TechU.S. purchases 116,000 artillery shells from Turkey amid Ukraine aid debate

U.S. purchases 116,000 artillery shells from Turkey amid Ukraine aid debate

155 mm caliber artillery shells
155 mm caliber artillery shells
Images source: © US Army
2:02 PM EDT, March 28, 2024

Americans have ordered 116,000 M107 artillery shells from Turkey, with delivery scheduled for 2024, signaling potential support for Ukraine. Here's an overview of the purchase.

Despite the ongoing impasse in Congress over aid packages for Ukraine, the Department of Defense is making preemptive acquisitions. A notable purchase is the order of 116,000 M107 shells from the Turkish firm Arca Defense, with an expedited delivery date set for 2024.

This transaction highlights the availability of production capabilities in Turkey and suggests that Turkey could also contribute to the missile supplies mentioned in the Czech ammunition initiative. Additionally, it's important to mention that another Turkish company, Repkon, is tasked with manufacturing 30% of the shells' casings, and efforts are underway to secure TNT, which is being sourced from Poland.

M107 Shells: An Economical Choice for 155 mm Caliber Cannons

Introduced in the late 1950s, the 155 mm caliber M107 artillery shells are a time-tested design. Holding a license, almost every 155 mm caliber artillery ammunition factory has at some point produced these shells, either in their original form or in a modified version.

Consisting of a simple steel body filled with a 14.55-pound (approximately 6.6 kilograms) TNT charge, these unguided shells are typically equipped with basic impact fuses. However, they can also be adapted for more sophisticated uses, such as air-burst detonations above a target or conversion into precision munitions with PGK modules.

The firing range of M107 shells extends to 13.67 miles (about 22 km) when used with 39 caliber barrel artillery systems like the M777 or FH-70, and up to 18.64 miles (about 30 km) with 52 caliber barrel systems such as the Caesar, PzH 2000, or the Polish Krab.

While not the most advanced, these shells offer critical support during shortages. Notably, even as the most affordable option, they surpass the capabilities of the Russian 122 mm and some 152 mm caliber systems, which have maximum ranges of 9.32 miles and approximately 11.18 miles with their most common ammunition, respectively.

Related content