SPG 2S19 "MSTA-S" at the training ground, 2018. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
Since the end of the eighties in our army, the replacement of the existing 2C3 Akatsia self-propelled artillery systems was carried out with newer and more advanced 2C19 Msta-S. In the future, it was possible to form a fairly large fleet of similar equipment, as well as to carry out several modernizations that significantly improve combat qualities.
Development and production
The main developer of the promising self-propelled gun 2S19 was the Ural Transport Engineering Plant. In 1983-84 he made prototypes and prototypes of such a machine, which were used at different stages of testing. After completion of refinement, in 1986 built an installation batch of six armored vehicles.
Full-scale serial production of 2C19 products with a 2A64 gun was launched in 1988, a few months before its official adoption. The Sverdlovsk plant at that time could not start assembling new equipment, which is why it had to be transferred to the enterprise in Sterlitamak. Later, production was returned to Uraltransmash, which is still responsible for the production and modernization of self-propelled guns. The guns and related systems were produced by the Barricades factory; other units came from other enterprises.
Msta-S and its ammunition during training firing, March 25, 2020. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
Almost immediately after the launch of the series, work began on modernization and the creation of an improved modification. Self-propelled guns "Msta-SM" (2S19M or 2S33) was supposed to show increased rate of fire, range and accuracy of fire. Calculations and studies have confirmed the possibility of obtaining such results. Nevertheless, the army changed its views on the development of self-propelled artillery, and 2S33 did not reach production and service.
In the mid-nineties, 2C19 production was suspended for economic reasons. Only in 2000-2001 It was possible to launch a program for the overhaul of equipment with the replacement of units that worked out a resource. About the resumption of production of speech has not yet been discussed.
At the beginning of the 152s, a fundamental decision was made to launch research and development to create a completely new interspecific 2-mm self-propelled guns, which later became known as 35CXNUMX “Coalition-SV”. The new project took into account the developments of the Msta-S and Msta-SM projects.
Despite the launch of work on the future Coalition, the development of the Msta-S family did not stop. Already at the beginning of the 2s, a 19S1MXNUMX modernization project appeared, providing for the replacement of the main on-board combat systems. It was proposed to carry out similar procedures during the overhaul of available equipment.
Self-propelled gun modification 2S19M1, involved in celebrations. The “M1” modification can be distinguished from the base 2C19 by the characteristic “fungus” of the satellite navigation antenna in the rear of the tower roof. Photo "Uraltransmash" / uraltransmash.com
Soon an interesting modernization project appeared, designed exclusively for the international market. The self-propelled guns 2S19M1-155 received a new 155 mm rifled gun, designed to fire NATO standards. However, as subsequent events showed, such self-propelled guns did not interest potential buyers. Only Russian systems of 152 mm caliber were exported.
In the mid-2008s, preparations began to resume production. The first serial self-propelled guns, built on topical projects, entered the troops in XNUMX. Production continues to this day.
In 2012, it was announced the development of a new improved project - 2C19M2. It uses an updated 2A64M2 howitzer and modern MSA in combination with other components. Measures to reduce visibility were proposed. In the summer of 2012, the 2S19M2 self-propelled guns passed tests, and production soon began. The first reports on the supply of similar equipment of new construction appeared in mid-2013.
Features of upgrades
Consider the main features of the basic and upgraded versions of 2S19 self-propelled guns. All these projects offer an artillery system on a tank chassis equipped with a turret with a 152-mm rifled howitzer of the 2A64 family. The differences of the modifications are mainly in the composition of a variety of electronic equipment. The latest update project provides for the replacement of some other components.
SPG 2S19M1 at the exercises, January 21, 2020. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
Initially, the 2S19 self-propelled guns carried a 2A64 gun with a 1B124 fire control system. The equipment from the LMS provides data reception from the battery commander via a wired channel or by radio, to calculate the data for firing and to perform a tip. Some operations are performed by automation, others by the crew of the machine.
2S19 can use a wide range of separate-shell loading rounds, from simple high-explosive shells to cassette and guided ones. 50 shots are transported in stacks; it can be delivered from the ground or from a trucker. The 2A64 howitzer with a 47-klb barrel is capable of sending a high-explosive fragmentation shell to a range of up to 25 km; active-reactive - up to 29 km. Rate of fire - up to 7-8 rds / mn. Thanks to such indicators, at the time of its appearance, Msta-S was one of the best self-propelled guns in the world.
