MT-12 "Rapier" guns in the Special Operation area

MT-12 "Rapier" guns in the Special Operation area
MT-12 gun in position

As part of the current Special Operation, Russian artillerymen are using a number of guns of different classes and types. A certain place in the range of such weapons is occupied by the MT-12 Rapier smooth-bore towed anti-tank gun. This product has a special combination of tactical and technical characteristics, which allows it to effectively solve a wide range of tasks and hit various targets with high accuracy.

Guns at the front

According to known data, Russian artillery units equipped with MT-12 guns have been participating in the Special Operation almost from its first days. "Rapiers" and their crews are present in all directions and in the most critical sectors of the front. Like other artillerymen, they constantly conduct combat work and fire at identified enemy targets.

The work of the artillerymen does not go unnoticed. Photos and videos using “Rapier” regularly appear on various resources. Both the work of crews and the firing of cannons, as well as footage of objective control of hitting a target, are demonstrated. In addition, the Ministry of Defense has repeatedly published interviews with artillerymen, in which they revealed the features of their service and the use of guns, and also talked about their successes.

Cannon shot

In the combat zone, Rapiers are mainly used in their original form and as a towed weapon. The operation of the gun and crew in this case is ensured by a tractor - a truck or an MT-LB transporter.

However, a number of MT-12 guns became self-propelled. They are installed on the roof of a standard armored tractor, which dramatically improves the mobility and mobility of the entire system. However, such technical creativity is not widespread, and the bulk of the fleet still consists of towed guns.

It should be noted that MT-12s are also in service with Ukrainian formations. They are also trying to use them, place them on self-propelled chassis, etc. However, the technical superiority of the Russian army in reconnaissance and counter-battery weapons gives a predictable result. Some of the Ukrainian Rapiers became trophies, while others were destroyed.

During loading

Application Issues

Regardless of the method of movement, “Rapiers” are used according to the proven scheme. The crew moves the gun into position, clarifies the aiming data, fires the required number of shots and retreats to another position or to a safe place. The well-coordinated and fast work of the artillerymen, as well as the high performance of the gun itself, make it possible to complete all operations in the minimum time and leave the position before return fire.

"Tricks of war" are reportedly being used. Thus, when retreating, artillerymen often leave a mock-up gun in position. Such a product attracts the attention of enemy reconnaissance and comes under fire. At the same time, enemy artillery unmasks its positions and helps our counter-battery fight. Often, attacks on exposed enemy guns are carried out by “Rapiers”, which were previously replaced by mock-ups.

Like other artillery, Rapiers use modern reconnaissance equipment. A UAV is on duty in the crew’s area of ​​responsibility, the operator of which monitors the situation, identifies enemy targets and transmits target designation to the artillerymen. In combination with the high characteristics of the gun itself, such an organization of firing increases the speed and likelihood of successfully hitting targets.

Gunner at work

The MT-12 product is known for its high shooting accuracy, and this advantage is again confirmed by practice. In an interview with the press service of the Ministry of Defense, artillerymen note that the Rapier allows you to hit the intended target with the minimum necessary sighting and adjustment. A minimum of shells and time is spent on a fire mission.

The gun uses unitary shots with a wide range of projectiles for different purposes. MT-12s successfully destroy manpower, artillery and various structures using high-explosive fragmentation shells. An effective means is cumulative fragmentation shells, capable of hitting and/or destroying armored vehicles, up to basic tanks.

The Rapier's ammunition also includes a guided missile with a cumulative warhead. It is possible that such ammunition is also used as part of the Special Operation, but precise information on this matter is not available. They have not yet been mentioned in official reports from the Ministry of Defense.

In general, the MT-12 "Rapier" anti-tank guns in current battles show themselves to be an effective and reliable fire weapon, capable of hitting a variety of targets and objects with high accuracy. At the same time, gun crews, including contract soldiers and mobilized soldiers, demonstrate a high level of training and fully realize the potential of the weapons they have.

Ready-to-use ammunition

Technical potential

The 100-mm anti-tank gun 2A29 / MT-12 / “Rapier” was created in the sixties as a deeply modernized version of the T-12 gun. The modernization of the original design consisted of updating the artillery section and introducing a new carriage. The project was prepared in the first half of the sixties, and by the middle of the decade the gun was put out for testing. In 1970, the 2A29 product was accepted for service and put into production.

