Military Review

Barrel artillery against NATO tanks in a special operation

Barrel artillery against NATO tanks in a special operation

Against the tough skin of NATO tanks

For destruction tanks the enemy, the Russian army has accumulated a large arsenal of means and methods. Including among the cannon artillery. If we discard tanks, which now do not often collide with their "colleagues" on the battlefield, then it is worth starting with anti-tank guns. The 100-mm MT-12 "Rapier" in its characteristics does not pull the role of a tank killer. Especially in the case of a meeting with modern tanks of NATO countries. And it's not just about weak armor penetration. A modern tank offensive is impossible without the massive use of reconnaissance drones. The Rapier is a towed gun weighing more than three tons, which makes the gun very vulnerable to suppression. The inability to quickly change position after being detected by the enemy puts the Rapier's anti-tank capabilities into serious doubt. In many ways, this is why the gun is used in a special operation mainly for mounted shooting. The high muzzle velocity of the projectile makes it possible to hit on a flat trajectory, which seriously complicates the work of enemy artillery reconnaissance systems.

Kurganmashzavod is preparing to release Sprut-SDM1. Source: Telegram

The minimum possible means of combating enemy tanks can be called a self-propelled gun 2A45M "Octopus-B". You can talk about its advantages and disadvantages for a long time, but it's useless - only 24 copies were built. For a thousand-kilometer front, this is a drop in the ocean. The Sprut-SD complex, developed in the early 80s for the needs of the Airborne Forces, evokes much more emotions. Emotions about the car are very mixed. On the one hand, a floating vehicle with bulletproof armor on the battlefield is more defenseless than even the BMP-3. On the other hand, the smoothbore 125-mm 2A75 gun is a very powerful argument in the fight against tanks, and indeed against any enemy targets. Unlike ATGMs, the Sprut can work on armored vehicles with sub-caliber shells, which somewhat levels out the dynamic protection that Ukrainians now hang around Western equipment like a Christmas tree. In the very near future, Kurganmashzavod is preparing to launch the production of the latest modification of the Sprut-SDM1 machine. For this, the appropriate areas are already being prepared. Despite all the skepticism about the vehicle, the anti-tank vehicle in the NWO definitely has potential. As has been repeatedly noted, the realities of a special operation give more chances to survive for maneuverable and high-speed equipment. In terms of thrust-to-weight ratio, the Sprut is much closer to the BMP-3 than to tanks, but at the same time it is incomparably better armed. This can be useful when fighting in cities - in such conditions, the advantages of a heavily armored vehicle are partially leveled. Especially when the winner is the one who quickly discovered the enemy and managed to escape after the first shot. Against the thick-headed Bradleys and Marders, the 125mm light tank is as good as ever. Especially in conjunction with intelligence drones. Nobody canceled the tactics of ambushes against advancing tanks. And here the powerful "Octopus" can show their best side. Well, to plug holes in the defense, the vehicle is better suited than a tank, primarily due to greater mobility. The idea is seditious, but the rear rembats may well raise the level of armor protection of a light tank at least to the standards of the BMP-3. Fortunately, during the 14 months of the special operation, military engineers have gained sufficient experience. Although, of course, you will have to take care of a light tank like the apple of an eye - the enemy has too many means of destroying an airborne vehicle.

From 120 mm and more

In addition to tanks and Spruts, cannon artillery capable of fighting tanks appears in the Russian army mainly at the divisional level. The 2S1 Gvozdika regimental howitzer with standard unguided projectiles can be considered seriously as an effective anti-tank weapon with great convention. The 122-mm projectile should hit the hinged trajectory directly into the upper projection of the tank. And for this, the battery of howitzers must work long and hard with the maximum overexpenditure of ammunition, while terribly unmasking itself. The same applies to the 152-mm "Msta-S", "Hyacinth-S" with "Acacia". Of course, when a high-explosive fragmentation "suitcase" lies next to the tank, the crew will obviously get sick, not to mention a direct hit. But this also requires the concentrated work of several self-propelled units or competent guidance from a drone. However, for both 122-mm and 152-mm artillery there are specific solutions that are effective against tanks, but about them a little later.

