Military Review

British AS-90 self-propelled guns for the Ukrainian army

33

ACS AS-90 on exercises, 2015


It became known that the UK is preparing a new package of military-technical assistance for Ukraine. Together with other products, it is proposed to transfer AS-90 self-propelled artillery mounts to the Ukrainian army. Such equipment, as expected, will have to strengthen the existing artillery and increase the combat capability of the recipient army. However, it is already clear that such assistance will face a lot of problems and will give only limited results.

According to unofficial data


According to The Times, at the end of March, the UK government held a closed meeting on future military supplies to Ukraine. During the event, they discussed what samples and products could be transferred to the "ally" to make up for the losses of recent weeks and increase the overall combat capability.

An unnamed source of The Times indicates that the Ukrainian army needs long-range artillery systems, and they should be included in the new aid package. In particular, the possibility of transferring a certain number of AS-90 self-propelled artillery mounts from the presence of our own army is being considered.


Shells in factory packaging

It is assumed that the supply of self-propelled guns will strengthen the Ukrainian artillery units. At the same time, the British army, having given up its self-propelled guns, should not face serious difficulties: the existing AS-90s are very old and should be replaced in the future. At the same time, potential problems are noted. Thus, the technique is complex, and the preparation of Ukrainian calculations will have to take a lot of time. In addition, London fears that the transfer of self-propelled guns will lead to an escalation of the conflict, which potentially threatens the UK.

Apparently, at the end of March, only the fundamental possibility of transferring the AS-90 was discussed. The number of such equipment, as well as the timing of its preparation and transfer to the Ukrainian army, The Times does not report. It is possible that these issues have not yet been resolved. Either London considered this issue and refused to supply self-propelled guns.

Anyway, since the publication News a week has passed, but Ukraine has not yet received AS-90 products. Information about the transfer of such armored vehicles has already appeared in some foreign media, but it is not confirmed and does not correspond to reality.

British development


The promising ACS AS-90 (Artillery System 1990s) has been created since the mid-eighties by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering (now part of BAE Systems). The self-propelled gun was developed on an initiative basis in parallel with the "official" SP70 project - in case it failed. The Vickers forecast turned out to be correct, and in the early nineties, the AS-90 project received official status and support from the Ministry of Defense.


Already in 1992, the new self-propelled guns went into series. Production continued until 1995, during which time the army received 179 self-propelled guns. With the help of such equipment, most of the artillery regiments were re-equipped, replacing the old FV433 Abbot and M109 self-propelled guns, as well as the FH70 towed guns. Combat self-propelled guns were repeatedly involved in the exercises, and in addition, some of the vehicles participated in the 2003 Iraqi campaign.

In the late nineties, a deep modernization project for the AS-90 called Braveheart was being developed. It offered a new gun with a longer barrel and improved performance, as well as a new set of electronic means. In terms of the combination of characteristics, such an ACS did not suit the British army. However, a few years later, on the basis of Braveheart, the Krab self-propelled gun was created for the Polish army. She reached the series and is still in service.

The British Ministry of Defense already believes that the AS-90 is obsolete and needs to be replaced. The appearance of a promising self-propelled guns for this was planned for the first half of the twenties, then it was postponed to the middle of the decade. According to current plans, the rearmament of artillery units will take place in 2029-32. At the same time, a new self-propelled gun to replace the existing one has not yet been developed.

Technical features


The AS-90 is a tracked self-propelled gun of a traditional layout and is based on an armored hull with a full-rotation turret. The hull and turret are welded from armor plates that provide protection against bullets and shrapnel. The 45-ton machine is equipped with a 600 hp diesel engine, which allows it to reach speeds of up to 55 km/h on the highway and overcome various obstacles.


Artilleryman with caps

The main armament of the self-propelled guns is a 155-mm L31 rifled howitzer. It is equipped with a 39 klb barrel with a muzzle brake, an ejector and a piston breech. The design of the tower provides a circular guidance horizontally and elevation angles from -5° to +70°. Drives - electric with backup manual.