At the turn of the seventies and eighties, the MT-12 underwent a new modernization. In the MT-12K project, a 9K116 “Kastet” guided weapon system with an anti-tank missile was introduced, and the MT-12R product received a 1A31 “Ruta” radar sight. Both modifications of the Rapier were put into service in 1981. Products with the letters “K” and “P” were mass-produced. In addition, the MT-12s already in service with the troops underwent modernization and received the appropriate equipment.

MT-12 is built according to the classical design. The basis of the design is an artillery unit with a barrel, breech and bolt. A smooth 100 mm monoblock barrel with a length of 63 clb is used, equipped with a muzzle brake with several rows of round holes. The shutter is a semi-automatic wedge that moves in a vertical plane. The barrel group is mounted on hydropneumatic recoil devices.

The gunner of one of the guns with the call sign Hedgehog. In the background is an MT-12 gun on an MT-LB tractor

A carriage with sprung wheel travel and two sliding frames is used. The barrel with anti-recoil devices is fixed on the upper machine, which has manual aiming drives. Horizontal guidance is carried out within 27° to the right and left of the neutral position. Vertical aiming – from -7° to +20°. The Rapier is an anti-tank gun and is designed to fire primarily at direct fire. In this regard, large elevation angles are not required. A shield cover is provided for the crew.

When firing direct fire from the MT-12, the OP4MU-40U telescopic sight is used. Firing from closed positions is provided by the PG-1M panorama with additional devices. The gun is also compatible with night sights of the 1PN35 or APN-7 type. To expand combat capabilities, the 1A31 radar sight or control devices from the 9K116 complex are used.

The total length of the MT-12 gun in the stowed position exceeds 9,6 m. Weight is 3,1 tons. The use of tractors with the appropriate characteristics is allowed. The carriage's wheel travel allows the gun to be towed along the highway at speeds of up to 60 km/h.

Target hit

"Rapier" uses unitary shots with projectiles for various purposes. To destroy tanks, four types of armor-piercing sub-caliber shells (3UBM1, 3UBM2, 3UBM10 and 3UBM15) and four cumulative fragmentation shells (3UBK2, 3UBK2M, 3UBK8 and 3UBK8M) have been developed. The Kastet complex includes the 9M117 missile. For manpower and other weakly protected targets, high-explosive fragmentation ammunition 3UOF3 and 3UOF12 is used. Also, as part of the artillery system, inert shots were developed that simulate real ammunition, blanks, etc.

HEAT and fragmentation projectiles receive a muzzle velocity of approx. 975 m/s; for sabots this parameter reaches 1570 m/s. The direct shot range is 2,5 km. At the same time, the effective range of cumulative projectiles does not exceed 1-1,2 km, and sub-caliber projectiles - 2-2,1 km. The 9M117 rocket flies at a distance of 5,5 km. The maximum firing range is provided by high-explosive fragmentation shells and is 8,2 km.

Confirmed by practice

The strengths of the MT-12 “Rapier” product include simplicity of design and fairly high tactical and technical characteristics. First of all, there is a high accuracy of fire - because of this, the MT-12 is called a “sniper gun”. In addition, the weapon uses a wide range of ammunition suitable for different purposes. Mastering the gun is not particularly difficult, and a prepared crew can fully realize the potential of the design.

Despite its advanced age, the MT-12 gun remains effective weapons, capable of solving their range of fire missions - with competent organization of combat work and using its strengths. Our artillerymen have mastered their equipment well, cope with their duties and inflict significant damage on the enemy. Together with calculations of other systems and complexes, they continue the demilitarization of the Kyiv regime.
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  1. +7
    April 10 2024 05: 39
    In 1970, the 2A29 product was accepted for service and put into production.
    They knew how to make weapons in the Union! good
  2. +8
    April 10 2024 06: 03
    Dedicated to all those who consider smooth-bore guns less accurate than rifled ones!
    1. -1
      April 10 2024 13: 35
      Unfortunately, a smoothbore gun is less accurate than a rifled one, which is why the range limit is 2 km, but it has a lot of advantages.
      1. +7
        April 10 2024 16: 49
        Quote: Victor Sergeev
        that’s why the range limit is 2 km

        Hand face!!! Shot range of a sub-caliber projectile. HE at 8 km... The 100 mm rifled gun D-54TS had a direct shot range at a target 2,0 m high - 1200 m, the D-10T was even less.
        1. AMG
          April 13 2024 10: 52
          Direct shot range of a sub-caliber projectile D-54TS-1840 m, D-10T-1680 m (3UBM6). The maximum range of the OFS for both is about 15 km.
          1. 0
            April 13 2024 14: 09
            Quote from AMG
            Direct shot range of a sub-caliber projectile D-54TS-1840 m, D-10T-1680 m (3UBM6).

