Armed with the Russian army are artillery systems of different calibers and different purposes. Of great interest are special power tools designed to solve special problems. Such weapons, as well as all the processes around them, attract the attention of domestic and foreign specialists. Thus, OE Watch, published by the US Department of Foreign Military Studies, recently outlined its view on these issues.
The September issue of the OE Watch magazine from the Foreign Military Studies Office contains curious material on Russian artillery systems of special power in general, current events related to them, and the prospects for such weapons. The article for the author of Chuck Burtles received the headline "Russian Heavy Artillery: Leaving Depots and Returning to Service" - "Russian heavy artillery: leaving warehouses and returning to service."
At the beginning of the article, the author recalls the main features of the development of Soviet and Russian artillery of special power in recent decades. Thus, the Soviet Union at one time developed a whole range of large-caliber artillery systems, including the 240-mm self-propelled mortar 2С4 Tulip or the 203-mm self-propelled howitzer 2C7 Pion. Such weapon intended to disrupt communications, management and logistics, the destruction of command posts, as well as various city and field fortifications using conventional and nuclear ammunition.
After the end of the Cold War, the Russian military sent most of these weapons to long-term storage sites. This decision was made for several main reasons. First of all, the partial rejection of powerful weapons was associated with the improvement of the international situation and the lack of need for means of delivering tactical nuclear charges to a relatively long range. In addition, the further development of other weapons affected the fate of the Pions and Tulips. Newer and more sophisticated weapons, such as the MNTAXMNS 2C19М, as well as Iskander-type missile systems could solve the same tasks with sufficient efficiency as the special-power artillery.
OE Watch reminds the main technical features of super-powered Russian guns. Self-propelled mortar 2C4 "Tulip" is a 240-mm gun 2B8, mounted on a modified chassis "Object 123". The latter is similar to the 2CXNNX “Acacia” howitzer chassis. It is equipped with a V3 B-59 diesel engine and develops power up to the HP 12. Self-propelled machine is capable of speeding up to 520 km / h on the highway. Own crew "Tulip" consists of four people, but for the shooting they need the help of five more soldiers. They follow the self-propelled on the second vehicle that provides the transport of ammunition.
Mortar 2С4 is able to use mines of all main types: high-explosive, chemical and nuclear mines. In this case, according to official data, now in his ammunition includes only conventional shots. System fire rate - 1 shot per minute. The standard ammunition for the Tulip is an 240-mm high-explosive fragmentation mine with a mass of 130 kg. Such a product is launched at a distance of 9,5 km. There are also active-reactive mines with a range of 18 km. Back in the days of the war in Afghanistan, the “Daredevil” mine with semi-active laser homing appeared.
According to the OE Watch, Russia is currently in the process of upgrading the Tulip 2C4 mortars. First of all, the update affects communication systems and fire control, thereby ensuring compatibility with modern means of control over the troops. In addition, trunks and recoil devices that have developed their resource are repaired or replaced.
Self-propelled howitzer 2C7 "Peony" was built using 203-mm guns 2А44. A crawler chassis equipped with a 46 X-BN X-BUM X-BUM engine is used for its transportation. The chassis provides travel speeds up to 780 km / h. The calculation of "Peony" consists of seven people. His upgraded version of the 50C2M “Malka” is operated by six gunners, but seven more people can be transported on a separate transport vehicle.
The 2C7 ammunition can include conventional and special projectiles, although, according to official data, at present this system uses only conventional ammunition. The principle of separate charging with variable propelling charge is used. Howitzer fire rate reaches 1,5 rounds per minute.
In 1983, the USSR set up a mass production of an upgraded version of the Pion - 2C7M Malka. The chassis of this combat vehicle is equipped with a diesel engine B-84V horsepower 840. In addition, the "Malka" has an improved fire control system and improved means of loading. All this allowed to bring the rate of fire to 2,5 shot per minute. According to the Russian profile press, a new 203-mm projectile with semi-active laser guidance is being developed.
C. Burtles cites some information from articles from the Russian publications "Red Star" and "Army Collection", devoted to the further development and operation of special-power artillery. According to the current plans of the command, a certain number of such systems should be removed from storage, modernized and returned to service. It is reported that the equipment will be transferred to the 45 Artillery Svirskaya Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky brigade of high power and to other similar formations of ground forces.
Usually, Russian large-caliber guns are reduced to batteries of 8-12 units each. OE Watch notes that to control the combat work of such units, the same means are used as in other artillery units with different weapons - for example, the 1B12М “Kharkov” complexes.
Ch. Burtles points out a curious feature of current discussions of Russian guns. A lot of attention is paid to the characteristics and capabilities of such systems, while the reasons for their return to the service are of little interest to the subjects. Nevertheless, the author of OE Watch gives his answer to similar questions. Currently, there is no need for barreled means of delivering tactical nuclear warheads. At the same time, new guided munitions are being built. These factors allow us to introduce a new role of large-caliber guns.
The American edition assumes that the new goal of "Pion" and "Tulip" can be the defeat of well-protected objects in urban areas. The targets for 203-mm and 240-mm projectiles can be structures that cannot be effectively hit using 122 and 152 mm artillery.
Another possible reason for the return of artillery to the service OE Watch considers the fears associated with the production and supply of various weapons, as well as with their stocks in the army warehouses. The tactical Iskander complexes and the new 300-mm multiple rocket launchers surpass the 2C4 and 2C7 products in a number of characteristics, but they are less costly and ammunitionable to them. In the event of a large-scale conflict, it will be easier for the industry to launch large quantities of artillery shells, and not missiles.
