The Ukrainian self-propelled 155mm howitzer 2S22 Bohdana only entered service in 2022, but a fourth iteration of the weapon already exists. The improvements may seem small, but they are certainly significant.

An early version of the Bohdana 155mm Howitzer.An early version of the Bohdana 155mm Howitzer.

An early version of the Bohdana 155mm Howitzer. Photo credit: via Armyinform.com.ua Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

just like that Pain A self-propelled howitzer in Poland, the Ukrainian Bohdana was developed to be the country’s first 155 mm artillery, replacing the older Soviet howitzers. The Bohdana howitzer marked the entrance to Ukraine by Western military standards. It did not become the first 155mm howitzer in the Ukrainian forces because it did not have time before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Bohdana did not officially enter service until 2022, although serious tests began a few years before that. Bohdana began on the battlefield with the liberation of Snake Island. Last year it was reported that the Bohdana was entering the series production phase, although it was clear that the weapons would not be produced in large quantities. Especially since Ukrainian engineers were still improving this howitzer.

The original KrAZ chassis was replaced with a Czech Tatra 8×8 chassis. It’s more stable, so the Ukrainians used it as an opportunity to install a heavily armored cab, which importantly provides some protection from FPV drones. Recently, the Bohdana appeared on the battlefield with a semi-automatic loading system that had been planned in the early stages of the Bohdana program, but not previously implemented.

These upgrades are implemented gradually, already in this limited and slow series production. Therefore, it is called Bohdana 4.0:

The Bohdana can fire normal howitzer projectiles at a range of about 30 km, but extended-range shells with rocket boosters can travel up to 60 km. Importantly, the Ukrainian Bohdana howitzer uses standard NATO ammunition, like the M777, the aforementioned Curb, and other Western 155mm howitzers. Bohdana is also happy to fire the highly accurate Excalibur guided projectiles. This type of compatibility allows Ukrainian self-propelled howitzers to use ammunition supplied to Ukraine by its foreign allies.

Some experts count only three iterations of this self-propelled howitzer. Here, by the way, is how the Bohdana loading mechanism works, greatly improving the rate of fire:

The Bohdana howitzer will continue to improve. Hopefully the war will soon come to a happy end and Ukraine can build up its defense industry to the point where weapons like the Bohdana howitzer can be put on the world market.

written by Povelas M.

Sources: Tech.wp.pl, Wikipedia