            Well, that’s right, due to the mass the speed increased. But the main advantage - the lower cost of manufacturing the projectile - has come to naught.
  3. +4
    April 10 2024 06: 15
    An anti-tank gun is a maximum of 2000 meters at direct fire. In the conditions of a military defense, very little. I also accept that this weapon is good if built into any defensive complex. But it is difficult to argue against the facts of its successful use!
    1. +14
      April 10 2024 08: 37
      Yes, they probably don’t use it as an anti-tank weapon anymore, they shoot from a closed position. And I didn’t see the placement of “Rue” in any photo or video from the SVO zone (fragile and oversized equipment). And at direct fire it is extremely accurate; during shooting, you can choose any angle of the target - the machine gun will hit it. When I studied this gun at school in the early 80s, it was already considered obsolete and was planned for replacement.
    2. +5
      April 10 2024 13: 39
      Well, you are a comedian, 2 km is not enough for you. Is it okay that all smooth-bore guns only hit at 2 km? This is an ambush gun (if it's an anti-tank gun). It is precisely in the northwestern military district that they are unlikely to hit at a long range; after all, the height of the gun and tank does not make it possible to see the target more than 3,5 km away. and this is if the terrain is flat, nothing interferes, while the Rapier has the same range as a tank, and surpasses it in stealth.
  4. +6
    April 10 2024 07: 03
    The MT-12 product is known for its high shooting accuracy, and this advantage is again confirmed by practice.
    There was a story on TV showing how, with the first shot, they slammed him into the dugout in the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ guard. This gun is correctly called a sniper gun.
    1. -1
      April 12 2024 11: 04
      MT-12, when firing an UR, the brass knuckles penetrates up to 750 mm of armor behind the DZ
      BUT (!) for example, our tanks have 80 mm + 20 mm on board
      and 2 DZ Relic and DZ Frame against tandem warheads
      The DZ Frame “removes” the Kasten armor-piercing tip equivalent to about 200 mm, the 2nd part extinguishes the 400 mm cumulative tandem warhead, then the DZ Relikt extinguishes another 400 mm cumulative
      and the 20-mm plate gets a slight burn, and before the main side armor in the 80-mm there is still 500-m under the tracked space for unwinding the cumulative jet if the cumulative has passed between the blocks of the DZ Frame
  5. +13
    April 10 2024 07: 08
    The author can be guessed by the presentation of the material. Both sides have rapiers, but our Rapier is more rapier because..... Drum roll..... We have an advantage in counter-battery combat.
    1. +2
      April 10 2024 14: 03
      What's wrong with that? The rapier is a cannon with a short range and its life depends on the enemy's counter-battery work. Conclusion: our rapiers can stay in position longer, plus we have a lot of them, but Ukraine has few, since most of them have been lost.
  6. +13
    April 10 2024 07: 12
    Cool gun! Shot including and from it 35 years ago - the most comfortable. When fired from a D-30, for example, the mouth/eyes/ears are filled with earth, blades of grass, and twigs. The Rapier has a long barrel and everything that is thrown out by the jet muzzle brake remains behind the shield. Wow, I remembered... Thank you, Kirill!
    1. +4
      April 10 2024 11: 57
      Quote: dmitry21
      Cool gun!
      When this gun was demonstrated to high authorities (Khrushchev) and it was explained that a projectile fired from it carries almost one and a half times more energy than a projectile fired from the same but rifled cannon, the high authorities immediately asked the question “how to put it on a tank? ". Due to the very long length of the unit, installing the Rapier on the tank was immediately eliminated. We found another option: the protrusions in the barrel of the 100 mm gun were cut off - we got a 115 mm smooth barrel. This gun was placed on the hull of the T-55 tank modified for it (the rollers were lengthened, the rollers were rearranged, the turret length was increased) and the world's first tank with a smoothbore gun appeared - the T-62.
  7. +8
    April 10 2024 07: 18
    Something really..."everything is fine, beautiful marquise!"... Just like in Konoshenkov’s report! I somehow had the opportunity to read that the MT-12K and MT-12R were not produced much at one time, and the Ruta radar sights have not been produced for a long time...
  8. +8
    April 10 2024 08: 03
    I have always been intrigued by this type of gun, now the latest in an endangered category. An excellent gun, without a doubt, but even the very hypothesis that it plays a counter-battery role puzzles me. request
    1. +1
      April 10 2024 14: 05
      Why not? Any gun can fire from closed positions at coordinates, why is it worse than a howitzer in this case (not counting the range)?
  9. +8
    April 10 2024 08: 09
    Are there any volunteers to serve in the 2A29 crew in the current conditions of the Northern Military District?
    Speed ​​of taking up leaving a position?
    Effective fire range?
    The power of ammunition against enemy tanks and fortifications?
    Counter-drone capabilities?
    Ways to counter enemy counter-battery fire?
    Guidance automation tools?
    1. +3
      April 10 2024 08: 42
      The last three positions do not relate to the gun itself; these are complex measures (organizational and technical). And everything else applies to all towed artillery, except for the power of the armored vehicle, but the 100 mm projectile is also quite powerful.
    2. +4
      April 10 2024 13: 20
      I agree, not an article but propaganda.
  10. Des
    April 10 2024 08: 21
    From the first lines you recognize this author(!) on VO. And, scrolling quickly down, you find confirmation.
    Hooray. You send))) and read others.
  11. +8
    April 10 2024 09: 01
    Low bow to the crews of these guns. To fight with these guns at such distances, which are now practically dagger-like, nails should be made of these people and monuments should be erected to them where they come from, and not to some oligarch-cooks.
    1. -3
      April 10 2024 10: 03
      Don't touch the Holy, holy fool!
      1. +3
        April 10 2024 11: 39
        However, your “saints” are interesting. hi
    2. +2
      April 10 2024 10: 53
      That’s what they did during the War... AT artillery is a dangerous profession
      1. +1
        April 10 2024 18: 12
        Quote: Zaurbek
        That’s what they did during the War... AT artillery is a dangerous profession

