How much do 155 mm artillery rounds cost now? And how many are fired in Ukraine? – Technology Org

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine is a huge challenge to the security fabric of the entire Europe. It is not a coincidence that Ukraine has so many international partners, willing to provide weapons with hopes that Russia will be defeated and the territorial integrity of Ukraine will be restored. However, this war is extremely expensive for everyone involved.

Towed howitzer M777 in Ukraine.

Towed howitzer M777 in Ukraine. Image credit: Головнокомандувач ЗС України / CinC AF of Ukraine via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ukraine has received tanks (although only Soviet-era), other armored vehicles, personal protection, handguns, missiles, and many other weapons. Ukraine is switching over to the NATO 155 mm artillery standard – before the Russian invasion Armed Forces of Ukraine depended on the Soviet 152 mm standard.

Ukraine is now using American M777 towed howitzers, polish self-propelled howitzers Krab, German self-propelled howitzers Panzerhaubitze 2000, and many other 155 mm systems. And they need ammo.

How many 155 mm artillery rounds are fired in Ukraine?

It is estimated that Ukraine fires 4-7 thousand artillery rounds every day. A lot of them are 155 mm. All of this ammunition is provided by Ukraine’s allies in the Western world. This does spark people’s curiosity – how much do these rounds actually cost?

Well, we have a pretty good idea now, based on this current reality and the current market situation. The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has recently announced the conclusion of a contract with an unnamed European customer for 155-mm L15 shells.

In total, 10,000 155 mm artillery rounds were ordered and the value of the announced deal was about 33 million euros. This puts the cost of one 155 mm shell at around 3.3 thousand euros.

The current market situation is very different from what it was just a couple of short years ago. In 2020-2021 one artillery shell of this caliber costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 thousand euros. The Russian invasion of Ukraine increased the demand for weapon systems and ammunition and, together with rising material costs, caused a significant increase in prices.

Ukraine casually fires 7 thousand artillery shells per day.

Ukraine casually fires 7 thousand artillery shells per day. Image credit: Operational Command “West” via Wikimedia (CC BY 4.0)

What about guided shells?

L15 shells are so-called “dumb” – they are not guided. It is not bad – that is what conventional artillery shells are.

However, guided 155 mm shells, like the M982 Excalibur, are significantly more expensive. It is estimated that one Excalibur shell costs more than 110 thousand US dollars – around 103 thousand euros. This is because Excalibur has GPS, inertial navigation systems that significantly increase the chances of a direct hit. Ukraine has received some Excalibur rounds as well, but the majority of the shells it uses are conventional.

While this is a huge cost and the expenditure of these artillery rounds is higher than the manufacturing pace, Ukraine is fighting for survival. At the same time when Ukraine fires 4, 5, or even 7 thousand artillery rounds per day, Russian attackers release around 20 thousand rounds every day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *