The German government has given its green light for the sale of a total of 18 RCH 155 self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine.
German newspapers reported the decision some two months after Ukraine requested to buy the howitzers.
Should a deal be concluded, the vehicles would be built by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) under a deal that would have a reported value of around 216 million euros. The vehicles could be delivered in 30 months at the earliest.
“The Ukrainians welcome the German government’s decision to enable the delivery of 18 RCH 155 howitzers. This will make a major contribution to strengthening the clout of the Ukrainian army and driving out hordes of henchmen. Hope more commitments follow,” Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk said.
While Germany approved the sale of howitzers, it is still not heeding to calls for the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine.
Commenting Ukrainian pleas for Western-built tanks, Germen defense minister Christine Lambrecht said the government didn’t want Germany to be alone in making such a move, noting the country always makes such decisions in consultation with partners. No other country has delivered tanks of Western origin to Ukraine so far.
Earlier this month, reports said that the United States were considering sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine and was urging European countries to do more to aid Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion.
The RCH 155 that Ukraine has now been approved to buy can fire up to 9 rounds per minute to a range of up to 40 km with standard ammunition (Base Bleed, BB). An increased range of up to 54 km is possible with Very Long Range Artillery Projectiles (VLAP). The gun module of the RCH 155 is unmanned and provides automated navigation and fire control, features fully automated gun laying, projectile and charge loading.