At the end of November 2022, first photos of Ukrainian-made 152 mm shells appeared. And finally, these shells, already in sufficient volume for combat use, were spotted at the front. This was noticed by the OSINT account Ukraine Weapons Tracker.
In the photo released by Ukraine Weapons Tracker, you can see Ukrainian-made artillery ammunition, namely the 2022 152-mm OF-25T high-explosive shells which can be used with the Soviet D-20 towed howitzers, 2A65 Msta-B as well as with 2C3 Akatsiya self-propelled guns and 2C19 Msta-S self-propelled guns.
The index of the OF-25T shells differs from the index of the classic OF-25 Soviet one, probably due to a different manufacturing technique. The shells are assembled from several milled parts, which makes it easy to identify them. The explosive used is also different from the Soviet one. Instead of A-IX-2 (hexal) in Soviet shells, the OF-25T uses less powerful TNT.
In addition, according to OSINT specialists, Ukroboronprom is recharging fired 152-mm shells. In some photos, in addition to the usual Soviet markings, you can see new markings dated 2022 on the cartridge cases.
According to Ukroboronprom, the production of 152-mm shells, which was supposed to start several years ago, was disrupted due to contractors who could not provide the supply of explosives and equipment for the production line. Criminal proceedings have been opened on these facts.
Currently, both the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Russian occupation forces are trying with all their means to solve the problem of the lack of ammunition. Ukraine is better protected from “ammunition hunger” due to the supply of shells of both Soviet caliber and NATO caliber from Western partners. In addition, the use of modern 155-mm guns, which have better accuracy than the Soviet ones, helps to reduce the cost of ammunition. The Russians are trying to establish production in Russia and Belarus, as well as purchase shells from North Korea, but the density of shelling by the aggressor’s troops has already significantly decreased compared to the beginning of a full-scale war.
We will remind you that artillery remains the main firepower of this war, as it was 80 years ago, as it was 105 years ago. Mass use of front-line aviation is almost impossible due to the high density of air defense assets on both sides.