In the meantime, let's concentrate on products directly intended for the destruction of heavily armored vehicles. The Msta-S self-propelled gun and the towed Msta-B can send a 3-O-23 cluster projectile loaded with cumulative submunitions towards the guests. Depending on the performance, the maximum firing range varies from 14 to 20 kilometers. Each 152-mm projectile hides 40 combat elements, each of which weighs 360 grams and has a diameter of 44 mm. Normal armor penetration reaches 110 mm, which is quite enough for the roof of any armored vehicle. Artillerymen can vary the moment of separation of the projectile into submunitions on the final flight path. This is usually 300 to 500 meters above the target. The higher, the larger the area of ​​destruction, but the lower the probability of hitting individual tanks. However, even if freely dispersing cumulative elements do not find an armored target, they will quite successfully work out on the enemy’s manpower - the area of ​​​​destruction from the detonation of each submunition reaches six meters.

Guided mine "Fringe". Source:

The younger brother of the 3-O-23 shot can rightfully be considered a 120-mm cluster projectile for the Vienna self-propelled gun. Direct fire this gun can cause some trouble to enemy tanks, but it is much more effective to work on a hinged trajectory. Each projectile is equipped with thirty cumulative submunitions of 38 mm caliber. Armor penetration exceeds 100 mm, and the ammunition itself is presented in two forms - 3VO32 and 3VO34. They differ in the contours of the hull and the maximum firing range - the first at 8 km, the second at 10 km.

HEAT submunition for 120 mm gun

But the anti-tank capabilities of the Vienna self-propelled gun do not end there. They are moving to a new plane to the concept of high-precision corrective ammunition. Any critically minded expert will voice the main remark about Russian barreled high-precision artillery - the need for laser illumination. This is true, but now in a special operation, unmanned Orlans, and not just special forces groups with bulky automated fire control systems, are carriers of target designators. The Russian army mastered the illumination of targets from drones back in Syria. Unlike American projectiles with M982 Excalibur satellite correction, the domestic concept of targeting a reflected laser is less vulnerable to artificial interference, and also theoretically allows projectiles to be aimed at moving objects. First of all, tanks.

"Vienna" can work on armored vehicles controlled by a 120-mm mine "Fringe", and this is more than 11 kilograms of a warhead in a 1,2-meter case. Firing range up to 9 kilometers. A guided projectile "Kitolov" is sent twelve kilometers, in many respects identical to the "Frontier". This product is made in two calibers - for the "Vienna", "Nona" and the self-propelled gun "Khost" in 120 mm, for the towed howitzer D-30 and the self-propelled "Carnation" in 122 mm version.


In the heavy category of corrected ammunition, 152-mm Krasnopol and 240-mm Daredevil are playing. The last mine is used in the most powerful Tulip mortar in the world. The only cannon from among the cannon artillery, devoid of guided and special anti-tank ammunition, was the 203-mm Malka self-propelled gun. However, if necessary, this problem is solved by three types of nuclear projectiles, against which tanks have no immunity.

