The Polish Army will have five AHS Krab (Polish for Crab) self-propelled tracked howitzer squadrons by 2024. Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, speaking in Sulechów, in south-western Poland, claimed that the Krab gun-howitzer is modern and tested military equipment which genuinely may deter a possible aggressor. Blaszczak, attending a ceremony of the handing over eight 155-mm Krab self-propelled tracked gun-howitzers to the 5th Lubuskie Artillery Regiment, said the Krabs are a modern product of the Polish arms industry which significantly raise the army’s capabilities.
According to the Defence Ministry, the Krab is currently the biggest gun used by Polish artillery. The over 50-tonne gun-howitzer has a maximum firing range of 40 kilometres. It can fire six rounds per minute. Following successive deliveries of Krab batteries to take place this year, the unit will be the second to have a full Krab squadron. The next three squadrons have already been ordered from the Polish producer, by 2024 the Polish Army will have five such squadrons.
Krabs are produced by the Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW), a member of the Polish Armaments Group. The Defence Ministry has signed a PLN 4.5 billion (EUR 1.05 billion) contract for the delivery 120 guns and accompanying vehicles. The AHS Krab designed in Poland by Centrum Produkcji Wojskowej Huta Stalowa Wola,combining the South Korean K9 Thunder chassis with a British AS-90M Braveheart turret with 52-calibre gun and WB Electronics’ “Topaz” artillery fire control system. The first module was delivered in 2017.
The cannon was developed within the research framework “Regina”. The program’s goal was to create a 155 mm (6 and 1/8 inches) long-range artillery piece for the Polish Army that would serve as a division level asset. It was decided, that instead of buying a licence for a complete vehicle, only a licence for a modern L/52 gun and turret would be bought, and they would be mounted on domestically developed chassis. the Regina modules are to replace the obsolete 122 mm 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers, Gvozdika platform was also being manufactured at HSW.