to Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

According to Spiegel, during test firings in Germany, it turned out that the Gepard firing system did not recognize the ammunition of a Norwegian manufacturer, so the shells now have to be improved. The modified ammunition is due to be tested again in August.


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