RCH 155 Boxer Howitzer for German and British Armies

RCH 155
RCH 155

A joint announcement this past week was made by the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Germany’s Chancellor Scholz of the collaboration by the two counties on the development and procurement of the KMW Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm (RCH 155) 52 calibre Wheeled Artillery Systems.

The British Army’s choice of the RCH 155 to fill its Mobile Fires Platform requirement finds it joining the Bundeswehr 2023 decision and an order for eighteen by Ukraine for the same weapon system. These will see initial production systems potentially being delivered as early as 2025.

The RCH 155 employs the 8 X 8 wheeled chassis of the Boxer armoured combat vehicle with an Artillery Gun Module (AGM) equipped with the 155 mm L52 howitzer utilized in the already combat proven tracked PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer system.

Like the PzH2000 the AGM is fully automated to include ammunition handling, gun laying and direction. The module is unmanned with the crew positioned in the chassis. The RCH 155 with a maximum range of 54 km can transition from moving to firing an eight-round burst and redeploy under ninety seconds. The gun can engage targets across 360 degrees and is able to carry out multi-round simultaneous impact missions.

The British requirement is expected to be 116 systems while the Bundeswehr is to receive the first of fifty systems beginning in 2026. Its total requirement could be as many as 168 units. To further enhance the responsiveness and tactical adaptability of the RCH 155, KMW also offers a Boxer based forward ammunition resupply vehicle. It was not announced if these support vehicles were to be included in the planned fielding.

RCH 155
RCH 155

The thirty-nine tonne Boxer armoured vehicle is being acquired by both the German and British Armies to provide a highly mobile family of vehicles outfitting rapid maneauver ground combat units. The selection of the RCH 155 using the Boxer will provide a long range, precision indirect fires system to support these units. Utilizing a common chassis offers the advantages of equivalent mobility, as well as, simplified and common maintenance support and logistics.

by Stephen W. Miller