The 155mm 2S22 Bohdana self-propelled howitzer is built according to NATO standards instead of the traditional Soviet Union.

Introduce

Ukraine is working hard to join NATO, they are trying to make their weapons and equipment conform to the Union standards. Inheriting the technical foundation from the Soviet era, Ukraine is gradually asserting itself in the arms market by the introduction of powerful weapons.

2018 saw the launch of the 2S22 Bohdana advanced self-propelled howitzer system, developed by the Ukrainian defense industry. Bohdana appeared at a grand parade held to celebrate the 27th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence Day. The parade watchers witnessed impressive moments with the participation of 4,500 soldiers and a variety of weapons.

Self-propelled guns mounted on wheeled truck chassis are a popular trend in the world. This weapon has the advantage of maneuverability, reliable operation and easy airlift to the location of the conflict. Surprisingly, the countries of the former Soviet Union, including the current Russian Army, did not pay much attention to developing such weapons.

It was only recently that things changed when Ukraine launched the Bohdana self-propelled howitzer, including the 155mm L52 gun mounted on the KrAZ 6×6 truck chassis. Ukrainian leaders boast that such a weapon never appeared in the Soviet and Russian army. However, many experts note that the Bohdana’s gun barrel is very reminiscent of the Soviet 2A65 Msta-B howitzer, which in the Ukrainian army’s arsenal in 2016 had about 165 units.

2S22 Bohdana
2S22 Bohdana

Design

The 155mm Bohdana self-propelled howitzer is built according to NATO standards instead of the traditional Soviet Union. This complex is responsible for destroying the headquarters, armor and mechanized units, artillery batteries, communications stations and military structures on the battlefield.

Basically, Ukraine’s Bohdana is comparable to CAESAR self-propelled howitzer manufactured by the Nexter Group of France. It is considered to be one of the most powerful self-propelled howitzers in the world, and is expected to have great potential in the export market.

Bohdana uses the KrAZ-6322 truck chassis powered by diesel, which is a successful 6×6 off-road truck that has been in development since 1994. The cabin is armored, providing safety protection for the crew before light infantry weapons, the front has 2 large windshields and 2 small windows on each side for easy viewing.

The 155mm howitzer system is located at the rear, it sports a long gun tube with a heavy-duty, multi-baffled brake at its business end. There is space for around 20 shells and a number of other components. Ukraine now produces 95% of Bohdana components, they only import auxiliary components such as control panels.

The entire Bohdana self-propelled gun complex has a combat weight of 28 tons. To operate, a 420 horsepower engine has been equipped, allowing artillery vehicles to run at a maximum speed of 80km/h,with a range up to 1200km.

Fire Power

According to the manufacturer, the Bohdana self-propelled howitzer is equipped with an autoloader, remote control and targeting system. The main display was arranged in the armored cabin, and there was also another screen on the rear for the crew to use when the howitzer was in a ready to fight position.

An average rate of fire of six shells per minute, depending on the different types of shells according to NATO standards. The howitzer has a minimum range of 780m, and a maximum range of 40km with High-explosive or armor-piercing ammunition or 50 km with a rocket-assisted projectile.

To operate this weapon system, a crew of up to 5 people is required, including the driver and commander. A thick steel base will be lowered to the ground for stability whilst firing.

Potential

Ukraine’s Secretary of National Security and Defense Council, Oleksandr Turchynov, said that the weapon’s outstanding characteristics lie in its maneuverability, accuracy, long range and high rate of fire. Despite this, military experts believe that the Ukrainian self-propelled howitzer also has weaknesses, without any serious protection for it. Usually self-propelled guns on the motor vehicle chassis are designed with armored turrets, shielding from shrapnel.

Ukraine’s self-propelled howitzer is only an open platform, the long gun itself has a prominent height, so it must be arranged in a discreet location or by taking advantage of the terrain. Firing from such a system in an open field is.. well, equal to suicide.

However, for countries with limited defense budgets, Bohdana has the advantage at a much cheaper price than similar weapons. Another detail to note is that Ukraine is always ready to transfer both technology and even technical support to customers for on-site production.

Compared to the ATMOS 2000 self-propelled artillery, a weapon that Israel is always ready to transfer technology, the price of Ukraine Bohdana is even cheaper and has less binding terms. With these advantages, Bohdana is expected to help the Ukrainian defense industry regain a lost position in the arms market.

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