You are currently viewing This is Bohdana, the jewel of Ukrainian artillery: a devastating howitzer that crushes Russian logistics

In recent weeks, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine focusing on the Donbas, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has requested more artillery units and long-range ammunition from NATO countries that, like Spain, are collaborating in sending weapons to strengthen the Ukrainian army. Still, the Ukrainian armed forces continue to rely on locally made vehicles and weapons. The last to enter combat was the 2S22 Bohdana, a 155mm self-propelled howitzer already wreaking havoc on Russian supply lines.

It is one of the jewels of the Ukrainian army, presented for the first time during a military parade in kyiv on August 24, 2018, when the conflict in the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk was at its peak. Thus, the celebration of the 23rd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union ended with the announcement of an investment of 2,300 million euros in defense by Petró Poroshenko, Zelensky’s predecessor as president of Ukraine.

Some of that money went into creating equipment like the 2S22 Bohdana (Ukrainian for “given by God”), which until this week had not been tested on the battlefield. According to Ukraine Weapons Tracker, some of these artillery units were about to be destroyed by the manufacturer deliberately, to prevent them from falling into the hands of Russian forces. However, as the advance of Putin’s troops did not achieve their objectives quickly and forcefully, the ukrainian army has started using at least one of these rare howitzers self-propelled to deal with Putin’s troops.

caliber issue

The first unit of 2S22 Bodhana was shown before the parade to Ukraine’s defense and security chiefs and its top military experts at a firing range near the city of Ozerne, some 120 kilometers west of kyiv. “Its crucial features are the high mobility, accuracy and range capability, as well as the rapidity of fireOleksandr Turnchynov, chairman of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said at the time.

The 2S22 Bohdana has been designed and developed entirely in Ukraine in accordance with NATO standards, including the gun control system and the transport carriage, a new indicator of the turnaround in the Ukrainian army’s arsenal, still heavily based on Soviet-made material.

The 155 mm caliber is the one commonly used by “Western” artillery, as opposed to the 152 mm that is usually used by “made in Russia” equipment and whose shortage is seriously affecting Ukraine’s artillery. It is the ammunition currently used by the most powerful guns in the country, such as the 2A65 Msta-B or the 2A36 Giatsint-B.

In fact, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Belgium and Italy have shown willingness to provide Ukraine with mobile artillery systems 155 mm, like the French Caesar, to counter the might of the Russian armed forces, which have a great tactical advantage in terms of artillery capabilities.

2S22 Bohdana at the parade in kyiv


Creative Commons

range and mobility

The design of the 2S22 Bohdana is based on a six-wheel drive high-mobility truck chassis, manufactured by the Ukrainian company AutoKrAZ. The front of the truck has a armored cabin with capacity for five crew membersincluding the commander and driver, thus protecting themselves against small arms fire and possible splinters from artillery shells.

The main armament of the 2S22 Bohdana consists of a standard 155mm cannon mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. Its versatility allows it to shoot high explosive incendiary/piercing ammunition (HEIAP), with a range of between 35 and 40 km, at a rate of fire of between 4 and 8 rounds per minute.

Test maneuvers of the 2S22 Bohdana

Test maneuvers of the 2S22 Bohdana

Sergey Voronkov

Wikimedia Commons

To destroy targets further away, this self-propelled howitzer can use rocket assisted projectiles (RAP)what incorporate a motor rocket for independent propulsion and can be guided by laser sights. This gives the projectile greater speed and range than ordinary projectiles, propelled by force alone. ballistics of the explosive charge of the weapon. Thanks to the RAPs, Bodhana has a maximum range that can reach 60 kilometers, perfect for supporting infantry forces from afar, defending positions or destroying fortified areas.

The capacity of the truck allows transport a total of 20 rounds of ammunition, stored in boxes located on each side of the chassis. For higher loads, you need to have support vehicles to transport the ammunition. In addition, it is equipped with a computerized targeting and control system.

With a full load, the tonnage of this self-propelled howitzer is close to 30 tons, so you need a powerful engine, which is between 380 and 420 horses. That gives the 2S22 Bohdana a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour, and a road driving range of about 1,200 kilometers.

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