China supplied Russia with 152mm Type 66 shells

According to a Turkish defense website, recent reports indicate that China has provided artillery ammunition to Russia in the context of the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

Discovery of Chinese ammunition on Russian territory

The controversy has arisen as a result of images spread on social networks in which a Chinese-made Type 66 artillery projectile is observed. With a diameter of 152mm, it is suggested that said ammunition, allegedly manufactured in 2018, is now the property of the Russian military.

The implication that Russia has started using Chinese munitions has yet to be confirmed. If it turns out to be accurate, it suggests two possible scenarios: that Russia’s domestic defense production capacities are insufficient to meet current demand or that Russian ammunition stocks are dwindling.

According to open data, the forces in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict use between 20-30,000 pieces of artillery ammunition a day. The Russian army is estimated to use between 60% and 70% of this ammunition.

The importance of the 152 mm caliber for Russia

152mm ammunition is a crucial item in the Russian arsenal due to its use in a variety of howitzers used on the Ukrainian front, including the 2C35 Coalition-SV, 2A36 Hyacinth-B, 2A65 Msta-B, 2C3 Acacia, 2C5 Hyacinth-S and 2C19 Msta-S. Given the high consumption of this type of ammunition, Russia could have chosen to buy pieces of this specific caliber from China.

Chinese 152mm artillery ammunition comprises several key components, including the shell, propellant, and primer, which together determine the weapon’s effectiveness.

Factors Affecting Ammunition Performance

The shape of the ammunition plays a large role in its performance, affecting accuracy, range, and penetrating ability. The aerodynamic shapes decrease air resistance, maintaining speed and trajectory and improving range and accuracy. Pointed shapes concentrate the force of the impact, increasing the penetration capacity.

Also, the shape of the ammunition can affect stability during flight. Bad form can cause wobble or spin, reducing accuracy and range. Proper shapes ensure stability and orientation in flight, improving accuracy and range.

Weight and balance, determinants for combat performance

Ammo weight and balance are also critical to your combat performance. A balanced and correctly weighted projectile can fly further with greater accuracy. A projectile that is too light can be affected by wind or air resistance, losing trajectory and range. A projectile that is too heavy can have a hard time maintaining its trajectory, reducing its range and accuracy.

Manufacturing material: key in resistance and penetration

The material from which the projectile is made is another crucial factor in its performance. Shells made of harder, denser materials, such as steel, can hold their shape under pressure, allowing them to penetrate armor more effectively. Projectiles made of softer or less dense materials may deform or disintegrate on impact, reducing their penetrating ability.

Generally, the Chinese 152mm artillery round performs similarly to Russian rounds. However, the introduction of foreign munitions into a conflict could present logistical and operational challenges for the Russian armed forces.