The howitzer uses separate loading shots with a propellant charge in the cap. Ammunition - 48 shots. The shutter has a built-in magazine for 18 primers. There are high-explosive "ordinary" and active-rocket projectiles, smoke, incendiary, etc.

Loading is done manually, which affects the rate of fire. It is possible to perform a volley of 3 shots in 10 seconds. Also, for several minutes, the crew can maintain a rate of fire of 6 rds / min. With prolonged firing, the rate does not exceed 2 rds / min.

The howitzer can fire both direct fire and from concealed positions. When using conventional shells, the firing range reaches 24,7 km. An active-rocket projectile flies 30 km.


Crew in the fighting compartment. View from the port side

The crew of the combat vehicle consists of five people. This is a driver, commander, gunner and two loaders. This composition of the crew allows you to move between positions and fire using portable ammunition. If necessary, the calculation is increased by 5 people who help with the supply of ammunition from the conveyor or from the ground.

Practical difficulties


In general, the AS-90 is a typical self-propelled gun of the last years of the Cold War. It shows fairly high performance characteristics, but is inferior to later samples, incl. created almost simultaneously with it. Nevertheless, despite all the limitations, such a technique is quite capable of solving combat missions and hitting distant targets.

Under the current conditions, British self-propelled guns should be of great interest to Ukraine. However, the transfer of such equipment is bound to face a number of difficulties and problems. They can lead to the cancellation of the shipment or limit the real benefit of the new equipment for Ukraine.

First of all, the UK needs to resolve issues of politics and its own defense. The delivery of AS-90s to Ukraine could have a negative impact on the military-political situation in Europe and lead to new risks for London. Is it worth it is the big question. In addition, the benefits of helping Ukraine should outweigh the consequences of reducing its own fleet of self-propelled artillery.


Artillery units on the AS-90 have reportedly faced significant challenges in recent years. The equipment is of considerable age and needs to be maintained in an acceptable condition. At the same time, some of the necessary spare parts and assemblies have already been discontinued, and stocks are coming to an end. This forces one to resort to the "cannibalization" of some machines in favor of others. As a result, at least a third of the park is not ready for operation and needs to be restored.

The preparation of armored vehicles for the transfer of a friendly army must face new technical difficulties. In addition, combat-ready self-propelled guns will have to be transferred - which are barely enough for their own needs.

We will have to resolve the issue of supply of ammunition. The 155 mm L31 howitzer uses British standard rounds, which are not available in Ukraine, but without them, AS-90 self-propelled guns have no combat value. In addition, for effective combat work, shots are required in large quantities. This in a certain way complicates the organization of military-technical assistance.

A separate problem will be the training of crews. Ukrainian artillerymen need to be retrained for foreign-standard equipment, and this must be done with high quality and in the shortest possible time. At the same time, the British army itself is experiencing difficulties in training its crews. Practice shootings are held only a few times a year and with a limited consumption of projectiles. Training of foreign military in such conditions will face difficulties.


However, the successful solution of all these problems will not actually yield any results. Once on Ukrainian territory, British self-propelled guns will become the target for Russian strikes. The Russian army has all the necessary means for reconnaissance and detection of targets with their subsequent defeat. To date, she has destroyed the bulk of Ukrainian self-propelled artillery, and foreign equipment is waiting for the same fate.

Help without help


Thus, Great Britain indicated the possibility of helping Ukraine with the supply of armored vehicles, incl. self-propelled artillery. However, the implementation of such proposals will face a host of problems and difficulties, each of which will require time and effort. At the same time, each of these factors can disrupt all plans for the supply of equipment.

