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AHS Krab

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Title: AHS Krab  
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Subject: Science and technology in Poland, Type 99 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, ZSU-23-4MP Biała, Howitzer
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AHS Krab

Krab
Type Self-propelled artillery
Place of origin Poland
Service history
In service 2012-
Used by Polish Land Forces
Production history
Designer OBRUM, CPW HSW
Designed 2000
Manufacturer CPW HSW
Produced 2008-
Number built 10
Variants 2
Specifications
Weight 52,140 kg (114,950 lb)
Length 11.64 m (38 ft 2 in)
Width 3.40 m (11 ft 2 in)
Height 3.80 m (12 ft 6 in)
Crew 5

Shell 155 mm NATO
Caliber 155 mm
Rate of fire 6 rounds per minute (sustained)
Effective firing range 30 km (19 mi)
Maximum firing range 40 km (25 mi) with base bleed round

Main
armament
155 mm
Secondary
armament
WKM-B .50 BMG
Engine S-12U
850 HP (625 kW)
Power/weight 16.3 hp/t
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range
360 km (220 mi)
Speed Maximum: 60 km/h (37 mph)
Average: 30 km/h (19 mph)

The AHS Krab (Polish for Crab) is a 155 mm NATO-compatible self-propelled tracked howitzer (or more precisely a gun-howitzer) designed in Poland by Centrum Produkcji Wojskowej Huta Stalowa Wola combining OBRUM's[Note 1] UPG chassis, a AS-90M Braveheart turret with 52-calibre gun and WB Electronics "Topaz" artillery fire control system. The howitzer is equipped with an S-12U engine and other elements (like road wheels) from the PT-91 Twardy. The 2011 version is the Krab with a new Polish gun and a Nexter Systems barrel. The future production batch uses Rheinmetall barrel.

History

The cannon was developed within the research framework "Regina". Program's goal was to create a 155 mm (6 and 1/8 inches) artillery piece for the Polish Army that would serve as a division level asset. As of September 2011, 3 howitzers have been build by Huta Stalowa Wola. The initial units are currently used for tests conducted by Polish Army. 6 more units are being assembled and should be ready for evaluation in 2012 along with battery command module "Regina". Along with the modernized prototypes they will form 5 squadrons consisting of 24 vehicles each and one training battery (total of 124 ordered).

The first two examples of the howitzer (prototypes) are fitted with turret systems supplied by BAE Systems, currently upgraded to the standard of the remaining items in the introduction batch of the squadron module built within Regina project. It covers eight guns, command vehicles (on a much modernized MTLB chassis), plus ammunition vehicles and repair vehicles for the armament and electronics, as well as the fire control system etc.

In the introductory and series products original British guns are replaced by those supplied by Nexter. Trial firing of another gun supplied by the maker is realized every month until the end of the year (the third gun was tested on 10 August in presence of representatives of the Armament Inspectorate and the Head Office of the Missile and Artillery Force of the Air Forces). These are realized at the Dynamic Trial Center of the WITU (Military Technical Institute of Armament) in Stalowa Wola. The first firing of the third complete Krab (which has also received new elements of on-board electronics, developed by WB Electronics) was carried out on 29 July 2011. Concentration of fire was tested, among others.

Each of the planned five squadrons of Krabs is going to be equipped with 24 howitzers. The development program of advanced, smart 155 mm ammunition is started.


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Notes

  1. ^ OBRUM stands for Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Urządzeń Mechanicznych (Polish: "Research and Development Centre for Mechanical Appliances")

References

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