RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155)
RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155)

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Starts Production of RCH 155 Self-propelled Howitzers for Ukraine

On December 7, 2022, the German Ministry of Defense updated its list of military equipment that will be delivered to Ukraine. Germany provides support for Ukraine by supplying equipment and weapons, these come from supplies of the Federal Arms Forces and from deliveries from industry financed from the Federal Government’s funds for security capacity building. The most important addition concerned the delivery of 14 Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PZH2000) and 18 Remote Controlled Howitzer 155 (RCH 155) 155mm self-propelled howitzers. The RCH 155 is a self-propelled artillery system based on technology used in the German Army PzH 2000 system. The German company Kraus-Maffei Wegmann has started the production of the RCH 155 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine.

RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155) Self-Propelled Artillery System
RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155) Self-Propelled Artillery System

RCH 155 was developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann as a private venture. It was introduced in 2014. Initial firing trials took place during the same year. The Artillery Gun Module (AGM, Artillerie-Geschütz-Modul) is an air-portable self-propelled howitzer designed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. The system is fully autonomous, the crew sitting in the cab, with similar performance to the PzH 2000, but with reduced cost, crew levels and weight. The AGM uses the PzH 2000 ballistic fire-control computer with integrated NATO Armaments Ballistic Kernel and the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Artillery Command and Control System. It is a modular system, the gun module can be fitted on a tracked or wheeled chassis. Costs can be reduced by fitting it to a user’s suitable chassis of choice.

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 RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155) Self-Propelled Artillery System
RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155) Self-Propelled Artillery System

The Boxer consists of two key elements: the platform/drive-line and the removable mission module. The mission module contains the mission-specific elements, such as weapons, equipment or crew. It is a key feature of Boxer. Mission modules are interchangeable pod-like units that are fitted to drive modules to form a complete mission variant vehicle. Mission modules are attached by four points and can be swapped within an hour under field conditions. The driver can access their compartment through the mission module or in an emergency via the large single-piece power-operated hatch above this position. Current combat weight of the Boxer configuration is quoted as up to 38.5 tonnes. The heaviest current version is the remote-controlled howitzer (RCH) version at 39 tonnes.

RCH 155 Self-Propelled Artillery System
RCH 155 (Remotely Controlled Howitzer 155) Self-Propelled Artillery System

The RCH 155 is powered by a more powerful engine than the standard Boxer armored personnel carrier. It is fitted with an MTU 199TE20 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 804 hp, opposed to 711 hp on the original armored personnel carrier. The RCH 155 is operated by a crew of just 2 men. This artillery system is highly automated. It has fully automatic loading system, which loads both projectiles and charges. The RCH 155 also retains componen and performance of the PzH 2000. It has a rate of fire of 6-8 rounds per minute. It is also capable of multiple-round simultaneous-impact firing. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with standard projectile, 40 km with base bleed projectile and 56 km with VLAP rocket-assisted projectile.

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