Whether the UK will send its self-propelled guns to Ukraine is not yet completely clear. However, it is already clear that such a step does not make much sense. Whether this is understood in London is a big question. Perhaps they have already evaluated such a proposal and made conclusions. What opinion they came to will become clear in the near future.
Author:
Photos used:
Ministry of Defense of Great Britain
33 comments
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  1. ved_med12
    ved_med12 April 6 2022 17: 21
    0
    However, the successful solution of all these problems will not actually yield any results. Once on Ukrainian territory, British self-propelled guns will become the target for Russian strikes. The Russian army has all the necessary means for reconnaissance and detection of targets with their subsequent defeat. To date, she has destroyed the bulk of Ukrainian self-propelled artillery, and foreign equipment is waiting for the same fate.

    the most important part of the article!
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U April 6 2022 17: 24
      +12
      Quote: ved_med12
      Once on Ukrainian territory, British self-propelled guns will become the target for Russian strikes.

      If in the coming days ours do not begin to take out railways near the borders of Ukraine, then things may come to these self-propelled guns!
      After all, a "favorable background for negotiations" will not be created by itself! (Sarcasm).
      1. Paul Siebert
        Paul Siebert April 6 2022 17: 32
        +6
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        After all, a "favorable background for negotiations" will not be created by itself! (Sarcasm).

        That's it!
        Terribly not obsolete English iron. Terrible traitors in power. The deepest meanness is to inspire the people, and behind their backs to conceive treason!
        We need to finish what we started! Otherwise, we will lose the country ... request
      2. ved_med12
        ved_med12 April 6 2022 17: 33
        +6
        Agree. And in the defense of large settlements, they may well give us firefights, unfortunately ....
    2. 123456Ivanov654321
      123456Ivanov654321 April 6 2022 18: 14
      +9
      Again, hatred moods. We will destroy it, yes. That is nonsense, everything they have is junk and does not pose a danger. Before the start of the war, everyone was telling how we would famously defeat the Ukrainians. Only I watch the war go on for the second month, and the results, to put it mildly, are so-so.
      1. ch28k38
        ch28k38 April 6 2022 22: 22
        +2
        The same couch experts spoke, there was not a word from the professionals.
      2. Viktor Sergeev
        Viktor Sergeev April 7 2022 12: 20
        +1
        What specifically don't you like? The economy of Ukraine is practically destroyed, the equipment is 70-80 percent the same, fuel disappears? Do you want blitzkrieg? We tried, but it didn't work, we still didn't have enough strength. No one is talking about hatred, you need to realistically assess the situation. Self-propelled guns are ammunition, trained crews, delivery, fuel, spare parts, and much more. This self-propelled gun will not give anything and no matter how old she is and how good she is.
  2. spirit
    spirit April 6 2022 17: 23
    +11
    So why do they need service and spare parts. They are handed over so that they would drink our blood, and then they were destroyed, so the crew is not much needed. And the fact that we can easily destroy from the air, from the same opera that we destroyed all the Ukrainian Air Force Strelkov said on such a huge front, our aviation is smeared with a pancake, these are not US armadas over Germany at 45. Unfortunately, time plays against us, and the more weapons supplies and mobilization in Ukraine, the less chance for us to have a positive outcome, we need to act quickly hi
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U April 7 2022 03: 20
      0
      Quote: spirit
      They are passed on to drink blood for us, and then they were destroyed

