KYIV, UKRAINE — The state-owned Ukrainian arms company UkrOboronProm has announced that it has started production of its own 82 mm mortar fragmentation shells. The number of fragments is 2-2.5 times larger than standard, the company says.
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The news represents an important moment in the company’s history. Due to the war with Russia, which began on February 24, 2022, UkrOboronProm cannot guarantee the safe production of weapons equipment. Therefore, the management, engineers, specialists, and a part of the staff are outside the country. UkrOboronProm uses production facilities abroad of one of the NATO member countries.
The host country
Although UkrOboronProm does not name the host country of the Ukrainian production, the possibilities are Poland, the Czech Republic, France, and Denmark. It is very likely, but not confirmed, that the production facilities used by the Ukrainian company are located in the Czech Republic.
On November 19, 2022, Ukraine and the Czech Republic signed an agreement on joint production of military equipment [unspecified], increased production of ammunition [unspecified], development of maintenance and repair centers, as well as joint cooperation in the field of high military-industrial technologies.
Even then, through a press release from the company, they announced that currently the largest production of UkrOboronProm is focused on the production of 120 mm, 122 mm, and 152 mm artillery shells according to the NATO standard. At the time, the company said that all models of artillery shells had passed tests and were sent to Ukraine.
The new 82 mm shell
The new 82mm mortar fragmentation projectile is better than the regular one, UkrOboronProm said on January 11th. During the tests, the new mortar projectile registered an increased number of lethal fragments. On the shields and the location of the target situation, fragments 2 or 2.5 times more than the standard projectile were registered. In addition to the increased amount of ricochets, their size is also better than the standard ones.
UkrOboronProm provides data from the tests conducted on the 82 mm star. With a standard projectile of this caliber, the number of fragments at different distances is different. For example, at 5 meters the offsets are 198 units, at 10 meters they are 70 units, and at 15 meters they are 41 units. The new mortar projectile accordingly has increased characteristics as follows in the same order: 460, 140, and 69 fragments.
82-mm mortar fragmentation projectile is designed to destroy enemy personnel from a mortar at a distance of up to 4500 meters.
Mortars used by Ukraine
Ukraine used different mortars in the war with Russia. Most of the mortars delivered from the west are 60mm and 120mm. The US, Poland, and Bulgaria have supplied 60 mm mortars, while Finland, the Czech Republic, and France have supplied 120 mm. Ukraine also uses its own production of 60 mm and 120 mm.
The production of the new 82 mm mortar fragmentation projectiles makes sense because, according to open sources, it is this caliber that is most common among the Ukrainian ground forces. In addition to Ukrainian production, 82 mm mortars are from the former Soviet Union, Iran, Serbia, and Azerbaijan. The Iranian 82mm mortars are most likely a US Navy intercepted a shipment from Iran to Yemen for the Yemen Houthis.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that these days the US Navy in the Gulf of Oman intercepted a shipment from Iran to Yemen with 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles. A weapon very well known in Ukraine and quite possibly to be delivered in the coming weeks to the Ukrainian armed forces.
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