        The trunk is long - life is short. © sad
      2. Alf
        April 10 2024 19: 20
        Quote: Zaurbek
        That’s what they did during the War... AT artillery is a dangerous profession

        And in war there are generally very few non-dangerous professions.
  12. -2
    April 10 2024 10: 50
    As an anti-tank gun, it became outdated during the transition from Leo1 to Leo2 with multi-layer armor. Theoretically, it was possible to introduce a new long BOPS into the ammo gun, but this was not done and there is (as far as I know) no standard modern thermal imaging (night) sight. The night light was kind of cool... but it was equipment from the 70s.
  13. +1
    April 10 2024 10: 59
    I'm certainly not an artilleryman, but... Comrade artillerymen, the Rapier was initially positioned as an anti-tank weapon. Please clarify, please.)
    1. +1
      April 10 2024 13: 06
      There is a HE shell - shoot with the PDO.
      Accuracy and range with such use are nonexistent, but the articles are written by those who, not only on the front line, have not been in the army at all.
    2. +4
      April 10 2024 14: 34
      This is a specialized anti-tank weapon. There is a trunk low to the ground and a tractor - standard MTLB
      1. ada
        April 10 2024 19: 32
        Quote: Zaurbek
        ... tractor - MTLB standard

        MT-LB is tracked, and for a number of regions with mild climatic conditions (little snow winters) and the predominance of hard soils, predominantly flat terrain, transport infrastructure features with a developed road network of roads with basic pavement, an automobile (wheeled) tractor was intended for manning anti-tank units of the CHF - a ZIL-131 flatbed cargo vehicle (a wooden body equipped with arches with a covering awning, seats for transporting vehicles) with towing equipment for towing a gun for transporting crews, transportable ammunition, etc. The vehicle, as a tractor for the MT-12 and its modifications, made it possible to carry out movements (marches and maneuvering at the line, in the area) of units and subunits, individual guns at the speed required by standards in areas of deployment and combat use along routes using both existing roads and created paths and off-road conditions, and, if necessary, march long distances. The very possibility of the SHF PTA to move over long distances (thousands of km) as part of its combat, combat support, repair and logistics support (MTO) units under its own power, in the conditions of the enemy’s use of long-range weapons on transport infrastructure (mainly railway, sea and river transport, along road bridges and crossings) made it possible to occupy, within the estimated time frame, areas intended for creating anti-tank defense and form an anti-tank line in the defense system of a combined arms operation of a front (army) or other operation. At the same time, the arriving units were provided with the opportunity to have in their areas the majority or 100% of the military stock of ammunition and high-frequency military equipment for conducting (preparing) combat operations at the initial stages of the operation and their own supply transport to ensure replenishment of consumption (accumulation to the required norm) from the reserves center (front, army) if necessary, which was always very likely. Accordingly, for other types of support (supply) until the remaining part of the CHF units arrives in the destination area.
        When equipped with CHF PTA equipment and gun tracked tractors, such movement is very costly or impossible for technical reasons. In this case, they resort to a combined method of moving CHF over long distances using mobile railway transport, ships and, in rare cases, air transport.
        Choosing a tractor is a very difficult task for resolving issues of the formation and deployment of artillery formations and military units; errors in the decision are unacceptable.
        There are also more interesting articles about MT-eshka on VO.
    3. +2
      April 10 2024 22: 04
