Военное дело

How is Russia going to defeat NATO artillery

Image source: © РИА Новости / Илья Питалев

Self-propelled gun "Coalition-SV" – the secret of counter-battery domination of Russia

Since the beginning of deliveries of modern long-barreled 155-mm self-propelled artillery units of Western production with a bore length of 52 caliber (L52) to the combatant units of the AFU, which include the French CAESAR self-propelled guns, Polish Krab, British AS-90D Braveheart, German PzH-2000, Swedish FH77BW Archer as well as the Ukrainian 2S22 "Bogdan", the problem of insufficient counter-battery potential of 152-mm howitzers "Msta-B" and "Hyacinth-B", as well as their self-propelled versions, has become particularly acute.

This problem is caused by several tactical and technical factors. Firstly, it is equipping the self-propelled guns of the Msta-S/CM and Hyacinth-S lines with standard 2A64/65 and 2A37 47-caliber guns with limited muzzle energy. Thus, the 2A64/65 gun of the Msta-S ACS is capable of firing conventional OFS (high-explosive fragmentation shells) ZOF45 at a distance of 24.7 km, active-reactive shells with bottom gas generators ZOF61 — up to 29 km and shells "Krasnopol-M2" — up to 25 km. The 2A37 gun of the Hyacinth-S self-propelled artillery installations demonstrates noticeably higher ballistic characteristics: the firing range of the standard ZOF59 projectile reaches 30.5 km, active—jet ZOF30 - 33.1 km and Krasnopol-M2 25+ km. At the same time, the intensity of supplies to artillery combat units of Missile troops and artillery (RViA) Russia's newest modification of 152-mm guided shells "Krasnopol-D" with additional bottom gas generators and free-form inertial navigation units (providing self-propelled guns "Msta-S / CM" and "Hyacinth-S" with a range of 43 and 47 km of high-precision fire, respectively) has a very low rate. Against this background, all of the above-mentioned Western 155-mm self—propelled howitzers of high ballistics L52 are capable of firing regular high-explosive shells at a distance of 35 – 40 km, active—reactive HE ERFB RA/BB or V-LAP at a distance of 50 — 56 km and guided active-reactive shells "Excalibur" - at a distance of 60 km. It turns out a very disappointing ratio, which until now is compensated by the use of the Lancet-3 M kamikaze UAVs, which successfully destroy the AFU howitzers remote from the line of contact by 35-55 km by targeting the Orlan-10 and ZALA 421-16E optical-electronic reconnaissance drones.

However, it would be extremely naive to assign all counter-battery tasks exclusively to Lancet operators in the future, because depending on the operational and tactical situation, the list of their goals may include dozens of no less priority targets (from Leopard-2A6 tanks, M1A1FEP and heavy M2A2 ODS Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to divisional multifunctional TRML-4D radar of IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft missile systems and enemy radio intelligence stations). It turns out that the issue of the need for urgent delivery to combat units of a long-range highly mobile 152-mm artillery system is still the most relevant. And, apparently, his decision will begin in the next few months.

The unique parameters of the self-propelled gun "Coalition-SV" will give a head start to any 155-mm long-range artillery of Western production in the SVO zone. We are talking about the start of deliveries of promising long-range 152-mm self-propelled guns 2C35 "Coalition-SV" announced a few days earlier to the combat units of the RVIA. Unlike the "Msta-B/S" and "Hyacinth-B / S", the new self-propelled artillery units received a fundamentally new 152-mm rifled gun 2A88 with a length of 52 caliber with increased cracker pressure, increased bore life and a promising liquid cooling system. Its ballistic qualities provide regular high-explosive fragmentation shells with a range of up to 40 km, active-reactive type ZOF30 "Cormorant" — up to 47-50 km. And finally, the range of the Krasnopol-D projectiles and their more advanced analogues can vary from 60 to 65+ km.

This completely equalizes the counter-battery potential of the 2C35 Coalition-SV self-propelled gun with the promising Swedish Archer self-propelled guns in terms of the radius of fire impact. Such a range of the tandem "Coalition-SV" — "Krasnopol-D" is achieved due to the higher initial velocity of the projectile at the muzzle and kinetic energy (in comparison with the gun 2A64 ACS "Msta-S"), as well as due to the possibility of optimizing the flight path of the "Krasnopol-D".

According to other parameters, the promising Russian ACS is confidently ahead of both the Swedish FH77BW "Archer" and other 155-mm Western guns with a barrel length of 52 caliber. In particular, the standard rate of fire of the gun is 11 rounds per minute, the maximum (in emergency mode) is up to 16 shots, which is achieved through the use of an alcohol cooling system of the gun, as well as the original design of the loading mechanism and the microwave system of the microwave initiation of propellant charges. Also, the fire control system of the ACS 2S35 provides for the implementation of the "fire raid" mode, when several projectiles launched along different trajectories hit the target object almost simultaneously. Moreover, the 2A88 gun has an extended angular guidance sector with a reduction of 7 degrees and an elevation of +75 degrees. The accuracy of the battle of the Coalition-SV is about 1.5 — 2 times higher than on the analogues of the Msta-S /CM and Hyacinth-S. This is achieved through the use of more advanced backlash-picking devices on the cradle, as well as luftless mounts of the trunnions of the gun.

A more advanced digital automated fire control system (ACS) relieves the artillery crew from the need for long-term topography and orientation with the use of remote optical-mechanical devices. A radio station is integrated into the digital automated control system to receive target designation from the widest range of sources of radar, optoelectronic, radio-technical or acoustic-infrared reconnaissance (from the Zoo-1 M counter-battery radars and operators of the Inokhodets-RU optical-electronic/radar reconnaissance UAVs to the 1B75 Penicillin acoustic-infrared reconnaissance complexes and automated control complexes of mixed artillery divisions "Tablet-M-IR").

Moreover, PFAR/AFAR radars of the X/Ku-band can be integrated into the fire control system of self-propelled guns "Coalition-SV", which allows even more precisely to build the initial branch of the trajectory of the first projectile and eliminates the need for sighting shots that reveal the firing position of the ACS in advance for enemy counter-battery radars, thereby reducing the time, and hence the effectiveness of counter-battery fire. Moreover, judging by the area of the aperture of these radars, they are able to function in counter-battery mode, accurately revealing the positions of active mortar crews and enemy barrel artillery of 120 and 155 mm caliber at a distance 15 — 25 — 30 km, which turns the "Coalition-SV" into an even more unique tool for counter-battery "duels" in the zone special operations.

Evgeny Damantsev

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