Kharkov 2S1 (SO-122) Gvozdika

     Notes:  This Russian 122mm self-propelled howitzer was first seen in a parade in Poland in 1974, and for that reason, is often called the M1974 in the West.  The Russian designation is SO-122 or SAU-122, but it more commonly known to its crews as the Gvozdika (Carnation).  It was sold far and wide, and current and former users number nearly 40, from Russia herself to Vietnam (though some users have as little as one example).  The 2S1 has seen combat in Chechnya, by Iraqi forces in the Gulf War and the 2003 invasion as well as new-purchase examples for the New Iraqi Army, by the Serbians in the Yugoslavian Civil War and the Kosovo intervention, in the 2008 South Ossentia War, by the Libyans (on both sides) in the Libyan Revolution, and currently in the Syrian Civil War (or free-for-all, as it seems to be).

     The 2S1 is the modified hull of an MT-LB (the ACRV), lengthened by one roadwheel, topped with a large, low turret armed with a 122mm D-30 howitzer.  In this role, the gun is useful for direct as well as indirect fire, though lack of armor in the chassis limits itís survivability as a direct-fire vehicle. An autoloader is installed, and this limits the necessary crew to four, though two other troops can fit inside if they stay out of the way.  Computers and radios are limited and an FDC is required for proper operation of the 2S1, though the 2S1 does have an indirect fire computer and a very basic mapping module with equally basic inertial navigation.  The driver and the gunner have night vision equipment, and the commander has a primitive CITS, enabling the 2S1 to be used as a tank destroyer (though it does not normally carry the ammunition mix to function as a tank destroyer for long; normally, only two special rounds were carried, and these were normally CLGPs).  As issued, there is no commanderís machinegun, though examples in South Ossetia often have one mounted on a pintle. The D-30, as mounted on the 2S1, has a large double baffle muzzle brake and a fume extractor. The gun has a depression limit of -3 degrees and an elevation limit of +70 degrees.

     As a member of the ACRV family, it is mechanically almost identical to the ACRV and has the same engine and manual transmission.  The engine is the YaMZ-238N turbocharged diesel with an output of 240 horsepower.  (This was replaced in the early 1990s with an upgraded version of the same engine, but developing 300 horsepower.) The suspension can be raised and lowered, to hide in hull-down positions, clear intervening terrain, or lock the suspension down to allow it to be air-delivered. The 2S1 can be made amphibious with very little preparation (less than 2 minutes).  It travel over deep snow, mud, beach sand, swamps, etc, using wide 670mm tracks which can be fitted; the normal ones are 400mm wide. During these forays into rough terrain, only 30 rounds for the main gun are normally carried.  24 rounds are in ready racks; 16 more are carried on the sides of the turret basket. Empty cartridge cases are ejected outside of the turret.

     There is a driverís hatch on the front deck, and commander and loaderís hatches on the turret deck. There is a large door in the rear of the hull to resupply the vehicle with ammunition; this has a single firing port at the center, carried over from the ACRV. The crew has an NBC Overpressure system to protect them. A long stowage box is mounted on the left side of the turret.

     The Polish use an updated version of the 2S1 designated the 2S1T Gozdzik; this has a TOPAZ digital fire control system, including a GPS receiver with inertial navigation backup, full mapping computer, an indirect fire computer, and a small laptop to allow the Gozdzik to essentially act as its own FDC, taking instructions directly from FIST teams and even units in the field (if the person calling for fire has the necessary skill). The Gozdzik has the newest digital military radios, including two long range radios that are data-capable. It also has the upgraded engine.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

2S1 Gvozdika

$374,462

D, A

600 kg

15.7 tons

4

12

Passive IR (D, G, C), Image Intensification (G)

Shielded

2S1 Gvozdika (Engine Upgrade)

$396,696

D, A

700 kg

15.7 tons

4

12

Passive IR (D, G, C), Image Intensification (G)

Shielded

2S1T Gozdzik

$694,203

D, A

540 kg

16.35 tons

4

14

Passive IR (D, G, C), Image Intensification (G), Thermal Imaging (C)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

