Poland, Ukraine Sign $650M Deal for Krab Howitzers

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:30 AM, June 8, 2022
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Poland, Ukraine Sign $650M Deal for Krab Howitzers
KRAB 155mm self-propelled howitzer @pgzsa.pl

Poland has agreed to sell over 50 Krab 155mm self-propelled howitzers worth $650 million (PLN 2.7 billion) to Ukraine.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for State Assets Jacek Sasin and National Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said at the Huta Stalowa Wola steel mill on Tuesday that the country inked a contract with Kyiv, Ukrinform reported today.

"Right now, we are signing one of the largest, if not the largest, export defense contract in the last 30 years. This is the sale of weapons to Ukrainians, to Ukraine," Morawiecki said. He noted that Ukraine is receiving funds for the purchase of these weapons partly from the EU and partly from its own budget.

Morawiecki said the first 18 units had already been sent to Ukraine, and that Polish and Ukrainian government officials had announced the purchase of a further 56 units the previous day.

The AHS Krab is a 155 mm NATO-compatible self-propelled tracked gun-howitzer designed in Poland by Centru­­m Produkcji Wojskowej Huta Stalowa Wola, by 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 2011 version used a Nexter Systems barrel and UPG chassis. The 2016 production batch utilized the Samsung Techwin Type K9 chassis and a Rheinmetall barrel. As of 2016 full-rate production of 120 Krabs for Polish Army has started with 16 guns completed and deliveries to be completed by 2024. As of 2019, Centrum Produkcji Wojskowej Huta Stalowa Wola started using barrels of their own manufacture in successive production batches.

The primary armament of the KRAB is a 155mm/52 calibre gun. It has a burst rate of fire of three rounds per ten seconds. The gun can fire 155mm Nato projectiles for a maximum range of 40km. Forty rounds of ammunition are stowed inside the turret and chassis.

The Krab has an automatic shell loading system and modular charge system. Maximum range of fire is 30 km with standard HE-FRAG shell and 40 km with rocket assisted shell. A total of 60 shells are carried.

Secondary armament consists of a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. KRAB is also armed with a bank of four 81mm smoke grenades on either side of the turret.

The Krab is fitted with a Polish Topaz fire control system, intercom and radios. This artillery system has a Danish muzzle reference system, which tracks outgoing shells and adjusts the next shot.

This self-propelled artillery system has all-welded steel construction. Armor provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression system.

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