The 2S33 Msta-SM project involved the replacement of the 2A64 gun with a 2A79 product of the same caliber, the installation of new loading means and a promising SLA. In accordance with the statement of work, the firing range of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile was supposed to exceed 30 km, and active-reactive - 40 km. The rate of fire was brought to 10-12 rds / min. The device from the new MSA took on part of the crew’s tasks, reducing the preparation time for firing and the intervals between shots.
An experimental machine with a 155 mm caliber gun. Photo "Uraltransmash" / uraltransmash.com
The 2S19M1 self-propelled gun used the Success-S automated guidance and fire control system, which has significant advantages over previous equipment. ASUNO provides independent determination of current coordinates, automatic calculation of data for shooting, etc. She is also responsible for guidance and restoration of the tip. A satellite navigation system is installed.
According to the table characteristics, the machine of the M1 version differs little from the base 2C19. At the same time, the Success-S ASUNO allows the use of a wider range of ammunition, accelerates preparation for firing, and increases its accuracy and efficiency. The anti-fire maneuver was carried out with the possibility of a quick exit to another firing position and resumption of firing.
The export version of 2S19M1 was distinguished by the use of a 155-mm gun with a barrel length of 52 klb. Due to the lengthening of the barrel, it was possible to increase the firing range of the "ordinary" projectile up to 30 km, active-reactive - up to 40 km. Otherwise, 2C19M1-155 almost completely repeated the base sample.
Self-propelled artillery of one of tank divisions of the Central Military District, October 16, 2019 In the frame of the 2S19M2 modification machine. They differ from their predecessors "M2" with brackets on recoil devices and new side screens on the body. Photo by the RF Ministry of Defense / mil.ru
The 2S19M2 project provided for a deep modernization of the artillery unit and the LMS, as well as the introduction of fundamentally new components. The 2A64M2 howitzer, together with the new automatic loading system, shows a rate of fire of 10 rds / min. A new type of ASUNO is characterized by increased speed and the availability of new functions. In particular, the “fire raid" mode is provided - the launch of several shells in a row along different trajectories with a simultaneous fall on the target.
Measures are provided to protect self-propelled guns from detection and defeat by the enemy. The Steel Research Institute has developed for the 2S19M2 version of the “Cape” kit. A set of special screens dramatically reduces visibility in the radar and infrared ranges.
According to a number of estimates, to date, Soviet and Russian industry have built about 800 self-propelled howitzers 2C19 of all modifications. According to other sources, more than 1100 cars were produced. OK. 780 units (or more than 1000) of such equipment is currently in operation or in reserve in several countries. The main operator of Msta-S remains the Russian army, which has at its disposal the equipment of all serial modifications.
2С19М2 at the training ground, March 2020. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
According to The Military Balance, in the Russian army there are 500 “active” and 150 reserve self-propelled guns of the 2C19 family. Another 18 vehicles are operated by the coastal forces of the Navy. A significant share of this technique is made up of modernized 2С19М1 and 2С19М2, the total number of which continues to grow.
For example, in 2008-2011. the army received approx. 200 cars 2S19M1, made by repair and modernization of old equipment. In 2017, their deliveries resumed and are still ongoing. In total, almost 300 self-propelled guns from combat units were updated for the current project.
Deliveries of self-propelled guns “Msta-SM2” of a new construction began in 2013, and the first batch included 35 combat vehicles. Subsequently, new deliveries were reported. Units in different military districts received 10-20 units. technicians. Just recently, the Ministry of Defense said that in 2020 the troops will again receive 35 modern self-propelled guns.
2C19 self-propelled howitzers are designed for operation in artillery regiments from tank and motorized rifle divisions or brigades of ground and coast troops. Self-propelled guns are reduced to batteries of eight units, also equipped with control vehicles and auxiliary equipment. According to open sources, the Russian armed forces have approx. 30 divisions and brigades with regiments of self-propelled guns "Msta-S".
By the time of the collapse of the USSR, industry managed to produce a significant amount of 2S19 self-propelled guns, and a small part of this equipment went to the newly formed states. In the future, there were a few export contracts, thanks to which self-propelled guns came to foreign countries.