      Organizationally, this weapon was in service with the OPTADN (separate anti-tank artillery division), which was the anti-tank reserve of the commander of the motorized rifle (tank) division. By decision of the division commander, several anti-tank lines were prepared in tank-hazardous directions for this division. Based on its tactical purpose - anti-tank. Currently being replaced by "Sturm" anti-tank systems based on the BMP-3. Previously, tank divisions used the Fagot anti-tank systems based on the BRDM-2.
  14. -5
    April 10 2024 17: 07
    They dug up this junk somewhere, and what problems can it solve with a cheap projectile, a very flat trajectory and scanty barrel survivability?
    1. +1
      April 10 2024 18: 11
      Direct infantry support. Another reincarnation of a battalion gun - for those who did not get tanks, BMP-3s and ATGM deposits.
      1. -1
        April 10 2024 18: 21
        It’s funny that it’s not a company commander, with such mass and ballistics laughing
        1. +1
          April 10 2024 19: 37
          Quote: Bone1
          It’s funny that it’s not a company commander, with such mass and ballistics laughing

          Well, these days it’s not the 30s, when the maximum thrust was a few horsepower. It will work with a motorcycle league and MT-12 in the NPP. smile
    2. Alf
      April 10 2024 19: 25
      Quote: Bone1
      scanty barrel survivability?

      And how miserable is the barrel survivability of the MT-12?
    3. Alf
      April 10 2024 20: 30
      Quote: Bone1
      scanty barrel survivability?

      Well, where is the data on the survivability of the barrel?
  15. +4
    April 10 2024 18: 10
    EMNIP, the late Murza had it that PT units on "Rapiers" in the People's Militia were used exclusively for NPP and were its most effective means.
    And the main advantage of this gun was what was previously considered its main disadvantage in any role other than anti-tank guns - flat shooting. Due to the small elevation of the trajectory, the projectile went under the lower limit of the artillery reconnaissance radar, which excluded the most accurate means of pinpointing firing positions at that time from the counter-battery fight.
  16. +2
    April 11 2024 15: 21
    Anything that shoots and causes damage should shoot at the enemy. In general, talking about how some weapon is outdated is stupid, it just has to perform its tasks according to its capabilities.
  17. 0
    April 19 2024 18: 14
    Rapiers must be abandoned, short range, low mobility, open personnel and specific specialization - there are now any number of anti-tank weapons, mines, anti-tank guns, drones and conventional artillery, including those with guided projectiles and the good old RPGs of various modifications....
    The only variation of anti-tank guns that will not be widespread, but may have its own niche, is the Octopus. A mobile gun of great power, with the ability to overcome water obstacles, may well have its place as a means of reinforcement. Rapiers, if we’re going to invent something, then it’s really worth replacing the T-55... At least it will give mobility and protect the crew from shrapnel...
    IMHO, towed artillery in the form of the D-30 may have limited meaning in any light units such as marines, landing forces, mountain units, primarily because it can easily be delivered, say, by an ordinary helicopter, to many places. They should not be the basis of artillery, but the benefit of having a certain amount can clearly be seen. As well as long-range guns such as Giatsint-b and Msta-b in the artillery units of corps and armies. They will work from the depths of military formations, all sorts of Maviks with resets and Leshian FVP guns simply will not reach them. They will not be able to carry out the tasks of counter-battery warfare, but it is quite possible to bring down cast iron on the front line of the enemy’s defense... All other artillery, except light mortars, must be self-propelled, armored, have means of electronic warfare and camouflage, except perhaps for the artillery of the Russian Guard.