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2S23 Nona-SVK Self-Propelled Gun-Mortar

2S23 Nona-SVK self-propelled artillery system is designed to suppress artillery and mortar batteries, rocket launchers, armored targets, incoming firepower, control points and enemy troops, can deploy smokescreen and provide night lighting. Nona-S is mounted on the BTR-D tracked airborne assault vehicle. The chassis differs from the BTR-80 in having no firing ports and the side doors have been removed. The SM-120 (2S23) design offers high mobility and considerable firepower in a cost-effective package. It is used by Airborne units, and it was thought likely this vehicle equips mortar batteries of BTR-equipped motorized rifle battalions.

In 1981, a unique artillery system, designated 2S9, which embodied the features of a mortar and howitzer, was developed. It is now known as the Nona-S self-propelled gun. Nona-SVK is a BTR-80 variant armed with the 2A60 120 mm gun similar to the 2S9. Since 1985 the design bureau of the Perm Machine-Building Plant has been working on a 120-mm self-propelled gun 2 S23 "Nona-SVK". The gun itself underwent modernization and received a new index of 2 A60, although its ballistics and ammunition remained unchanged. On the base of 2S9 the Motovilikha Plants Corporation developed in 1984 and adopted in 1990 the 120 mm 2S23 NONA SVK self-propelled gun. Some time later a light-weight (1,200 kg) towed 120mm gun 2B16, designated Nona-K, was developed.

The driver sits at the left-front of the vehicle; during travel, the vehicle commander sits to his right. The engine and gearbox mount at the rear of the vehicle. The BTR-80 represents an evolutionary improvement of the long-serving BTR design. The SM-120 (2S23) retains the amphibious capability of the BTR-80 through employment of an engine-powered hydrojet, two bilge pumps, and folding trim vanes.

The main armament of a SPG is a 2S23 120-mm rifled gun-howitzer-mortar 2A60, which is a modified version of the 2A51 cannon installed in the self-propelled artillery 2S9 "Nona-S". The 2A60 barrel consists of a tube and breech. The length of the tube is 24.2 caliber. The vehicle is additionally equipped with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. The machine gun is mounted on a rotating turret of SPG commander. To combat air targets there are two MANPADS 9K38 "Igla-1".

The nearly circular turret, which mounts at the middle of the vehicle, houses the 120mm 2A60 Nona breech-loaded howitzer-mortar. In the turret, the gunner sits to the left of the ordnance; the loader sits to the right. The gunners station features a single vision block, panoramic viewer, and direct fire telescope. Both the gunners and loaders stations feature hemispherical hatch covers. The enclosed turret of the SM-120 (2S23) offers significant tactical advantages over conventional mortar carriers, which usually feature an open-top turntable mount configuration.

The SPG 2S23 is powered by V-shaped 8-cylinder four-stroke liquid-cooled diesel engine KAMAZ-7403 delivering 260 hp. Transmission is mechanical with fixed axle shafts with five forward and one reverse gear. Maximum speed is limted to 80 km/h. 2S23 chassis is unified with armored personnel carrier BTR-80 and consists of four axles. All of them are drive axles equipped with run-flat tires.

The 120mm Nona-SVK self-propelled gun is designed to engage manpower located in the open or in field shelters, weapon systems, command and control, light-armored and armored vehicles in the near tactical area. The Nona-SVK self-propelled gun is mounted on the BTR-80 chassis and offers the same level of protection and mobility. Its turret is fitted with a unique artillery system combining the mortar and howitzer capabilities. A rifled gun is equipped with a combined breechblock and a pneumatic rammer and can fire not only projectiles developed specially for this system but also any 120mm mortar bombs.

The SP gun is intended to suppress artillery and mortar batteries, missile launchers, armored targets, to destroy firing means, control posts and enemy manpower, as well as for smoking, blinding and lighting the locality. Nona-SVK is mounted on the chassis of an amphibious armored personnel carrier with the wheel arrangement of 8x8 and it can follow the tanks, to freely cross pits, trenches and water obstacles. The gun Nona-SVK is fitted with a 120 mm 2A60semi-automatic rifled gun having a combined breech mechanism and pneumatic rammer and is capable to deliver aimed direct and indirect fire without a fire position preparation. The additional weapons of the SP gun include a 7.62 mm machine gun mounted on the turret roof, a smoke-screen system, as well as sighting and night-vision devices.

Nona-SVK started its service in Soviet Union but then all items were inherited by Russia. Through 2005, the contractor produced 285 SM-120 (2S23) self-propelled artillery systems. Nowadays only Russia and Venezuela are operating such vehicles. Despite the fact that some sources indicated China as one of the operators neither supplies of 2S23 nor license production in China have been implemented.

2S23 was used for the first time during the First Chechen war. A battery of these vehicles was tested under operational conditions in Chechnya and lost one vehicle to a landmine. As mentioned by different sources was used in the war for Donbas as well. Thus spokesperson of the National Guard of Ukraine mentioned that "Putin's friends" left shells from 2S23 in one of the Kramatorsk factories after Ukrainian forces entered the city.

Self-propelled artillery systems "Nona-SVK" for the first time will take part in the military parade in Novosibirsk in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This was reported on 06 April 2018 in the press service of the Central Military District (TsVO). "For the first time on May 9, self-propelled artillery systems 2C23" Nona-SVK "will pass through the main square of Novosibirsk." Mechanics-drivers of the units underwent additional training, during which their professional skills were checked and improved, "the press service said.

Also at the Victory Day parade in Novosibirsk, military equipment will be represented by S-400 Triumph complexes, a strategic missile system with a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile Yars, armored vehicles of special purpose Tiger-M, armored personnel carriers BTR-82A, MT-12 guns, Rapier, 152 mm howitzer Msta-B, the combat vehicles of the anti-tank missile system "Contest" and other equipment.

Earlier TASS reported that the "Nona-SVK" installation had been commissioned for the motorized rifle connection in Tuva. The gun is designed to suppress manpower, artillery and mortar batteries, rocket launchers, armored targets, fire weapons and control points. The unit is capable of conducting targeted fire without preliminary preparation from closed positions and direct fire.




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