The threat and mission environments of the 21st century require a new class of artillery in mobility, firepower, automation and protection. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) presentedthe wheeled howitzer RCH 155, the world’s first artillery system that can fight the battle while in motion at the EUROSATORY 2022 defence trade fair. Further essential capabilities of modern artillery include modularity, flexibility, networking and interoperability. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has an attractive and comprehensive product portfolio which enables its customers to assemble individual and effective artillery systems into a flexible and networked system of systems (SoS). Increased protection for the crew by separating the crew compartment and operator stations while retaining the artillery capabilities of the PzH 2000.
The RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155) is a self-propelled artillery system, which utilizes 8×8 chassis of armored personnel carrier and 155 mm Artillery Gun Module (AGM). This artillery system was developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann as a private venture. It was introduced in 2014 and initial firing trials took place during the same year. The Boxer has to prove it can deal with recoil forces without stabilization, but stabilization concepts can be added if needed to retain shoot and scoot and 360 degree firing capability. The Boxer-RCH 155 system could be used as an upgrade option for countries with existing Boxer fleets. The Boxer Artillery Gun Module (AGM), is now being referred to as the Remote Controlled Howitzer 155 (RCH 155). When deployed this would supplement, not replace, the legacy KMW PzH 2000 155 mm/52 calibre SPH.
The Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155 is based on the technology of a combat-proven PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer, which is in service with Germany and some other countries. The RCH 155 provides the same performance of the PzH 2000, but is cheaper to build, has reduced crew and is significantly lighter. It was developed as a supplement to the PzH 2000 howitzer where heavier weaponry is not available, not recommendable, or too expensive. The Boxer RCH 155 is operated by a crew of just 2 men. This artillery system is armed with a 155 mm/L52 howitzer from the PzH 2000 howitzer. It has a rate of fire of 6-8 rounds per minute. It is also capable of multiple-round simultaneous-impact firing.In addition to high flexibility and top mobility, the BOXER drive module of the RCH 155 provides its crew with exceptional survivability and superior protection from mines, IEDs and ballistic threats.
The synthesis of the time-tested NATO-JBMoU (Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding) 155mm/L52 main gun and the unmanned AGM on BOXER chassis results in a unique level of artillery effectiveness with a present range of up to 54 km through 360° azimuth and all charge and elevation ranges without requiring support. The fire control system and ammunition matrix can support already introduced as well as future NATO ammunition types (JBMOU-compatible). Thanks to its network-based system architecture, the RCH 155 will also be possible to implement autonomous driving and action (remote-controlled) in the future. These special characteristics make the RCH 155 the world’s most future-oriented barrelled artillery system.