Land Forces

Krab Howitzers Spotted in Ukraine - Engaging the Targets [PHOTOS]

Krab self-propelled howitzer in Ukraine.
Photo. General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

We have known that the 155 mm Krab self-propelled howitzers have been present in Ukraine for quite some time now. Numerous images featuring the system are circulated on the Internet, especially on Social Media. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the Joint Forces Command have recently published imagery depicting the Polish artillery systems in combat.

Poland has provided Ukraine with 18 examples of the aforesaid platform, via the military aid scheme aimed at helping Kiyiv counter the Russian invasion. The aid package also includes support vehicles, such as the LPG-based command platforms. A few days later, a sale of 54 Krab howitzers was announced - being the largest export contract awarded to the Polish defence industry since at least 3 decades, with a value of PLN 2.7 billion. When it comes to the first lot of the Krab systems that was delivered as part of the military aid, some of them reportedly and successfully took part in combat near Severdonetsk.

Before the war in Ukraine, the Polish Armed Forces took delivery of 80 Krab self-propelled howitzers, out of 122 ordered examples in total. Further procurement is envisaged in the Polish military though. Initial reports were mentioning 48 Krab systems, but that number may be higher in the longer run, given the necessity to replenish the inventory following the equipment transfer to Ukraine, not to mention the need to equip newly formed units of the Army. Krab is a system manufactured by HSW S.A. Even though the R&D effort started in the 1990s, the acquisition of the South Korean Hanwha Defense K9 manufacturing license in 2014 has been the key to the project's success.

Krab is capable of striking targets at distances exceeding 40 kilometers, thanks to its 52-caliber long barrel. It can fire a 3-shot burst in 10 seconds. It is also capable of sending up to 6 rounds down range, in one minute. The howitzer can fire standard NATO 155 mm rounds, it may also be integrated with PGMs. Krab features the WB Group Topaz fire control system. Not only does it integrate the artillery assets, but also the support elements - reconnaissance and logistics. Krab can leave its firing position post engagement in 30 seconds - thus it can evade the enemy counterfire. The howitzer is also MRSI capable.

Most probably one of the 18 Krab systems already transferred to Ukraine.
Photo. General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
155 mm gun muzzle device on the Krab sph.
Photo. General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The remainder of the gases getting out of the 155 mm Krab barrel. The system has a range reaching up to 40 kilometers, thanks to the base-bleed ammunition.
Photo. General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine