TechUkrainian 2S22 Bogdana howitzer: Modern upgrades and superior capabilities rival Russian artillery

Ukrainian 2S22 Bogdana howitzer: Modern upgrades and superior capabilities rival Russian artillery

The fourth version of the 2S22 Bogdana howitzer during firing.
The fourth version of the 2S22 Bogdana howitzer during firing.
Images source: © Facebook | 47 Brygada Artylerii Sił Zbrojnych Ukrainy
10:57 PM EST, February 19, 2024

Interestingly, the 2S22 Bogdana howitzer's development mirrors the Polish howitzer's history, Krab. Like Poland, Ukraine intended for the Bogdana to become the first western 155 mm calibre artillery system designed to supersede Soviet alternatives.

The decision to develop the Bogdana was made in 2016. The Ukrainians acquired a 155 mm calibre gun with a length of 52 calibres, designed for foreign-partner engagement. This was then mounted on the chassis of a six-wheeled truck, the KrAZ-63221.

Conceptually reminiscent of the French Caeser, testing of the 2S22 Bogdana commenced in 2019 and continued until the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Bogdana has seen combat during the war, including action in battles for the famous Snake Island. The artillery system has since been modernized, using experiences gleaned from battle.

Among the most significant changes was a switch in chassis to the Czech Tatra Phoenix 8x8, a model well-regarded within the Ukrainian mining industry. Initially, the cabin was unarmored as it was a civilian version. However, as evident in the pictures above, it is now armoured.

The second notable modification was adding a semi-automatic loading system, greatly easing the task for the five-person crew. With this system, a soldier only needs to pull the shell from the ammunition warehouse and pass it to the nearby feeder. The rest of the process is automated.

The Bogdana's impressive capabilities outperform Russian artillery

The use of a 155 mm calibre gun with a length of 52 calibres gives the 2S22 Bogdana howitzer a significant edge in its range, enabling it to hit targets at a distance of around 60 km (approximately 37 miles) when using an M549A1 type missile with a rocket booster. Alternatively, if the cheaper type DM121 shells are used, a range of 30 km (approximately 19 miles) can be achieved. This far surpasses the capabilities of Russian 122 mm and 152 mm artillery systems.

The Bogdana can fire precision ammunition, such as the M982 Excalibur shells. These can hit a target over 50 km (approximately 31 miles) with an accuracy of up to several meters. The rapid-firing capability of the Ukrainian howitzer is expected to be at the level of 6 shots per minute. It will likely be able to carry out shelling in the devastating MRSI mode.

The Bogdana is a fascinating project. If refined further and after the war's end, it could be a significant export product for Ukraine.

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