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Ukraine increases domestic Bohdana howitzer production to 10 units per month

Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine has increased its monthly output of the indigenous Bohdana self-propelled howitzer from 6 units to 10 this month backed by domestic contracts, with plans for further increases.
Production of Ukrainian self-propelled howitzer Bohdana
Production of Ukrainian self-propelled howitzer Bohdana. Photo via Militarnyi
Ukraine increases domestic Bohdana howitzer production to 10 units per month

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced an increase in the country’s production of the indigenous Bohdana self-propelled howitzer. In a post on his official Telegram channel on 18 April, Zelenskyy revealed that Ukraine has ramped up production to 10 units per month, up from the previous six.

The Bohdana howitzer, a Ukrainian domestic wheeled self-propelled artillery system with NATO-standard caliber for 155mm shells, has proven to be a significant asset for Ukraine since its combat debut in 2022 during the battle for Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the Black Sea.

At the time of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine had only one such self-propelled artillery system. In January 2023, Ukraine revealed that it had organized mass production of the Bohdanas. In December, Ukraine manufactured six Bohdana units per month. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported referring to its sources, that the production had increased to eight vehicles monthly.

The President attributed the increase in production capacity to long-term contracts with domestic enterprises, providing stability and allowing for the recruitment of additional personnel:

The share of in-house production is constantly growing. The state enters into serious, long-term contracts with our enterprises, which provide predictability, the ability to recruit people and attract investment. This month, our industry is producing 10 Bohdanas for the first time, and in May and beyond, even more,” Zelenskyy was quoted as saying in his press service’s post.

What is Bohdana?

The 2S22 Bohdana is a Ukrainian 155 mm wheeled self-propelled artillery system, designed to NATO standards, distinguishing it from the Soviet-era legacy artillery pieces in Ukraine’s arsenal. The howitzer has a range of 42 km with HE/AP ammunition or 50 km with rocket-assisted projectiles, capable of firing M982 Excalibur shells and achieving a firing rate of 5 rounds per minute.

Bohdana’s first prototype was built and underwent live-fire tests in 2018, with its first public display occurring at the Kyiv Independence Day Parade on 24 August of the same year.

Bohdana howitzer
The Bohdana at 2018 Independence Day parade. Photo:

In January 2023, then-Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced that in spring 2022, shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, his ministry allocated funds for manufacturing the Ukrainian wheeled 155mm self-propelled howitzer 2S22 Bohdana. He said the howitzer entered full production in January 2023, with the first units scheduled for delivery over the following months.

Bohdana debuted in combat during the June 2022 battle for Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. Ukrainian forces on the mainland reportedly used the 2S22 to shell Russian forces on the island, located 35 km away, along with other artillery systems and drones, resulting in the withdrawal of Russian forces from the island on 30 June.

Bohdana howitzer
The Bohdana in the Battle for Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. Photo: Ekonomichna Pravda

According to Economichna Pravda, Ukraine had at least 30 Bohdana units as of December 2023. As the improvement of the howitzer continues, there are at least three distinct variants of the Bohdana mounted on different chassis.

The first prototype, using the KrAZ-63221 chassis, serves the Ivan Bohun 1st Special Purpose Brigade. This brigade also operates at least two Bohdana units on the Tatra 815-7 chassis. Additionally, the 57th Otaman Kost Hordiienko Motorized Brigade employs at least two units on the MAZ-6317 chassis.

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