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Ukraine's 2S22 Bohdana Howitzer: 30 Units in Service, None Destroyed, and the "Positive Problem" With the Chassis

2S22 Bohdana self-propelled artillery system of the Ukrainian Armed Forces / Photo credit: Joint Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
2S22 Bohdana self-propelled artillery system of the Ukrainian Armed Forces / Photo credit: Joint Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
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The Ukrainian manufacturer also revealed the cost of one Bohdana which is one of its advantages, and the number of facilities involved in production of this artillery system

Besides being produced at an impressive rate of six howitzers per month, Ukraine's own-manufactured 155mm 2S22 Bohdana self-propelled howitzer has already become a fleet of 30 systems, sources in the Ukrainian Army told Ukrainska Pravda. Moreover, none of them has been destroyed so far, despite active usage for artillery strikes on russian positions in occupied Ukraine.

Even the very first and only prototype mounted on the KrAZ chassis is still operational, say the representatives of PrJSC Kramatorsky heavy machine tool building plant, prime contractor and manufacturer of the 2S22 Bohdana artillery system, part of the National Association of Ukrainian Defense Industries (NAUDI).

Read more: How Many 155-mm 2S22 Bohdana Self-Propelled Howitzers Are Produced by Ukraine Per Month
2S22 Bohdana's first KrAZ chassis and first
2S22 Bohdana's first KrAZ chassis and first "trial by fire" during the operation of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island liberation / Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

At the same time, the totality of contractors comprises 25 companies and 400 specialists. Some of the critical components are made abroad, some production steps are scattered across the country so as to avoid russian long-range strikes.

On a note from Defense Express, the fact of so many people involved in production suggests further scaling up the production of Ukraine's first domestic 155mm artillery system. This is especially important in the context of the overall artillery shortage in Western countries, prompting Kyiv to wait for months before new guns arrive from the partners.

Just to note, public data says Ukraine was either promised or ordered by itself a total of 400 self-propelled and 250 towed howitzers. However, not all of them have been delivered, some got destroyed in battle, and there's also the service life issue because guns get worn out very quickly in such an intense counter-battery warfare.

Ukrainian technicians learn to repair PzH 2000 artillery systems in Lithuania
Illustrative photo: Ukrainian technicians learn to repair PzH 2000 artillery systems in Lithuania / Photo credits: Baltic News Service, LRT

The article quoted the developers as saying their 2S22 Bohdana costs about USD 2.5 million.

Actually, this is significantly more affordable than the French CAESAR, one of the cheapest mobile howitzers on the market, at current prices. The last known contract with Belgium from 2021 indicates a slightly outdated price of $4.26 million apiece, or $5.6 million according to the 2023 contract offer for Colombia.

On the darker side, although the number of 2S22 Bohdana's in service with the Ukrainian Army has reached 30, and even got a mechanized loader, there is also a problem — surprisingly positive, to some extent.

Currently, the manufacturer's capability of producing howitzers faster is limited by Tatra, a Czech company responsible for chassis. The technological cycle of making one T815 armored vehicle to host the gun is over a year — too long to choose Tatra T815 for the main chassis of 2S22 Bohdana, therefore alternatives are being considered.

2S22 Bohdana on Tatra 8x8 chassis
2S22 Bohdana on Tatra 8x8 chassis / Still frame credit: 5 Kanal

Provided this is the main problem, it seems to be somewhat good news because, on the flip side, it means the Ukrainian defense industry manages to keep up and produce necessary components and assemble guns quickly and consistently enough to complain about foreign contractors, despite the war ongoing inside the country.

And that is why there's an additional chassis option for Bohdana, the MAN. Another potential variant is the HX series from the joint venture of MAN and Rheinmetall, offered as chassis for the Archer system.

MAN HX81 chassis used as a heavy-duty transporter vehicle
MAN HX81 chassis used as a heavy-duty transporter vehicle / Illustrative photo credit: Carsten Vennemann, Bundeswehr

It would be logical to choose HX in light of Rheinmetall's entry into Ukraine and pursuit for locally-made weapons.

Alternatively, the developers could opt for resuscitation of the original Ukrainian KrAZ automobile-making enterprise (also part of NAUDI).

At the same time, the chassis problem also quite logically prompts the development of the towed version of Bohdana, and the developers are already working on it.

2S22 Bohdana mounted on the old KrAZ chassis
2S22 Bohdana mounted on the old KrAZ chassis
Read more: Ukraine's Gun Artillery is Expanding: New Towed Howitzer is in the Making, and 2S22 Bohdana Production will Speed Up