In November 2022, Turkey began supplying the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Cold War-era DPICM cluster munitions. The Turkish defense industry produced such shells as part of a joint project with the United States. At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine could have received not only 155-mm projectiles, but also 122-mm TRG-122 rockets by the Turkish Roketsan, also equipped with a cluster warhead.
Turkey is now the only country in the world that can export DPICM. The reason is that because the United States itself cannot sell such shells for export due to restrictions of its own legislation, although there are up to 3 million such ammunition in American military warehouses, Foreign Policy reports.
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For Turkey itself, the supply of DPICM cluster projectiles brings several foreign policy "bonuses" at once. Ankara shows that it is more inclined to support Ukraine in its war against the russian federation and becomes an "important military supporter", although Turkey now has several "points of contact" with the Kremlin.
In addition, unloading warehouses of DPICM-type munitions of the Cold War era helps Turkey to show that it "de facto" supports the rejection of cluster weapons as particularly dangerous. Official Ankara did not join the Ottawa Convention of 2008, which provided for the rejection of cluster munitions. But at the same time, the Turkish government regularly tried to convince the international community that it had no intention of using DPICM during the operations of its own armed forces.
In turn, the possibility of "re-instructing" Turkey the supply of DPICM cluster projectiles, which are so necessary for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, basically saved the USA from several problems of a rather reputational nature.
Thus, DPICMs are effective as they have 5-10 times more destructive power than conventional 155-mm projectiles, so firing cluster munitions ultimately leads to a decrease in the rate of wear of the barrels of Western artillery systems at the disposal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On the other hand, DPICM has a bad reputation among the US military, as in some cases up to 25% of submunitions may not explode. And some politicians in the USA did not support the idea of handing over DPICM projectiles to Ukraine: they say that this will only lead to more littering of our land with "explosive surprises", which will take a long time to eliminate.
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