KMW's RCH 155 wheeled self-propelled gun soon to be chosen by the Bundeswehr?

The RCH 155 wheeled self-propelled gun from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann seems to have taken a significant lead over its competitor, the L52 Rad Haubitze from Rheinmetall, to equip the Bundeswehr with 164 mobile artillery systems on wheels by the end of the decade. According to an evaluation campaign carried out by the German army in the first half of the year, the KMW artillery system has, in fact, shown itself to be perfectly mature for short-term acquisition, unlike its competitor.

For several years, Das Heer, the German army, has wanted to equip itself, in addition to its heavy mechanized units, with lighter, and above all more mobile, motorized infantry units capable of deploying quickly over great distances. , with a logistics train and fewer constraints.

To meet these specifications, armored vehicles on wheels are significantly more efficient than their tracked counterparts. This is why the German army ordered, in 2006, 272 GTK Boxer 8x8s to replace its M113s, followed in 2015 by a second order for 131 armored vehicles.

It was also necessary to provide these units with artillery support, and more particularly mobile artillery on wheels. The two German giants of armored systems, Krauss-Maffeï Wegmann with the RCH 155, and Rheinmetall with the L52 Rad haubitze, both participants in the construction of the Pzh 2000, then undertook to develop all-German solutions, to meet the expectations of the German army.

L52 Rad Haubitze Rheinmetall
The German Army judged that the L52 RadHaubitze did not (yet) have sufficient maturity to be eligible for immediate purchase.

Both systems were evaluated and tested by the Bundeswehr in the first half of 2023, and according to the German website, it is that of KMW which would have emerged victorious, with a first order of €1,3 billion which is becoming clearer for the Munich industrialist.

The RCH 155 more mature than the L52 Rad Haubitze

Not surprisingly, the German army judged the RCH 155 “more mature” than the Rheinmetall system is, today in any case, to undertake immediate supply.

It is true that the RCH 155 has already carried out several test campaigns, and has even already been ordered in 20 units by Ukraine with funding from Berlin.

Rheinmetall's L52 RadHaubitze was only publicly presented last May, and then still seemed far from having reached the maturity necessary for rapid production.

In addition, it benefits from a major advantage, since it is based on the same Boxer 8×8 platform as that already in service within the Bundeswehr, and more particularly mobile infantry units as the new cannon self-propelled on wheels must precisely support.

A Pzh 2000 on wheels for the Bundeswehr

It must be said that the German specifications in this area were relatively simple. This required, in fact, that the system chosen be based on a wheeled platform already in service within the Heer, and that it use the same gun as that of the Pzh 2000.

RCH 155 Krauss-Maffei Wegman
KMW's RCH-155 has a combat mass close to 40 tonnes, in line with the constraints imposed by the German army for its wheeled artillery.

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