These are the 155 mm howitzers that the Ukrainian war has rescued from oblivion (and without which Zelenski would have lost the battle to Putin).

These are the 155 mm howitzers that the Ukrainian war has rescued from oblivion (and without which Zelenski would have lost the battle to Putin).

As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, Zelenski’s troops face a serious problem. They are being burning through ammunition faster than the United States and its NATO allies can produce. That is why the European Union is going to prioritize joint procurement of ammunition and howitzers in particular.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen walks next to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The aim is to enable Ukraine to respond to the new Russian offensive, which remains focused on Bakhmut. The EU defense ministers, meeting these days in Stockholm, have begun to pave the way for a decision that ultimately has to be taken by the leaders. at this month’s summit.

Only 30% of the Ukrainian howitzer arsenal are 155 mm guns, the standard among NATO countries.

As we have already told in 20minutosthe idea is that the EU will promptly facilitate the shipment of 155-millimeter howitzers to Kiev, medium and long-range artillery. According to many analysts, without these howitzers Ukraine would have already lost the war.. This is a projectile -also manufactured in Spain- which, according to InfodefensaThe Russian invasion of Ukraine has been brought out of oblivion.

155 millimeter howitzer.
155 millimeter howitzer.

155 mm, a new NATO standard for Kiev.

According to the count that military analyst Volodymir Dacenko made in December, only 30% of the Ukrainian arsenal of howitzers are 155-millimeter caliber guns.the standard among NATO countries. This type of ammunition is actually new to Ukraine, which had never used it before the Russian invasion.

An elderly woman is evacuated from Bajmut.

So Kiev does not have many 155-mm shells and. Depends on its Alliance partners to sustain its artillery operations. at the front. Moreover, it needs more of this ammunition because the number of shells used far exceeds the number manufactured.

Ukraine uses about 90,000 artillery rounds a month, while the U.S. and its European allies produce about half as many

According to Defence Expressat the present time Ukraine uses about 90,000 artillery rounds per month.while the U.S. and its European allies produce about half as many.

What the 155 mm looks like

This type of howitzer, now fundamental in the development of warfare, are metal warheads weighing several kilograms that carry explosive material inside. Those that Spain, which also manufactures themThey are howitzers of about 13 kilos of weight.

Ukrainian servicemen fire from a captured Russian howitzer in Kharkov, eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian servicemen fire from a captured Russian howitzer in Kharkov.

155 millimeter projectiles are used. in artillery systems to break through enemy lines.

How much does a 155 mm howitzer cost.

A 155 mm howitzer costs considerably more today than it did before February 24, 2022. With the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine its price has risen sharply: from about 2,000 euros per unit to more than 3,000 euros per unit. at this time.

With the Ukrainian war the price of each 155 mm shell has risen from about 2,000 euros to more than 3,000.

An example is the sale announced by the manufacturer Rheinmetall. and reported by Defence Express. This is a contract with an unidentified European customer for the procurement of 155 mm L15 projectiles. According to the official announcement, the deal was closed in December and covers the supply of 10,000 shells.

Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky at the event for the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, 24 February 2023.

The value of the announced agreement amounts to about 33 million euros. That is, each projectile in this contract costs 3,300 euros. Possibly this contract will be carried out at the Spanish company Expal Systems.which Rheinmetall bought for 1.2 billion euros in November.

Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire an L119 howitzer toward Russian positions on a front line in the Lugansk region last January.
Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire an L119 howitzer in Lugansk.
Getty Images

In any case, the price of €3,300 per 155 mm projectile is quite different from the prices in 2020 and 2021, when the market price was around 2,000 euros per unit. This is good news for arms manufacturers.

Stockpiles are running out: more need to be made.

But the reserves of Zelensky’s allies are not infinite and these countries are straining their imagination to find 155 mm howitzers. According to Technology.orgsome of this ammunition is supplied to Ukraine. from Israel and South Korea, two U.S. allies.

The Western defense industry will have to ramp up production of this munition and do it now

Thus, only about 300,000 projectiles have arrived from Israel alone.representing about one-third of all 155-mm ammunition transferred to the Ukrainian Army from Washington. Thousands of shells have also moved from South Korea, via other countries.

Many NATO countries maintained their own stocks of 155 ammunition at a level close to the minimum level of compliance with the NATO standard, and the United States alone already provided more than one million artillery shells to Ukraine, according to Defence Express. The consequence is that the Western defense industry will have to increase production of this ammunition and do it now.

Contractors supplying the U.S. Armed Forces were producing about 15,000 howitzers every month until now, until this war context. Now, the Pentagon wants to reach 90,000 a month.

Kayleigh Williams