RCH-155, L52-Radhaubitze: Are the Germans bogged down in designing a mounted artillery gun?

To support the Bundeswehr's Pzh 2000, German manufacturers have designed two mounted gun systems: the RCH-155 from KMW, and the L52-Radhaubitze from Rheinmetall. However, these systems, as advanced as they are heavy, seem to miss the benefit of this type of equipment.

As we have already discussed several times, the CAESAR truck-mounted artillery system from the French company Nexter is one of the weapon systems that has best demonstrated its effectiveness and its concept of use in Ukraine.

Indeed, while tracked self-propelled artillery systems like the Polish Krab or the American M109 suffer heavy losses in the face of drones and Russian counterbattery, the Caesars transmitted by France and now by Denmark, succeed thanks to their great mobility, to avoid responses carried out by Russian forces, while ensuring precise and concentrated strikes therefore requiring fewer shells for an effect identical to conventional systems.

Since its first public presentation in 1994, the CAESAR has on numerous occasions inspired the development of comparable systems, such as the Chinese PCL-181, the Israeli PULS, or the American Brutus. Until now, German industry had kept its distance from this concept of wheeled artillery, preferring the more conventional tracked model under armor applied to the Pzh 2000.

Rheinmetall's L52-Radhaubitze requires a 10×10 carrier truck to support it, which suggests a mass well over 40 tons.
Rheinmetall's L52-Radhaubitze requires a 10x10 carrier truck to support it, which suggests a mass well in excess of 40 tonnes.

The limits of the Pzh 2000

If the latter also demonstrates its effectiveness in Ukraine, it nevertheless suffers from a major weakness: its price. In fact, a Pzh 2000 would cost, according to public data, more than 16 million euros, three times the price of its French counterpart.

In addition, with a combat mass of 56 tons compared to 17 tons for the Caesar, the Pzh 2000 is much less mobile, more complex to use and has fuel consumption that is out of all proportion to the French system.


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