The result is a wonderful picture. Notorious NATO tank hunters should not meet the enemy in the line of sight. This is always fraught with heavy losses among the anti-tankers. Thin-armored Octopuses should also appear before Leopards and Challengers in extreme situations and after careful planning. In the Russian army, even outdated guns like the D-30 or Gvozdika can effectively hit heavy armored vehicles. To do this, each barrel must work in conjunction "precision munition - reconnaissance - target designation." And this is just one of the possible lines of anti-tank defense that the Russian army can offer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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  1. Thrifty
    Thrifty 15 May 2023 04: 26
    In general, on the basis of the Octopus, a new light tank is needed, with good armor, not aluminum, and of course with modern dynamic protection. And against tanks, Chrysanthemums and Cornets with Contests are needed.
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 16 May 2023 16: 40
      If you do it, then on the same cart with an infantry fighting vehicle .... and then you need to think and compare whether we need a tank BOPS or not. Or just install a turret from the 120mm "Vienna" artillery system and make a 120mm ATGM and a laser-guided mine under it. A land mine there (like the 120mm mine itself) is no worse than a tank one. And I wouldn’t dare to shoot even with the T55 from a cannon on the SPRUT
  2. Tim666
    Tim666 15 May 2023 04: 48
    the author apparently did not hear about the proverb for every tricky f...
    And I didn’t read poetry - it was smooth on paper ...
    Or does he think that the enemy will be so stupid that he will go on the offensive on the Leopards with no idea what can fly from the artillery, the enemy apparently will not have his own artillery and drones ...)))
  3. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 15 May 2023 05: 04
    This can be useful when fighting in cities - in such conditions, the advantages of a heavily armored vehicle are partially leveled.
    So much so that it is not noticeable at all.
    and after careful planning
    In general, it’s not funny, because planning is rather sad. Unless, of course, the maintenance and beautiful design of magazines for each sneeze is not considered planning.
  4. Soldatov V.
    Soldatov V. 15 May 2023 05: 54
    Now in the NVO zone, from one to three tanks are working directly on the front line in order to avoid large losses of vehicles. And what will happen if you use 500 or 1000 tanks at the same time? From either side? True, how many infantry is needed to secure the breakthrough of tank wedges? And how many self-propelled guns, MLRS are needed to pave the way for tanks and destroy anti-tank units.
    What is the allowable percentage of tank losses in a breakthrough, for example, to the Dnieper or to Odessa? soldier
  5. parusnik
    parusnik 15 May 2023 06: 06
    To destroy enemy tanks, the Russian army has accumulated a large arsenal of means and methods.
    ".... So you have no methods against Kostya Saprykin! And you, stupid, still mocked me. Here's a proverb for you: don't wake up famously while it's quiet." (c)
  6. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 15 May 2023 06: 30
    Of course, Russia has something to deal with enemy tanks from cannon artillery, self-propelled guns, tanks to anti-tank systems, do not forget about RPGs, LNG (especially in street battles) and special aerial bombs. The main thing is the professionalism of the crews, calculations and, of course, stamina backed up by confidence in victory.
  7. kor1vet1974
    kor1vet1974 15 May 2023 08: 20
    To destroy enemy tanks, the Russian army has accumulated a large arsenal of means and methods.
    Yeah, it will be like in the song: Artillerymen .. ahem .. aah .. commander in chief, gave the order, etc.
    AVESSALOM 15 May 2023 10: 20
    In theory, everything is not that good, but excellent. But in practice, "regrouping" and leaving the territories. Or a vivid example in the photo for the article: self-propelled guns crowded side by side, a dream for an artillery raid.
    1. lego2
      lego2 17 May 2023 14: 30
      ... for sure, and the trunks look in different directions, is this normal?
  9. IgorZ
    IgorZ 15 May 2023 12: 30
    Careful planning by the generals of our army? Oh well. And the soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces do not want to fight, they do not want to die, at least do something with them. Although this is of course somehow understandable. Only Wagner and the entire DPRlnr are fighting.
  10. Fangaro
    Fangaro 15 May 2023 14: 31
    Increasingly, they write that tanks are vulnerable from above and behind.
    Being a complete amateur, I still ask ...
    Are mortars completely pointless against tanks? And "braziers" of three levels, 10-15 cm between layers, will not give any improvement in protection compared to one level?
  11. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 16 May 2023 10: 57
    The minimum possible means of combating enemy tanks can be called a self-propelled gun 2A45M "Octopus-B".

    The minimum possible means is a 76 mm cannon or a 120 mm mortar with modern ammunition. Hitting the roof at a distance of 4-10 km will disable any tank. If the tank has dynamic protection, then of course it must first be disabled or another HE shell hit is needed.
    1. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 16 May 2023 16: 42
      rather 85mm "sting" if you put a modern BOPS ... but 120mm Vienna is the most. And mortar and ATGM
  12. svp67
    svp67 16 May 2023 16: 45
    In many ways, this is why the gun is used in a special operation mainly for mounted shooting.
    Well, this is definitely not about the "Rapier", having a maximum elevation angle of 20 degrees, it is a priori not capable of conducting "mounted fire", since it is fired from artillery pieces over the terrain at barrel elevation angles over 20 °.
    1. ada
      ada 21 May 2023 22: 37
      ... The measure of the steepness of the trajectory is the magnitude of the angle of incidence. The larger the angle of incidence, the steeper the trajectory.
      A trajectory with an angle of incidence less than 20° is called a sloping trajectory, and a trajectory with an angle of incidence
      more than 20 ° - steep.
      Shooting, in which the trajectory is sloping, is called flat (lower trajectory).
      Shooting, in which the trajectory turns out to be steep, is called hinged (medium trajectory).
      Mounted shooting at elevation angles of more than 45 ° is called mortar (upper trajectory). ..."
  13. lego2
    lego2 17 May 2023 14: 31
    As I understand it, the main problem is not in the weapon, but in the timely detection of the target?