      In this case, the MLRS is clearly preferable, I successfully fired the full package and consider the delivery paid off.
  3. Leshak
    Leshak April 6 2022 17: 26
    -6
    "God, what is not good for us" - the easiest way to dispose of obsolete equipment is to transfer it to Ukraine.
  4. puskarinkis
    puskarinkis April 6 2022 17: 30
    -2
    Solution in the spirit of Western thinking. The main thing is to pretend! And then ... Then it depends on the benefits that can be extracted. Write off the trash, hang up the debt and loudly declare support, this is good business! What will happen to the self-propelled guns is not important ...
  5. Aleksey Aleksandrovich
    Aleksey Aleksandrovich April 6 2022 17: 42
    +2
    There is little to enjoy in this. Even if imported equipment for the APU is covered, as they say on the march to the front line, then part of it will still go to the front. And these are additional losses of our servicemen.
  6. Alien From
    Alien From April 6 2022 17: 45
    -5
    I doubt they will make it.
    1. ch28k38
      ch28k38 April 6 2022 22: 24
      -3
      There is space reconnaissance, there are rockets and artillery, it is quite achievable to cut off supplies that are possible only through the Polish border.
  7. rocket757
    rocket757 April 6 2022 17: 59
    +2
    Whether the UK will send its self-propelled guns to Ukraine is not yet completely clear.
    . Yes, it doesn't matter ... impudent, enemy, no options. They must be removed from any contacts and negotiations.
    Nafig politesse, the enemy and all.
  8. stels_07
    stels_07 April 6 2022 18: 32
    +4
    Zelenka begins, the counter-battery fight will become even more difficult
  9. acetophenone
    acetophenone April 6 2022 21: 20
    0
    The delivery of AS-90s to Ukraine could have a negative impact on the military-political situation in Europe and lead to new risks for London.

    Oh oh oh! They read it in Landon - and they were afraid ... It is impossible to bomb and fire rockets at Londongrad - some people live there. Petrov and Boshirov have already lit up. And on everything else they put with the device. lol
  10. DJ
    DJ April 6 2022 22: 14
    -3
    Normal budget split. Self-propelled guns will dissolve in the vastness of Europe, the money for their transportation will dissolve.
    1. Nexcom
      Nexcom April 7 2022 07: 50
      0
      Rather, the LDNRites will show up in the "voentorg"
  11. svp67
    svp67 April 7 2022 06: 01
    0
    Howitzer uses separate loading shots with a propellant charge in the cart.
    All our self-propelled guns use sleeve loading. This alone requires retraining of the same loaders. And honestly, I do not think that these self-propelled guns will be able to make a difference in the course of hostilities. According to their characteristics, our modernized self-propelled guns MSTA-S are better
    1. Nexcom
      Nexcom April 7 2022 07: 47
      +1
      I think that they will learn to charge, this is probably just not a problem.
      To hit the target from this self-propelled gun ... Most likely, he will not learn accurate shooting in half a month or a month. Although if there is a lot of computing electronics, they can learn.
  12. Viktor Sergeev
    Viktor Sergeev April 7 2022 07: 52
    +1
    Scrap metal. Ammunition will bring the same?
    1. Vladimir 290
      Vladimir 290 April 7 2022 09: 10
      0
      Very well said. Equipment without ammunition is just a pile of metal. For one day of combined arms combat, 50 such howitzers (except for the transportable ammunition) will require approximately 80-100 Kamaz trucks (or trailers) with NATO ammunition. So think about what else the Britons should put along with the guns and what benefit the Ukrainians will have from this.
      1. Viktor Sergeev
        Viktor Sergeev April 7 2022 12: 17
        +1
        And the main thing is to figure out how they will carry ammunition and how tasty this target will be for missiles.
        1. ada
          ada April 7 2022 15: 47
          0
          It is likely that NATO standard ammunition for these installations is not required to be transported, it is quite possible that some of their military stocks have been accumulated in advance on the territory of the country.
  13. Black cowl
    Black cowl April 7 2022 10: 08
    -1
    Quote: 123456Ivanov654321
    Before the start of the war, everyone was telling how we would famously defeat the Ukrainians. Only I watch the war go on for the second month, and the results, to put it mildly, are so-so.