2S1 Gvozdika

122/86

24/17/2

550

83

Trtd

T4

TF6  TS4  TR3  HF8  HS3  HR2

2S1 Gvozdika (Engine Upgrade)

137/96

27/19/3

550

83

Trtd

T4

TF6  TS4  TR3  HF8  HS3  HR2

2S1T Gozdzik

134/94

26/29/3

550

85

Trtd

T4

TF8  TS6  TR4  HF10  HS5  HR2

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

2S1 Gvozdika

+1

Basic

122mm L/40 2A31 Howitzer

40x122mm

2S1T Gozdzik

+2

Fair

122mm L/40 2A31 Howitzer

40x122mm

 

Uraltransmash 2S3 (SO-152) Akatsiya

     Notes:  The 2S3, also known as the SO-122 and CO-122, was introduced at about the same time as the 2S1, first appearing to the West in 1973, and thus often known to NATO as the M1973.  However, it had been in development since 1967 and 1971 in service. The 2S3 can be mistaken at first glance for the American M-109, though the gun is longer than a stock M-109; according to some sources, the 2S3 was developed in response to the M-109.  Some 33 countries use the 2S3 Ė including seven at the OPFOR at the US National Training Center.  They have taken part in combat in Afghanistan, the Tajikistani Civil War, both Chechen Wars, the South Ossetia intervention, the Libyan Civil War, and the Syrian Civil War. The 2S3 was produced until 1993.

 

2S3

     The 2S3 is based on the heavier chassis of the same type as used on the SA-4 Ganef SAM system, but has six rather than seven roadwheels.  The engine is a V-59 turbocharged diesel developing 520 horsepower, coupled to a semi-automatic transmission. The chassis have wide tracks for optimum performance in rough terrain, though not as wide as true rough-terrain tracks.

     The driverís compartment is at the front right, with the engine and radio equipment to his left. To the right side of the rear is a large hatch for crew entry and exit and ammunition resupply; this has a small vision block in it. On the left turret deck is a manually-rotating cupola for the commander, with all-around vision blocks and one block with a night channel; this hatch also has equipment to allow its pintle-mounted machinegun to be aimed and fired with the hatch closed.  On the turret deck on the opposite side of the turret is a loaderís hatch with vision blocks to the right side and forward. In the rear of the left side of the hull are two small hatches through which ammunition may be passed; they are not designed for personnel, but with some squeezing, it can be done. 

     The main gun is a short-barreled howitzer with a maximum elevation +60 degrees and depression of -4 degrees.  The gun was developed from the D-22 and is differs primarily in having a large muzzle brake and fume extractor.  The commanderís weapon is almost always a PKM which, as stated above, can be aimed and fired (but not reloaded) with the hatch closed. Computers and radios are limited and an FDC is required for proper operation of the 2S3, though the 2S3 does have an indirect fire computer and a very basic mapping module with equally basic inertial navigation. 

 

2S3M

     The 2S3M differs primarily in the main gun, which is three calibers longer; ammunition stowage, which is increased to 46; a new autoloader, which feeds the gun from a 12-round autoloading drum; and the ability to use the Krasnopol CLGP.

 

2S3M1

     The 2S3M1 is a 2S3M with full datalink capabilities and computer capabilities which allow it to function as its own FDC.  This includes GPS (GLONASS) and a mapping computer.  They can also take directly from FIST instruction or function as a coordinated whole through an FDC.

