Defeпse Upgrade: Ukrainian агmу Gains Strength with British AS-90 Self-ргoрeɩɩed ɡᴜпѕ.pink

In recent years, discussions have emerged about the possibility of the United Kingdom providing military-technical assistance to Ukraine, including the transfer of AS-90 self-propelled artillery mounts. While this proposal aims to bolster Ukraine’s artillery capabilities and enhance its combat readiness, it faces numerous challenges that may limit its effectiveness.

Reports suggest that the UK government held a closed meeting to consider potential military supplies for Ukraine in the wake of recent losses. Among the discussed options was the transfer of AS-90 self-propelled artillery, designed to address Ukraine’s need for long-range artillery systems.

AS-90: Capabilities and Background

The AS-90, developed by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering in the 1990s, is a tracked self-propelled gun equipped with a 155-mm L31 rifled howitzer. Although it has shown commendable performance over the years, the British Ministry of Defence has deemed it outdated and plans to replace it in the coming years.

Challenges and Considerations

1. Political Implications: One primary concern revolves around the political implications and potential escalation of the conflict. The UK must weigh the benefits of aiding Ukraine against the potential risks and implications for regional stability. Transferring such advanced weaponry could be perceived as a significant escalation by Russia, potentially leading to heightened tensions and retaliatory actions.

2. Technical and Logistical Issues: The aging AS-90 fleet of the British army itself faces maintenance issues due to discontinued spare parts and components. Many of these vehicles are non-operational and require restoration. The logistical complexities of transferring these vehicles, along with the requisite ammunition, to Ukraine further compound the situation. Ensuring a steady supply of spare parts and maintaining operational readiness would be a significant challenge.

3. Training Requirements: Ukrainian artillery personnel would need to undergo rigorous training to adapt to foreign-standard equipment, a process that necessitates both time and quality instruction. However, the British army’s limited practice shooting sessions raise questions about the feasibility of training foreign military personnel in a timely and effective manner. Comprehensive training programs would be essential to ensure Ukrainian forces can effectively operate and maintain the AS-90s.

4. Threat Environment: Perhaps the most significant challenge lies in the threat environment. Once deployed in Ukraine, AS-90 self-propelled guns would become prime targets for Russian military action. The Russian army possesses the means to detect and engage such targets, potentially neutralizing the advantages gained from the equipment transfer. Given Russia’s track record in targeting Ukrainian self-propelled artillery, concerns about the fate of foreign equipment remain valid.

Weighing the Benefits and Risks

Considering these challenges, the UK’s proposal to supply AS-90 self-propelled artillery to Ukraine raises important questions about its viability. While the intention to aid Ukraine is commendable, the practicality and potential outcomes must be carefully evaluated. The decision-making process in London must weigh the benefits against the risks, considering both Ukraine’s immediate needs and the broader geopolitical context.

Conclusion

The potential transfer of AS-90 self-propelled artillery mounts from the UK to Ukraine is a complex endeavor fraught with challenges. The political, logistical, and tactical difficulties that arise must be carefully navigated to ensure that any assistance provided contributes meaningfully to Ukraine’s security and defense capabilities. As the situation evolves, close cooperation and thorough planning will be essential to maximize the benefits of such military-technical assistance while minimizing the associated risks.

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