    You could name these "all", otherwise, except for the amers, and their sixes, I don't remember our storytellers.
  14. power day
    power day April 7 2022 15: 44
    +1
    Another "effective expert" who received an "education" on Wikipedia, gave birth to an article where self-propelled guns fire "shots".
    Not with shells, as is customary among the military, but with shots ..
    Where do these clowns come from?
  15. Dmitry Donyakin
    Dmitry Donyakin April 7 2022 16: 33
    0
    Well, put this technique. In addition to ammunition and crew training, mechanics need to be trained. Plus, repair base. Engines, transmission, filters and much more. That is, such articles are empty. As requested by Ze.
  16. Lara Croft
    Lara Croft April 7 2022 22: 38
    0
    With the help of such equipment, most of the artillery regiments were re-equipped, replacing the old FV433 Abbot and M109 self-propelled guns

    I don’t remember that the American M109s were in service with the British Army during the period when the AS-90s arrived ...
    The indicated 155-mm guns were supposed to replace the 105-mm FV433 Abbot self-propelled guns, which were armed with three BTDs (one of the three BTDs had two armored personnel carriers and one MPBR - it was used as an airmobile) and the 5th abr (formerly hell) ...
    By the time the AS-90 SG arrived in the UK, the MD and BTD remained in the NE, which were re-equipped with these SGs ....
    At the moment, these SGs are in service with the md ....
    FH70 towed guns

    one of the most successful PA guns of the NATO countries remained in service with the infantry, dshbr and brmp of the UK ... as well as all the PBR TV ....
    The British have long been unable to decide on a new SG ...
  17. Ilya_Nsk
    Ilya_Nsk April 8 2022 13: 06
    0
    Shells are needed .. Ukrovsky 152-mm ones will not work.
    This is partly why the transition to NATO is a big hemorrhoid. ALL AMMUNITION AND SHELL - f firebox! Communication facilities - there, etc. pr.
  18. silver_roman
    silver_roman April 8 2022 14: 03
    0
    One could hint to the British that this should not be done. The stump is clear to hint not with nuclear weapons, but, say, with a terrorist attack in the subway or in a museum, let's say under a sharply political slogan like "stop supporting the bloody Zelensky regime that bombs its citizens with ballistic missiles."
    I remember how Russia was hinted at by a terrorist attack in the subway. The hint was clear. but we are not like that .... we are very correct, will not kill peaceful creatures in London .... no ... I understand that it is vile and vile to kill civilians even in Britain, but "playing fair" does not bring absolutely no results. So why not sacrifice the lives of the Saxons for the lives of our people?
    I was always tormented by another question: the beginning of the CBO. The strikes are not delivered ON the barracks, but on the infrastructure in order to minimize losses, WHICH FURTHER leads again to large losses among the civilian population, the same soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and, of course, among our soldiers, because. having struck at the barracks, having dealt an extremely disarming demoralizing blow in the first hours, perhaps the war would have ended quickly. And so you have to gnaw through every settlement, village and knock out the enemy, causing collateral damage to civilians in Ukraine.
  19. sofa
    sofa April 8 2022 15: 43
    0
    I would like to know more about the "volley of three shots". Do they have something like an automatic loader for three shots? The tactics of shooting from the D-20 in Ukraine - they bring a couple of boxes, make two shots, run away. Repeat after 1-5 hours. One such cannon is in the yard of a relative near Luhansk. To, then, under the meat shield. (they think about us not about life, but about meat). Self-propelled gun after a series of 3 shots will be able to crawl fifty meters. Have you heard of stray mortars? A very effective tactic. The only counteraction, from my point of view, is to destroy all trains entering the territory of Ukraine. Do not touch the fleeing trains - let it be more fun in Europe!
  20. certero
    certero 27 May 2022 20: 37
    -2
    Quote: ved_med12
    However, the successful solution of all these problems will not actually yield any results. Once on Ukrainian territory, British self-propelled guns will become the target for Russian strikes. The Russian army has all the necessary means for reconnaissance and detection of targets with their subsequent defeat. To date, she has destroyed the bulk of Ukrainian self-propelled artillery, and foreign equipment is waiting for the same fate.

    the most important part of the article!

    It's not the most important thing. This is a common mantra that everyone tries to write in articles about the supply of Western equipment.
    I'm trying to minimize the consequences of deliveries in this way.
    I have absolutely no idea why. the supply of Western weapons is a very serious threat. And the further this threat grows