Denmark has funded the purchase of 18 Ukrainian-made 2S22 Bohdana howitzers for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), which are expected to arrive in the coming months.

Developed and manufactured domestically in Ukraine, the Bohdana 2S22 self-propelled artillery system fires NATO-standard 155mm projectiles. The estimated cost of each vehicle is $2.5 million. Details of the technical specifications and development can be seen in the Kyiv Post analysis here.

155mm is among the most powerful artillery systems fielded by Ukraine to destroy vehicle columns, strike ammo depots and break up armored attacks, and the additional Bohdanas funded by Copenhagen will bolster Ukraine’s firepower against Russian targets.

The Danish Ministry of Defense, in its press release, said it placed the order in spring 2024 in what it called a “paradigm shift in the donation effort” by directly placing orders with Ukraine’s defense industry.

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“In this way, we ensure that the equipment that the Ukrainians demand at the front can be produced and delivered close by. It provides some obvious logistical advantages while helping to build the defense industry in Ukraine. Here, Ukrainian-produced artillery pieces play a central role as a pilot project,” says Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen.

Denmark also called for other countries to invest directly in Ukraine’s defense industry.

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A German officer said they assumed some flew with “unfriendly intentions” but decided to simply incorporate them into the training to caution Ukrainian troops of the real dangers on the battlefield.

“I hope that more countries will follow the Danish model for procurement in Ukraine. The Ukrainians’ opportunities to produce equipment are greater than the funding they have right now. Therefore, there is a great potential for similar agreements to produce more equipment in Ukraine and at the same time help build the defense industry in Ukraine,” Lund Poulsen said.

In April, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was able to produce 10 Bohdana systems per month and can expect increased production in the future, surpassing the goal of six units per month planned for in late 2023.

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In January, France pledged to produce 78 Caesar self-propelled 155mm howitzers – praised for their firepower and advanced fire control – for Ukraine over the course of the year.

According to Oryx, a Dutch open-source intelligence defense analysis website, Ukraine’s Western allies have pledged and delivered a total of 559 self-propelled 155mm howitzers of various models to the country, in addition to 243 towed 155mm artillery units.

However, the EU’s inability to produce enough 155mm ammunition, as shown in recent reports, likely remains a bottleneck in helping Ukraine achieve fire superiority considering Moscow’s ability to procure millions of rounds domestically and through North Korea to sustain its war in Ukraine.

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