Artillery: July 12, 2001


Poland has unveiled its new Krab self-propelled 155mm howitzer. This uses a British AS90 Braveheart turret on a new chassis designed by the OBRUM research and development center. The Krab is produced by Poland's Huta Stalowa Wala armored vehicle factory. The Krab weighs 45 tons combat loaded with a five-man crew and 60 rounds of ammunition. The prototype has a standard fire control system but production vehicles are to use a new computerized fire control system still under development. The Krab has a single 12.7mm NSW Utios machinegun on a pintel mount, and a four-barrel smoke grenade launcher on either side of the turret. Other equipment includes a Danish MVRS-700 ballistic radar to track the outgoing shells and adjust the next shot, a fire-fighting and anti-explosion system, a nuclear-biological-chemical protection system, night vision instruments, and a GPS navigation system. Due to budget limits, the Poles are buying only a few more turrets for tests and will form a test battery in 2004. The first battalion of 18 guns will be formed in 2007. The Poles expect to form six battalions of these guns to support two heavy divisions.--Stephen V Cole


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