Self-propelled mortar 2S4 firing a 3F5 mine, Mariupol, 2022. Photo by Telegram / BMPD
At the disposal of Russian gunners there is a wide range of ammunition for various purposes, incl. a range of high-precision samples with different characteristics. For example, to improve the accuracy and efficiency of fire of 240-mm mortars, the 1K113 “Smelchak” corrective weapon system was developed and adopted. It allows you to hit a variety of small or area targets with minimal ammunition consumption.
Firepower and economy
Since the XNUMXs, the issues of creating corrected artillery shells with increased hitting accuracy have been worked out in our country. Calculations showed that such products would simplify the defeat of the intended targets, as well as reduce the consumption of ammunition for solving such a problem. The result of theoretical work in this direction was the emergence of tactical and technical specifications for several new adjustable weapons systems (KKV).
So, in 1977, the Ministry of Defense issued an assignment for the development of KKV for existing and promising mortars in caliber 240 mm. The creation of such a complex and its main components was entrusted to the Moscow Divkon Design Bureau, which actively participated in previous studies. Development work received the code "Daredevil"; the complex was also assigned the GRAU 1K113 index.
The presence of the necessary ideas and developments made it possible to carry out a new R&D in the shortest possible time. Already at the turn of the seventies and eighties, the experienced KKV "Smelchak" went to the test. Fine-tuning the design also did not encounter fundamental difficulties, and the 1K113 complex was put into service. The corresponding resolution of the Council of Ministers was issued at the very end of 1982.
Mine complex "Smelchak" in flight configuration. Photo Vpk.name
In the same period, industry represented by several enterprises mastered the production of new products. Soon, serial KKV of a new type began to enter the army. "Daredevils" and mines for them were delivered to the artillery units of the ground forces, equipped with 240-mm M-240 towed mortars and self-propelled 2S4 "Tulip". The introduction and development of the new KKV did not cause any particular problems, and it was widely used.
Soon there was a full demonstration of the new weapons under realistic conditions. So, during the exercises "West-83", the calculation of the mortar, equipped with "Daredevil", with a minimum consumption of ammunition, hit two small targets. It took only 4 minutes to destroy them.
KKV 1K113 "Smelchak" is intended for use with existing domestic 240-mm mortars and provides an increase in their firing characteristics. "Tulip" or M-240 with such a complex retain the ability to defeat single and group targets, such as fortifications or structures, weapons or equipment in positions. This improves accuracy and achieves a corresponding increase in efficiency.
The Smelchak complex is being built on the basis of serial 2S4 or M-240 mortars. Mortars do not undergo noticeable processing, but they are supplemented with new devices, such as the 1A35 synchronization system. Mortars are also used with standard means of communication and fire control.
The main component of the KKV 1K113 is the 3VF4 mortar round with the 3F5 corrected mine. The latter is a 240 mm caliber projectile with a length of 1635 mm and a mass of 134 kg. The mine is made in a body with a conical head, a cylindrical central compartment and a tapering tail assembly. The latter is equipped with folding stabilizers. Outwardly, the 3F5 mine looks like an artillery shell for cannons - but many times larger and heavier than such ammunition.
Target designator-rangefinder 1D15, view from the operator. Photo Bastion-karpenko.ru
Under the mine fairing is a semi-active laser homing head. On the descending part of the trajectory, the seeker detects a laser-illuminated target and corrects the trajectory to fall on it. The trajectory changes in a gas-dynamic way. In the tail section of the 3F5 mine, small-sized solid propellant charge-engines are radially installed. At the command of the GOS, they create short pulses and change the direction of the mine's flight.
Guidance and correction tools from the 1K113 composition make it possible to reduce the CEP to 0,8-1,8 m. Due to this, hitting a typical target requires no more than 1-3 minutes. The use of unguided munitions requires many times more consumption.
Mina "Daredevil" carries an explosive charge weighing 32 kg. Such a charge is placed in a metal case, crushed into several thousand high-speed fragments. In terms of high-explosive fragmentation, the 3F5 mine is at least as good as other munitions in 240 mm caliber. The maximum firing range reaches 9,5 km - also at the level of other mines.
The target is illuminated by the gunner from the ground using a laser designator-rangefinder. Initially, the 1D15 device with 1A35 synchronization tools was used as part of the Smelchak KKV. In the mid-eighties, a more advanced 1D20 was created. According to some information, now the 1K113 complex is also used with other means of illumination. For example, reconnaissance UAVs can help mortarmen.
The application of KKV "Daredevil" is as follows. The calculation of the M-240 or 2S4 mortar deploys to the selected position. In addition, the operator of the target designator-rangefinder takes its place. If necessary, the positions of the mortar and the gunner can be separated by some distance. The gunner finds the target and specifies its coordinates, which are used to calculate the data for shooting.
The "Tulip" crew reloads a high-explosive fragmentation mine. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Before firing, the 1D15 or 1D20 device is aimed at the selected target. Then the mortar fires, and the corresponding signal through the 1A35 synchronization system is sent to the rangefinder-target designator. At the estimated time, 1-3 seconds before the mine falls on the target, the target designator turns on the laser illumination beam.
Mina 3F5 on the descending part of the trajectory detects the reflected laser radiation and is aimed at it. With the help of a gas-dynamic system, it corrects its trajectory and falls on the target or with a minimum deviation from it. The entire correction process lasts no more than 0,1-0,3 seconds, after which the mine continues uncontrolled flight along the established trajectory.
"Daredevils" in battle
According to known data, KKV 1K113 was first used in a real operation in 1985 in Afghanistan. With the help of 3F5 mines, M-240 mortars destroyed enemy fortifications. The new weapon not only reduced the consumption of ammunition, but also accelerated the solution of a combat mission, leaving no time for the enemy to react. Also in Afghanistan self-propelled mortars "Tulip" were used. Probably, part of the episodes of their combat work was also associated with the Daredevil.
240-mm mortars were also used during both wars in Chechnya. Depending on the current needs and tasks, they used conventional and adjustable ammunition. The Smelchak complex once again confirmed its high performance, and also contributed to the speedy completion of operations.
In early April 2022, several 2S4 self-propelled mortars were delivered to Mariupol. They were used to destroy the enemy on the territory of the Azovstal plant. To increase the efficiency of fire and reduce risks for surrounding objects, 3F5 corrected mines were used. After methodical and effective shelling from Tulips and other guns, the surviving Ukrainian militants preferred to surrender.
Shot 2S4. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
To improve performance
Domestic 240-mm mortars in towed and self-propelled versions are distinguished by high fire performance. They are capable of attacking various targets at ranges up to 9-9,5 km, and a large caliber provides high power even for a single mine. The potential of the M-240 or "Tulip" has been repeatedly demonstrated in practice.
Complex 1K113 "Smelchak" allows you to save the main advantages of such weapons, as well as improve its key characteristics. A correctable mine increases the accuracy and efficiency of fire, reduces the consumption of ammunition and speeds up the execution of a combat mission. At the same time, the 3F5 product practically does not differ from conventional mines in terms of range and power.
It should be noted that Daredevil faces some objective limitations. So, the mine and other components of the complex were created 40 years ago and use the old element base. The firing range of the 3F5 product, like other mines, does not exceed 9,5 km, which leads to some risks. In addition, the corrected mine depends on weather conditions and other factors, because. it requires a line of sight to the illuminated target.
However, the obvious advantages completely outweigh any existing limitations. Despite its considerable age, limited range, etc., the 1K113 Smelchak corrective weapon system remains a convenient and relevant means for destroying the enemy. And not so long ago, this was again confirmed during combat use.