 

 

Vehicles

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

2S3

$493,003

D, A

800 kg

27.5 tons

4

24

Passive IR (D, G, C), WL/IR Searchlight (C), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

2S3M

$569,118

D, A

713 kg

27.85 tons

4

25

Passive IR (D, G, C), WL/IR Searchlight (C), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

2S3M1

$1,280,548

D, A

628 kg

28.19 tons

4

29

Passive IR (D, G, C), WL/IR Searchlight (C), Image Intensification (G, C)

Shielded

 

Vehicles

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

2S3

136/95

27/19

830

188

Trtd

T4

TF5  TS4  TR3  HF8  HS3  HR2

2S3M

135/94

27/19

830

190

Trtd

T4

TF5  TS4  TR3  HF8  HS3  HR2

2S3M1

134/93

27/19

830

192

Trtd

T4

TF5  TS4  TR3  HF8  HS3  HR2

 

Vehicles

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

2S3

+1

Basic

152mm L/27 2A33 Howitzer, PKT (C)

35x152mm, 1500x7.62mm

2S3M

+1

Basic

152mm L/30 2A33M Howitzer, PKT (C)

46x152mm, 1500x7.62mm

2S3M1

+2

Fair

152mm L/30 2A33M Howitzer, PKT (C)

46x152mm, 1500x7.62mm

 

Uraltransmash 2S5 Giatsint

     Notes:  This 152mm self-propelled howitzer has been in Russian service since 1972.  It looks very much like a smaller version of the SO-203., or for that matter, the US M-110.  It was developed at the same time as the 2A36 Giatsint-B towed 152mm gun/howitzer.  Currently, it is used by Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine (who inherited theirs from the Soviet Army) and by Finland, the Soviet Unionís only customer of the 2S5.  This vehicle is known as the Telak 91 in Finnish service. The 2S5 is notable in that it can fire 0.1-2 kT nuclear rounds.

     The 152mm 2A36 howitzer is one of the first long-barreled 152mm howitzers employed by the Russian Army.  It is capable of firing virtually any 152mm round in the Russian inventory, except for some of the up-to-date CLGPs.  The maximum depression is -2.5 degrees; maximum elevation is +58 degrees.  It is actually capable of direct fire and has a limited traverse of 15 degrees to each side; HEAT rounds were designed for the 2S5 and 2A36.  The gun does not have a full autoloader, but it does have a loading assist device, including a lifting device to the breech and a power rammer.  The howitzer is mounted in an open position on the rear deck of the vehicle; when firing, a spade is lowered in the rear to brace the vehicle.  The 2S5 can actually carry the respectable amount of 30 rounds onboard for the howitzer, including fuzes and charges. Secondary armament consists a light machinegun in an OHWS-type mount; the commander can aim and fire (but not load) the machinegun with the hatches closed.

     Nominally, the 2S5 has a crew of six; however, only four ride in the 2S5 when traveling; the other two ride in the ammunition supply truck and get on the gun when pulled into a combat position.  When traveling, the vehicle commander is seated in a raised superstructure behind the driver, and has a cupola with a machinegun and a white light/IR spotlight. The driver is on the front right of the vehicle, in front of the commanderís position.  The other crewmembers are seated in the rear of the vehicle when traveling and have a ramp in the rear face.  When the weapon is in action, the gunner sits to the left of the gun, with a shield to his front only.  The driver and commander have IR vision blocks for their positions; the commanderís position also has a searchlight, which ban be operated with hatches closed.

     Of course, crew protection, especially when in firing position, is the 2S5ís weak point.  When in action, there is no protection for any of the crewmembers, with the exception of the AV2 gun shield to the front of the gunner.  When traveling, the four crewmembers inside have a maximum of 15mm of steel armor; from some angles, small arms can penetrate the 2S5. (Of course, this is better than the supply trucksÖ) The crew has an NBC overpressure system, but a vehicular collective NBC system is essentially impossible to implement on such a vehicle.

     The engine of the 2S5 is the same V-59 turbocharged diesel as on the 2S3, developing 520 horsepower, coupled to a semi-automatic transmission.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$456,728

D, A

500 kg

28.2 tons

4

21

Passive IR (D, C), WL/IR Searchlight (C)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor*

134/94

27/19

400

193

Trtd

T8

TF1  TS1  TR1  HF8  HS3  HR2

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

152mm 2A36 L/54 gun/howitzer, PKT (C)

30x152mm, 1500x7.62mm

*The Turret AVs are for the gun itself.  The crew has no actual protection when on the gun, other than the gunnerís gun shield.

