AHS Krab

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Krab
Święto Wojsk Rakietowych i Artylerii 2012. ASH Krab 1.jpg
Type Self-propelled artillery
Place of origin Poland
Service history
Used by Polish Land Forces
Production history
Designer OBRUM, CPW HSW
Designed 2000
Manufacturer CPW HSW
Produced 2008-2011
2016- (serial)
Number built 10
Variants 3
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 K9 Thunder chassis, a AS-90M Braveheart turret with 52-calibre gun and WB Electronics "Topaz" artillery fire control system. The 2011 version used a Nexter Systems barrel and UPG chassis. The future production batch expected in 2016, utilize K9 chassis and Rheinmetall barrel.

History[edit]

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 2012 two prototypes and eight initial units have been build by Huta Stalowa Wola. In 2012-2013 those were used for tests conducted by Polish Army as part of the battery command module "Regina".

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.

On 17 december 2014 Polish Ministry of Defense annouced the deal worth 320 mln USD with korean Samsung Techwin to purchase 120 K9 Thunder chassis, with first 24 to be delivered in 2017 and 84 to be build under license in Poland in 2018-2022.[1] Poland evaluated also Turkish built T-155 Firtina chassis of the same origin.[2] The original Polish OBRUM's[Note 1] UPG-NG chassis build by BUMAR equipped with an S-12U engine and other elements (like road wheels) from the PT-91 Twardy used in eight initial production howitzers was abandoned due to cracks in its structure and ceased production of S-12U engines.

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.

Similar Vehicles[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]