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Netherlands orders DITA self-propelled howitzers from Czechia for Ukraine

Netherlands orders DITA self-propelled howitzers from Czechia for Ukraine DITA self-propelled howitzers (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Netherlands has placed an order with Czechia for the latest self-propelled artillery units, known as DITA. The order encompasses nine units of this advanced weaponry, according to the Dutch Ministry of Defense and Defense Express.

According to the ministry's website, the DITA howitzer represents a cutting-edge fire system capable of striking targets at distances spanning tens of kilometers. The Netherlands, recognizing Ukraine's demand for such armaments, has recently commissioned nine units for the country.

It is revealed that this weaponry forms part of a larger Dutch procurement for Ukraine, with supply arrangements orchestrated by two Czech arms manufacturers.

The Dutch Ministry of Defense highlighted that aiding Ukraine remains a top priority for the country.

DITA self-propelled artillery unit

The DITA self-propelled artillery unit, as detailed by Defense Express, represents a modern and sophisticated system. Its inaugural presentation took place in early 2021 during the defense exhibition IDEX-2021. Manufactured by the Czech defense private company Excalibur Army, the DITA's procurement for Ukraine marks a significant milestone, as there have been no public records of prior orders for this artillery system. Consequently, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be the first users of this artillery platform.

The DITA boasts high levels of automation, with a crew size of merely two individuals. Its turret is essentially unmanned, equipped with automatic ammunition feed systems. The fire control system can receive targeting data from reconnaissance UAVs and offers the option to select the type of ammunition for engaging specific targets.

Equipped with a barrel length of 47 calibers, the DITA achieves firing ranges of up to 39 kilometers. Its initial firing rate is six rounds per minute, with a sustained rate of five rounds per minute. Notably, the unit can relocate within 45 seconds.

Netherlands' assistance to Ukraine

The Netherlands has been steadfast in providing assistance to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Collaborating with Denmark, the Netherlands leads an aviation coalition aimed at training Ukrainian pilots on American F-16 fighter jets. Recently, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte affirmed that the transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine is proceeding according to schedule, with Ukraine set to receive over 20 combat aircraft.

Additionally, Ukraine is on the brink of finalizing a security guarantee agreement with the Netherlands. Moreover, the Netherlands will allocate over 100 million euros to Ukraine for a Czech-initiated project aimed at procuring artillery ammunition outside the EU.

In late November 2023, the Dutch Foreign Minister announced plans to provide an additional 2.5 billion euros in assistance to support Ukraine in 2024.