 

Uraltransmash 2S7 (SO-203) Pion

     Notes:  This is the heaviest self-propelled howitzer employed by the Russian Army.  It is normally a front-level asset, used for heavy bombardment of high-priority enemy fortified positions and heavy enemy troop concentrations, and to support large attacks.  Since it was first identified by the West in 1975, it is also known as the M1975. It is estimated that over 1000 have been built; most have been retained by the Russian Army, but five former Soviet Republics and Slovakia inherited the gun from the Russians or the former Czechoslovakian Army.  Slovakia is known to have only two, neither of which are in active service, but kept in operational shape.  Poland formerly used the 2S7, but in 2006 they sold them back to the Russians.

     The 2S7 uses a lengthened T-80 chassis as a base.  And an almost unarmored chassis; the purpose is to move the massive gun around, and they were never expected to be anywhere the front lines.  Huge spades are lowered at the rear before the gun is raised into firing position.  The 2A44 203mm gun is mounted on a turntable at the rear of the 2S7; the gun has a limited traverse of 15 degrees to each side. Maximum elevation is 60 degrees, while maximum depression is 0 degrees. (Despite the minimum elevation, no provision has been made to give the 2S7 direct-fire capability.)  The rounds are specialist rounds designed for the 2S7, and they include nuclear rounds with yields of 0.1-2 kilotons. Only four rounds are carried on the 2S7; the rest are carried on up to two heavy trucks for ammunition supply.  The four carried are for immediate-response fire missions.  The crew is nominally 14, including ammunition bearers, but seven are carried on those trucks, with the other seven carried in the ammo vehicles. (Often, only one ammo truck is used, as the 2S7ís firepower is not often called upon.) A trackway can be extended to the loader from the supply vehicles. The gun has an elevating mechanism to the breech, a power rammer, and a mechanism to insert the round into the breechway, ready for the rammer. Normal rate of fire is 1.5 per minute, though this can be doubled, considering this hard work for that period.

     Other weapons normally carried by the 2S7 is a light machinegun, which can be placed on a pintle at the commanderís position, but is not normally mounted.  An SA-16s are also carried in case of air attack, along with three reloads.

     When the crew is operating the howitzer, it does not have any protection from attack, and there is no Kevlar shield set as there is on the similar US M-107 and M-110 self-propelled howitzers.  The 2S7 is normally followed around by a variety of command and resupply vehicles; most of these are heavy trucks or vehicles based on the MT-LB, PTS-M or PTS-2, or AT-T, and these normally include one or two FDC vehicles and command vehicles. It does have an NBC Overpressure system when the hatches are closed, but they rely on individual masks when on the crew and firing the 2S7.  Electronics-wise, the 2S7 has two long-range, one medium-range, and one short-range radio. A basic fire control gun-laying computer and a basic inertial navigation with a mapping module.

     Using a T-80 as a base, the 2S7 used a gas turbine V-46-1 engine, developing 750 horsepower (many of the improvements later carried out consisted solely of a change of the engine with a turbocharged diesel developing the same horsepower, but taking up less space. The 2S7 also carries an 18.6-kilowatt APU to power the systems when the engine power is off. Fuel consumption of the engine is huge, making the APU mandatory.

     The improved version of the 2S7 is the 2S7M Mialka.  The autoloading equipment is quicker, allowing a fire rate of 2.5 per minute.  The room not taken up by the engine is used to carry another four more projectiles. It is also used to install a comprehensive suite, including GPS, a mapping module, data-capable long-range radios, and fully-computerized fire control gear.  It can act as its own FDC. This version entered Russian service in 1983.

 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Though the 2S7 is capable of firing nuclear weapons, and there were a few recorded incidents of this being done during the Twilight War, Russian commanders were either loathe doing that (as some of the thermal, radiation, and fallout effects could engulf the gun position) or did not have many of them.

