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Russians may have received 203-mm shells from Iran

The supply indicates growing defense cooperation between the countries, complementing the list of other calibers which Iran has been supplying to Russia.
A 203-mm projectile, probably received by Russia from Iran, at the disposal of the Ukrainian Informator.
Russians may have received 203-mm shells from Iran

The Russian army has reportedly acquired imported 203-millimeter caliber shells, likely from Iran, which were originally intended for use with American-made M110 self-propelled artillery units.

Images of these shells were released by the resource “Ukrainian Informator.” An additional indicator supporting this information is that in 2023, Russian artillerymen received firing tables for “Product 203,” which could indirectly confirm that the Russian Federation has indeed begun receiving 203-mm shells through foreign supplies.

Among all of the Kremlin’s allies, only Iran currently possesses 203-mm caliber artillery. The Military Balance 2023 indicates that Iran has 30 M110 self-propelled guns and 20 towed M115 howitzers. North Korea’s largest caliber is 170 mm, while China is still working on its own 203-mm artillery systems, the Defense Express reports.

The fact that Russia is importing 203-mm shells from Iran suggests that the Russians were unable to purchase Soviet-made 203-mm shells for “Pion” self-propelled guns from other post-Soviet countries.

Self-propelled howitzer Pion of the Russian army, which fires 203-mm shells. Illustrative photo.

The supply of several calibers from Iran to Russia has already been verified, including 152-mm shells, 125-mm tank shots, 122-mm ammunition for rocket artillery, and 120-mm mortar shells. The deliveries of 203 mm caliber also indicate a deficit of this type of shell in the Russian troops. In particular, by the end of March 2024, Russia intended to revive and increase the production of 203-mm active shells for the Pion self-propelled howitzers at the facilities of the Plastmass Plant.

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