Ukraine Discusses with Türkiye the Possibility of Acquiring Fırtına Self-Propelled Howitzers

Ukraine in Talks with Turkey for Fırtına Howitzer Acquisition

During an interview with Ukrinform on July 5, 2023, Oleksiy Gromov, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, discussed several topics, including the Ukrainian offensive, military operations, aid and weapons support from allied countries including a possible delivery of Firtina 155mm self-propelled howitzers from Türkiye.

Within the discussion of weapons that have exceeded expectations, one specific phrase drew attention: “At the same time, the arrival of new systems that have not yet been used by units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – such as Archer, Firtina – is expected.” It is currently unknown which generation of the Turkish self-propelled 155mm howitzer Firtina is anticipated to be seen in Ukraine.

Türkiye’s relations with Ukraine have strengthened following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Türkiye providing support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and assistance to Ukrainian refugees. Türkiye’s relationship with Russia is complex, marked by historical conflicts and occasional tensions over foreign policy differences. Türkiye has played a diplomatic role in mediating the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, demonstrating efforts to foster peace in the region. Overall, Türkiye’s relations with Ukraine have seen positive developments, while its relationship with Russia remains nuanced.

In 2020, Ukraine received 60 Bayraktar TB-2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Türkiye, with some production taking place under license in Ukraine. Türkiye also delivered two MilGem frigates to Ukraine in the same year. In response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Türkiye increased its assistance by donating an additional seven Bayraktar TB-2 armed UAVs. Originally, these UAVs were suppose to be fund by Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian private aid, but Türkiye took the initiative to provide them. Additionally, Türkiye supplied Ukraine with 50 second-hand Kirpi armored personnel carriers (APCs) in 2022. It is likely that the delivery of these APCs was plan for the period of 2022-2023. These military contributions from Türkiye reflect its support for Ukraine during the ongoing conflict.

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Turkish Firtina 155mm self-propelled howitzer (Picture source Turkish Ministry of National Defence)

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