     Merc 2000 Notes: The size and expense of operating the Pion meant that it was rarely used.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

2S7 Pion

$632,988

D, A

500 kg

46.5 tons

7

19

Passive IR (D, C), WL Spotlight (C)

Shielded

2S7M Mialka

$802,988

D, A

469 kg

46.63 tons

7

22

Passive IR (D, C), WL Spotlight (C)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

2S7 Pion/Mialka

112/78

24/16

500

416

Trtd

T6

TF1  TS1  TR1  HF4  HS3  HR2

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

2S7 Pion

None

None

203mm L/42 2A44 Howitzer, PK, SA-16 Launcher

4x203mm, 1500x7.62mm, 3xSA-16 SAMs

2S7M Mialka

None

None

203mm L/42 2A44 Howitzer, PK, SA-16 Launcher

8x203mm, 1500x7.62mm, 3xSA-16 SAMs

*The Turret AVs are for the gun itself.  The crew has no actual protection when on the gun, other than the gunnerís gun shield.

 

Uraltransmash 2S19 Msta-S

     Notes:  This replacement for the SO-152 was first seen in 1989 in Russia, and is perhaps the first Russian SP artillery piece that is not named after a flower (MSTA translates into ďMobile SP Heavy ArtilleryĒ).  Operators consist primarily of Russia and former Russian Republics, along with Ethiopia, Venezuela, and Morocco.

     The 2S19 is based on the combined chassis of the T-80 and T-72; it has a version of the T-80ís hull, but the latest T-72ís engine. Armor is considerably lessened, but as SP artillery units generally stay out of combat, this is accessible.  The armor of the 2S19 is, however, much better than most SP artillery of its generation. The howitzerís nomenclature is the 2A64, and is essentially an SP version of the Msta-B ground-mounted howitzer.  Before firing, a dozer blade may be lowered to stabilize the vehicle; this blade can also dig emplacements.  The gun can be fired without this stabilization, but the rocking of the 2S19 can become quite severe, possibly causing crew injury.  The gun is capable of firing all known 152mm ordnance, including specialist rounds like the Krasnopol CLGP (and the Krasnopol-M, which fits in the autoloader). Elevation maximum is +68, with a depression maximum of -3 degrees.  In a nod to this, a minimum of two HEAT rounds for the main gun are carried. The gun is fed by an autoloader, except for certain specialist rounds that are too long for the autoloader or used too infrequently.

     The engine used, as stated above, is a version of one used on a variant of the T-72. The engine is a V46-6 turbocharged diesel, developing 840 horsepower; it has an automatic transmission and conventional driving controls. The 2S19 can lay a smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into its exhaust. The engine is a multifuel engine, capable of running on diesel, gasoline, alcohol, AvGas, JP4, JP5, and JP8. The 2S19 is not amphibious, but is capable of deep-fording (basically up to the just below the hatchway of the driver).

     Appearance is basically similar to other SP artillery vehicles of its generation, with a very large turret and relatively small hull. When in an emplaced position, the resupply vehicles will generally bring out extra personnel for loading and handling ammunition, and trackways and conveyor belts are also normally carried by resupply vehicles. Resupply can be done through the rear of the turret or the back door in the hull (also for crew ingress and egress).

     The 2S19 has a full electronic suite and can function as its own FDC if necessary.

 

     The driver sits in the front left, with the large turret in the center of the vehicle.  The gunner is on the left side of the turret and the commander on the right.  The commander has a heavy machinegun mount by his hatch that may be aimed and fired from within the vehicle.  Ammunition for this gun is extremely limited, and it is primarily a defensive weapon. The howitzer has a long gun barrel that allows for extra range, and has a fume extractor and automatic loader.  The 2S19 also has a 16kW auxiliary power unit that allows the vehicle's radios and gun mechanisms to be powered without running the engine. 

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$1,044,112

D, G, AvGas, A, Jet Fuel

500 kg

42 tons

4

28

Passive IR (D, G, C), Image Intensification (G, C), Thermal Imaging (C)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

141/98

29/20

1000

307

Trtd

T6

TF19Sp  TS10  TR8  HF24Sp  HS8Sp  HR6

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

+2

Basic

152mm L/52 2A64 gun/howitzer, NSVT (C)

50x152mm, 300x12.7mm