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2S36 152mm Zaurales-D

In 2016 it was reported that "Zauralec-D" was suspended, in favore of the 2S42 "Lotus" to create a self-propelled artillery gun in a caliber of 120 mm. The fact that Russia was developing a new airborne SAO under the code "Zauralets" [Urals] was first reported in the fall of 2012. The state trials of the Zaurals began in the summer of 2014. The self-propelled gun is a universal fire system (that performs the functions of a cannon, howitzers and mortar) and is designed to replace regular 120-mm CAO landing forces - 2C9 Nona-S.

In the foreseeable future, the fleet of airborne troops should be replenished with new self-propelled artillery. In the interests of the Airborne Forces, two projects of the SAO family "Zaurales-D" were developed.In the framework of the Zaurales-D project, two versions of self-propelled artillery guns were being created. One combat vehicle should receive a 120 mm gun, the second - 152 mm. From existing models, the new technology will differ in the increased range of fire and the increased power of ammunition.

The existence of this project was announced at the end of 2014. In October, new reports appeared on the progress of the project, which may indicate the imminent completion of all necessary work. At the end of December 2014, the TASS news agency referring to General Director of the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering Dmitry Semizorov reported that the company was engaged in the creation of prospective self-propelled guns.

By the time the first information was announced, the Zauralec-D project from the Central Research Institute of Tochmash appeared to have moved far enough and could approach the stage of testing. According to the general director of the enterprise-developer, in 2016 the troops will have to receive the first batch of new equipment. At the same time, the first batch will be small, and its task will be to check vehicles in the troops. Full-scale batch production will start only in 2017. According to the plans, the serial construction of self-propelled guns and deliveries to the troops should continue until the middle of the next decade.

The first reports on the Saur Zauralets-D project for the airborne troops contained almost no technical details of the project. Only general parameters of the guns were announced, which were planned to be used on future combat vehicles. Other details appeared only at the end of spring 2015. In the last days of May 2015, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov, Airborne Commander-in-Chief, spoke in his interview for the Russian News Service radio station about the development of a prospective self-propelled artillery gun. According to the commander, in the near future there should be a version of the self-propelled gun with a gun of 120 mm caliber. Also works on creation of 152-mm system continued.

According to the general, this technique meets all the requirements of the airborne troops and is capable of providing the required firepower of the units. According to the range of firing and the power of shots, the prospective "Zaurales-D" SAO must surpass existing systems of a similar purpose. Other technical details of the project were not disclosed.

In early October 2015, new information appeared, revealing to some extent the general appearance of the promising CAO. Head of the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering told RIA Novosti about the current status of the project. According to him, preliminary tests of the SAO prototype with a 120 mm artillery piece on the tracked vehicle had been completed. The model of the Zaurales-D machine confirmed its characteristics. All the parameters of the new combat module met the requirements of the customer.

But Semizorov said that the Ministry of Defense proposed to use a different type of chassis in the new combat vehicle, as well as to replace the fire control system. Unfortunately, the details of the Zaurales-D project remained unknown. Over the year 2015, representatives of industry and the armed forces have announced only a few of the most common facts that do not allow a general picture.

Only the existence of a "prototype" self-propelled gun with a gun of 120 mm caliber was known. Experimental models of the machine with a more powerful gun, apparently, had not yet been built. It is believed that the prospective CAO is based on a crawler chassis, the type of which, however, remained unknown. Moreover, according to the latest data, in the near future the Zaurales-D machine should receive some new chassis. It is possible that the prototype of this CAO was built on the basis of the existing chassis, borrowed from the serial equipment. Thus, in the future, a 6x6 wheeled chassis of a different type will become the basis for a promising self-propelled gun.

The appearance in the Airborne Forces of self-propelled artillery guns "Zaurales", as well as the artillery control vehicles "Covenant-D" is expected in 2019. This was announced on 05 October 2015 by Colonel Alexei Kostryts, the head of the artillery of the Airborne Forces. "I can say for sure that the Zauralec self-propelled artillery gun will take more than a year to pass state tests, and it is decided that the created combat module will be on a new basic chassis that is unified with BMD-4M, by two or three years. the artillery units of the Airborne Forces will have such weapons in service, "Kostrytsa said during the" Innovation Day of the Russian Defense Ministry."

Based on the available information, it was possible to predict the role of advanced technology in the troops. A self-propelled gun with a gun of 120 mm caliber can become a replacement for machines of type 2C9 "Nona", not differing in novelty. Due to the increase in the main characteristics, this variant of "Zauralets-D" will provide not only the replacement of obsolete equipment and the general renewal of the fleet of armored vehicles, but will also significantly increase the firepower of artillery.

Of particular interest is information on the creation of a self-propelled gun with a 152 mm cannon. At present, the airborne troops of Russia do not have artillery systems of this caliber. The caliber of all barrel and rocket artillery systems of the airborne troops does not exceed 120-122 mm. Thus, the 152-mm version of the SAU "Zaurales-D" will radically change the state of artillery of the airborne forces.

It is unlikely that the Zaurales-D will be able to compare with the SAU of ground forces, such as 2S19 Msta-S or 2S35 Coalition-SV. Nevertheless, the appearance of 152-mm guns on the self-propelled chassis, suitable for parachute landing, can significantly increase the combat potential and the overall firepower of the airborne troops.





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