TechUkrainian volunteers craft impeccable D-20 howitzer decoy to outsmart Russian forces

Ukrainian volunteers craft impeccable D‑20 howitzer decoy to outsmart Russian forces

Haubica D-20
Haubica D-20
Images source: © Ukrainian Ministry of Defense | Picasa

3:55 PM EST, March 8, 2024

Photos circulating in Ukrainian media showcase a towed D-20 howitzer replica, a collaborative effort by volunteers from Transcarpathia. Motivated by witnessing soldiers in combat areas improvising artillery decoys with limited resources—often resulting in unconvincing outcomes—these volunteers sought to create a cheap but indistinguishable mock-up of the 152-mm weapon, setting a standard for future decoys.

According to its creators, the decoy's striking resemblance to the actual artillery piece is expected to play a pivotal role in outmaneuvering Russian forces.

Related: Is it NATO equipment or Russian?
The convincing facsimile aims to draw Russian fire, depleting their ammunition reserves more rapidly and exposing the locations of their artillery units.
This tactical advantage is achieved with a decoy costing approximately 200,000 hryvnias (around 8,000 USD)—a modest sum compared to the artillery it imitates. One designer humorously remarked his ultimate goal: for the decoy to be targeted by a Lancet missile, which costs about 40,000 dollars, offering a direct financial blow to the adversary.
Model of the D-20 howitzer developed by the Ukrainians
Model of the D-20 howitzer developed by the Ukrainians©
Originating in the 1940s within the Soviet Union, the D-20 howitzer's production kicked off in 1955. Throughout the years, this weapon underwent various modifications, with its copies and variants spreading across numerous countries. The D-20 can fire 152 mm caliber shells over a range of 10.5-14.9 miles, depending on the ammunition type.
Weighing in at 6.2 tons and measuring 28.5 feet in length when ready for transport, the howitzer requires a crew of 8-10 soldiers for operation. Its firing capabilities include up to 6 shots per minute and a maximum of 65 shots per hour, standing as a testament to its enduring relevance and potency on the battlefield.
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