2S19M1 direct fire, March 2020. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru
12 cars are used by the Belarusian army. Several cars went to Georgia, but now only one remains in service. The Ukrainian park included 40 units, and by now it has been reduced to 35 cars. The Ukrainian army used its self-propelled guns during the "anti-terrorist operation" in the Donbass. Already in 2014, 5 or 6 self-propelled guns became trophies of the self-proclaimed republics and were subsequently used against the former owners.
Ethiopia became the first real foreign customer. In 1999, against the backdrop of the conflict with Eritrea, the Ethiopian army acquired 12 self-propelled guns in Russia. The equipment was put out of stock, which allowed us to complete the order in the shortest possible time. Soon, combat vehicles took part in the battles and showed high efficiency. This was facilitated by both the own characteristics of self-propelled guns and the poor condition of enemy troops.
In 2009, Azerbaijan acquired 18 self-propelled guns of a new construction. Soon, the Venezuelan contract for 48 cars of modification 2C19M1 was fulfilled. All this equipment still remains in service and makes up the most important part of the artillery troops in their armies.
Msta-S and its analogues
At the moment, the 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzer and its modifications are one of the main examples of its class in the Russian army. Together with the older 2C3 "Acacia" they are able to solve all the main fire missions and hit targets at a depth of tens of kilometers.
A curious shot - ACS 2S19 Ethiopian army, 2006. Photo Scalemodels.ru
“Msta-S” in all versions compares favorably with “Acacia” in the increased rate of fire and firing range of any shells. In the new modifications there are additional advantages associated with modern MSA / ASUNO, as well as promising ammunition. However, 2C19 has a greater cost and complexity of operation, which does not allow to completely replace the old 2C3. However, together two types of self-propelled guns form a flexible tool for solving a wide range of combat missions.
It makes sense to compare the Russian 2C19 and foreign products of its class. According to the main “tabular” characteristics, Msta-S is not inferior to foreign self-propelled guns of its time, and in some cases there are certain advantages. 2C19 and its modern modifications of self-propelled guns M109 (USA), AMX AuF1 (France), etc. They have a close caliber, a wide range of ammunition and are capable of firing at a range of up to 25-30 km, depending on the projectile.
Newer foreign self-propelled guns such as the German PzH 2000 or the British AS90 show a range of up to 40 km when using active-reactive ammunition. We managed to obtain similar characteristics in the 2S19M1-155 export project, while other Msta-S variants are more modest. However, during the development of ways to modernize the 2S19 self-propelled guns, opportunities and methods were found to bring the firing range to 35-40 km and improve other indicators. To date, these developments have been used in the promising 2C35 project.
The present and future of Russian self-propelled artillery on Red Square, May 9, 2018. In the foreground is the 2S35 Coalition-SV self-propelled guns, followed by the modern 2S19M2 Msta-SM2. Photo AP RF / kremlin.ru
Thus, at the time of its appearance, the 2S19 self-propelled guns Msta-S was one of the best examples of the world and was in no way inferior to foreign systems. However, the development of foreign artillery continued, incl. and in connection with the appearance of Msta-S, and after a few years new products with improved characteristics became its result. Modern modernization projects 2S19M1 / 2 allow to increase the basic characteristics of the basic self-propelled guns and minimize the apparent lag behind competitors. It should be noted that a newer 2S35 self-propelled guns already exists, surpassing both all 2C19 variants and current foreign models.
Between the past and the future
At the moment, self-propelled guns of the Msta-S family are one of the foundations of self-propelled artillery of the Russian army. In the ranks there are several hundred combat vehicles of this line; production of new ones continues and deep modernization of old ones is carried out. All this allows you to maintain the required level of combat readiness and gradually increase the overall potential of artillery units.
2С19 / 2С19М1 / 2С19М2 are not yet the most numerous systems of caliber 152 mm, however, due to the high tactical and technical characteristics, they are of particular importance for the troops. Now they are used in parallel with older models, and in the near future it is expected that deliveries of fundamentally new equipment will begin.
The promising Coalition-SV will not soon begin to supplant Mstu-S, and the latter will have to last for many years. Such self-propelled guns in the foreseeable future will retain their current status, and industry will do everything possible to improve them - and further continue effective service.