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First combat operation for Ukrainian AS90 howitzers donated by UK against Russian forces

Exclusive footage obtained from a Telegram account by Оперативний ЗСУ reveals that the 155m self-propelled howitzer AS90 donated by the United Kingdom to Ukraine has been deployed for the first time in a combat operation against Russian forces. The video, published on June 15, 2023, showcases the AS90's inaugural combat mission, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing conflict.
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In a demonstration of the Ukrainian military capability, the video showcases the British self-propelled 155mm AS90 howitzers in action for the very first time. (Picture source Telegram video footage)

On January 15, 2023, a report by Army Recognition stated that the United Kingdom, under the leadership of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has pledged to provide valuable support to the Ukrainian offensive. In this regard, 30 AS90 Braveheart 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers will be dispatched to aid Ukraine's efforts.

On 27 April 2023, Army Recognition report that the AS90 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers donated by the United Kingdom to the Ukrainian army are now ready to be operated in Ukraine on April 26, 2023.

The AS90 outperforms the current self-propelled howitzers of the Ukrainian army, the 2S1 Gvozdika and the 2S3 Akatsiya. It surpasses them in terms of range and firepower with its 155mm L31 cannon. It also offers superior mobility with its dedicated artillery chassis. However, it is worth noting that the Soviet-designed systems have their own advantages, such as reliability, cost-effectiveness, and widespread use in various military forces around the world.

The AS90 is a British self-propelled 155mm artillery piece mounted on a tracked chassis vehicle. It was initially developed in the late 1980s and is still in service with the British Army today. The AS90 is equipped with a 155mm 39 caliber barrel capable of firing various types of shells, including high explosive, smoke, and illuminating rounds. Importantly, the AS-90 is compatible with the high-precision guided projectile M982 Excalibur.

The AS90 carries 48 projectiles and charges in the turret. Of the 48 projectiles, 31 are stored in the turret bustle in four magazine modules, each with a motor that positions the required projectile correctly. With standard ammunition and charges, the 39-caliber barrel achieves a range of 24,700 meters. With an assisted projectile, a range of over 30,000 meters can be achieved. The AS90's area coverage is further enhanced when equipped with a 52 caliber barrel, reaching a maximum range of 30,000 meters with conventional projectiles and 40,000 meters with assisted projectiles.

Powered by a Cummins VTA903T diesel engine, the AS90 can reach speeds of up to 55 km/h. With an impressive operational range of 370 km, the British self-propelled howitzer demonstrates exceptional mobility and endurance.

The video showcasing the British AS-90 howitzer in action during combat marks a significant milestone in its deployment within the Ukrainian Armed Forces. While the AS90 outperforms its counterparts in terms of firepower and range, Soviet-designed systems have their own advantages in terms of reliability, cost-effectiveness, and widespread use. The commitment of 30 AS-90 units by the United Kingdom strengthens cooperation and enhances Ukraine's artillery capabilities.

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