In addition, the simultaneous operation of missiles and artillery allows you to create a flexible and economical system for hitting targets. Cheaper shells can be used for massive shelling of area targets, while the missiles should be assigned the task of defeating specific objects.
The article “Russian Heavy Artillery: Leaving Depots and Returning to Service” was accompanied by two large quotations from Russian publications. The first of them was taken from the material “Sharpening the accuracy of hits” by A. Alexandrovich, published in the May issue of the Russian journal Army Collection. This article, above all, told about the course of the artillery drills, but it contained very interesting information about the further development of existing weapons and the introduction of new systems into practice.
The reason for the appearance of the article in the “Army Collection” was the tactical exercises held at the Sergeevsky training ground as part of the camp gathering of artillerymen of the 5-y combined army. A significant amount of quotations in the OE Watch is given under the description of the mortar shot 2C4. It is argued that this system shoots quieter than one would expect, and only a long noise from a vibrating barrel demonstrates the power of a shot. With the help of a separate mechanism 240-mm mine is loaded into the trunk, followed by not the loudest cotton. The projectile can fly to a distance of 20 km, fly over a hill or a high-rise building, etc. Heavy ammunition in the fall is able to penetrate the building Khrushchev from the attic to the basement, and this applies to the "ordinary" high-explosive fragmentation mine.
OE Watch also quotes the senior officer of the missile forces and artillery department of the 5 Army General Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Polshkov, whose statements were published by the Army Collection. He said that this year army officers were trained in research institutes, and will soon be engaged in training of battery commanders. The last to master the operation of high-precision ammunition. In addition, the compound will receive a certain amount of such weapons for practical shooting. Lieutenant Colonel Polshkov noted that areal goals are a thing of the past, and victory depends on what object and how accurately it will be hit in the minimum time.
The citation of the “Army Compendium” in OE Watch ends with information about the Krasnopol guided missile. This complex includes a gun, the projectile itself and a laser target designator. The latter is used by the operator to highlight the selected target. The flying projectile catches the reflected laser beam and independently guides the illuminated object. The purpose of such a projectile can be anything from a car to a building. Firing range - 30 km.
C. Burtles also quoted a large quote from the article “Malka” - an argument of great power ”by Yuri Andreev, published in the newspaper“ Red Star ”on July 16. This material was devoted to the ongoing modernization of high-powered artillery systems, as well as to the supply of updated combat vehicles in parts of the ground forces.
In July, it was reported that the 12 of the newest Malka self-propelled guns with 203-mm guns were transferred to artillery formations of the Central Military District. The cited article referred to the "origin" and the main features of such a technique. In particular, it was pointed out that one of the flaws of the Pion was the lack of accuracy of the fire. In the 2X7M “Malka” project, new communication and control tools were used, which made it possible to improve the basic combat characteristics. Now the data coming from the senior officer of the battery, immediately displayed directly on the screens of the commander and gunner. After receiving the data, they can prepare a weapon for firing.
The artillery division is now controlled by the 1B12М complex, which has modern topo-link systems. With it, you can control the fire of several self-propelled guns in manual and automatic modes.
Also, the “Red Star” wrote that “Malka” has a good modernization potential. Such equipment can be updated using modern technologies and devices. Artillery systems should be developed, first of all, with the help of guided munitions, and now laser guidance systems are on the agenda. The question of the use of so-called. fuse with controlled aerodynamic effect. It is also possible to use cluster shells with self-targeting combat elements. Improving the aerodynamics of a projectile can increase the range by 30%. All this allows us to present the general appearance of the artillery system of the future.
Foreign publications about Russian weapons systems and equipment are of interest, especially when they appear in serious publications published by Pentagon structures. It is easy to see that the publication “Russian Heavy Artillery: Leaving Depots and Returning to Service” of the OE Watch magazine addresses a pressing issue, but it does not contain the usual statements for our time, corresponding to the current position of the American leadership.
It should be noted that, considering the Russian publications on the current state of affairs and prospects for high-powered artillery, Chuck Burts made a couple of mistakes that led to incorrect conclusions. Based on the publications in the Army Collection and the Red Star, it is concluded that 203-mm guided projectiles are designed like the existing Krasnopol 152-mm projectiles. However, if you look closely, both articles do not talk about it.
In the case of the “Army Collection”, the officer’s story about the training of personnel raised the problem of operating the 2 – 19 “Msta-S” self-propelled guns. It was their calculations in the summer period of training that the Krasnopol products should have been given for practical shooting, and that was what Lieutenant Colonel A. Pleshkov spoke about. Thus, one of the foundations for the findings of OE Watch was the incorrect interpretation of the announced information.
As for the article in the "Red Star", it also does not directly talk about the development of guided projectiles for "Pion" / "Malki". It only describes the possible ways of development of such artillery systems, including the creation of laser-guided missiles. However, the "Red Star" does not write that such products are already being created or are being prepared for delivery to the army. It turns out that the second basis for the conclusions of a foreign publication was a lack of understanding of the context.
Nevertheless, despite the errors with the hypothetical development of guided large-caliber projectiles, the new material from FMSO and OE Watch is of great interest. It addresses various aspects of the operation, use and prospects of high-powered artillery, both independently and in connection with other types of equipment. All this shows that the Russian artillery systems attract the attention of foreign specialists and are being thoroughly studied. Accordingly, their further development will have to lead to the emergence of new assessments and, possibly, even to a certain change in the tactics and strategies of foreign armies.
OE Watch, September 2018:
The magazine "Army collection", №5 2018:
The article “Malka” is an argument of great power ”in the“ Red Star ”:
OE Watch: Russian heavy artillery returns to service
- Ryabov Kirill
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