ROME, ($1=0.96 Euros) — Italy will supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the towed howitzer FH70, which fires all standard NATO 155mm ammunition. The Italian government will supply additional quantities of ammunition, anti-tank weapons, mortars, Stinger MANPADS, and light and heavy machine guns. The information was published in the online edition of “la Repubblica”.
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Since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, Rome has built a system of assistance to refugees from Ukraine and was one of the first countries to publicly declare and announce the first package of military aid to Kyiv. In late April, Italy’s rulers passed a second decision to send a second batch of weapons and systems to help the Ukrainian army.
Italy has quantities of various combat armored and artillery equipment. In the public sphere, various sources and media talked about the supply of 155 mm artillery howitzers PzH 2000, M109L, as well as Sidam 25, chain armored vehicles for air defense, M113A1, and VCCArmo, tracked APC Personal Carrier), light and tactical V90 vehicles90 LMV 4×4.
There are 163 FH70 155 mm howitzers in the inventory of the Italian army, but according to the plans of the Ministry of Defense, only 90 units should remain. This means that 73 units of this model towed howitzers can be inspected, repaired [if necessary] and not a small part sent to Ukraine. Another model howitzer armament in Italy is 105 mm Oto Melara Mod 56 [25 units].
About howitzer FH70
The FH70 was designed in the mid-1970s and has been in service since 1978. Three countries are involved in the development and production of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. The United Kingdom and Germany have already disarmed this howitzer model, but it is still operated by Estonia, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Netherlands, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
FH70 has documented one involved in the conflict – the Lebanese civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. The maximum mass of the howitzer can reach 9.6 tons. It is 9.8 m long [32 ft 2 in], 2.2 m wide [7 ft 3 in] and 2.5 m high [8 ft 2 in]. It is manned by a crew of eight.
The howitzer is 155 mm caliber, the carriage is split trail, sole plate, auxiliary power unit, and hydraulics, and its elevation is -5 ° to + 70 ° [-100 to +1,250 mils]. In maximum use mode, it can fire 3 artillery shells in 15 seconds, but the normal rate of fire is up to 6 shots per minute. Muzzle velocity on ФН70 is 827 m / s [2,710 ft / s], effective firing range is 24 – 30 km [15 – 18 mi] depending on ammo.
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