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2S7 203-mm Self-Propelled Gun

Three types of 203-mm shells with nuclear charges were developed. The creation of the 203-mm self-propelled gun 2S7 "Peony" also began with a decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of 1967. On instructions, the new gun was supposed to easily destroy concrete, reinforced concrete and earth fortifications, destroy long-range artillery, the installation of tactical missiles and other means of delivering nuclear weapons . The firing range was to be at least 25,000 m. Soon, the Ministry of Defense of the USSR received several options for future self-propelled guns. At the beginning of 1969, a 203 mm caliber was adopted. The main developer of "Peony" was assigned the Leningrad Kirov Plant.

In 1975, the new self-propelled guns was adopted and from the next year it began to be mass-produced and entered the artillery brigades of special power. 2C7 "Peony" is designed to suppress and eliminate nuclear weapons (SJA), artillery, mortars, equipment, rear, command posts, enemy manpower. The main purpose of this self-propelled gun, which went into operation in 1975, was the suppression of enemy rear lines, the destruction of particularly important nuclear weapons and facilities in tactical depths up to 50 kilometers away. The base "Peony" was adopted in 1976 and showed more than high performance. The main military objective of the self-propelled guns is the defeat of important strategic goals, including those located inside the enemys defense and far beyond the main front line.

The chassis of the self-propelled gun is a modernized version of the chassis of the T-80. It includes 7 road wheels per side, front-wheel drive wheels. The guides located at the rear are installed before firing on the ground, playing the role of auxiliary supports. For the same purpose, a self-propelled coulter is used that resembles a bulldozer blade in shape. It is mounted on the stern of the self-propelled guns and is driven by hydraulic drives. Hydraulic and electrical systems are powered independently by installing an additional 9R4-6U2 diesel unit. The macine has an individual torsion bar suspension.

The large 2S7 chassis is the largest armored vehicle in the current Russian inventory, with seven dual rubber-tired road wheels, drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. Six track-return rollers support the inside of the track only. Large stowage boxes are mounted along either side of the hull. The fully enclosed forward crew compartment accomodates the commander, driver and two other crew members. A large rear-mounted hydraulic spade is lowered to the ground before firing. Standard equipment includes an overpressure NBC protection system and night vision equipment.

The Pions armored hull of an unusual shape with the crew cabin extended far ahead additionally serves as a counterweight to a heavy gun mount. Behind the cockpit, in the bow there is a motor-transmission compartment with a 12-cylinder, Z-shaped, four-stroke diesel engine A-24-1 supercharged liquid cooling. The self-propelled gun has a mechanical planetary power train with 8 speeds (one rear) and single-stage final drives with planetary reduction gears.

As the main armament of the self-propelled gun, a 203-mm gun 2A44 weighing 14.6 tons is used, openly installed in the rear of the machine. The gun was created according to the classical scheme with some innovations. The collapsible barrel of the gun consists of a free pipe, a casing, a breech, a sleeve and a sleeve. This constructive solution made it possible to significantly simplify the replacement of the rifled part of the gun, making this procedure possible in field artillery workshops. The gun is also equipped with a two-stroke shutter, a firing mechanism, a hydraulic loading chain mechanism.

The 203-mm gun, which lacks either a fume extractor or a muzzle brake, is mounted at the rear of the hull. One piston of the recoil brake and recuperator is located on the gun with the other two pistons beneath, limiting recoil to a maximum of 1400-mm. The 203-mm gun is held in position when traveling by a manually operated lock on top of the cab. The 203-mm rifled gun, designated the 2A44, is fitted with a screw type breech block fitted with a large power-assisted loader. The 2S7 ammunition-handling system enables a rate of fire of 2 rds/min to be achieved.

Ammunition is of the separate loading type, with a total of four projectiles and charges being carried for immediate use. The remainder of the ammunition load is carried by another vehicle, usually a truck. The standard HE round, designated the ZOF 43, weighs 43 kg with a maximum muzzle velocity of 960 m/s and a maximum range of 37.5 km.

If the shots are fed from the ground, the calculation uses a two-wheeled cart, on which shells and charges are stacked on a removable stretcher. This allowed to increase the rate of fire up to 1.5 rounds per minute. The ammunition of the gun consists of 40 rounds of separate loading with a burning cap. However, only 4 of them are stored in the stern, representing an untouchable reserve. The rest are transported by road and laid out on the ground. The range of gun ammunition is quite diverse: 203-mm rounds of ZVOF43 and ZVOF42 with high-explosive fragmentation shells 30F43; ZVOFZ5 rounds with active rocket-propelled high-explosive shells ZOF44; Shots ZVOF15 and ZVOF16 with fragmentation shells with ready-to-use 3-O-14 submunitions.

When aiming the gun, electro-hydraulic and mechanical drives are used. The Peony is also equipped with a D-726 mechanical sight, a PG-1M panorama, a K-1 collimator and an OP-4M sight, which is necessary for direct-fire shooting. As additional weapons used MANPADS 9K32 "Strela-2" and a manual anti-tank grenade launcher RPG-7. The combat crew of self-propelled guns includes 13-14 people, seven of whom are crew and are constantly in the car. The control department housed the jobs of the driver, gunner and commander, the remaining four crew representatives are located in the crew compartment in the center of the car. The remaining members of the calculation follow the self-propelled gun in the transport-loading machine.

In addition to the HE projectile other types of projectile can reportedly be fired including concrete-piercing, tactical nuclear and possibly chemical. "Peony" is able to take part in hostilities using nuclear weapons. It has a filter-ventilation installation, an automatic fire-fighting system, and a sealing system for inhabited compartments, which protects people from the effects of chemical, bacteriological, and nuclear weapons. In addition, the self-propelled gun is equipped with TPU R-120 internal telephone communication equipment, a R-123 or R-123M radio station, and a TVN-3 night vision device.

2S7M "Malka"

"Malka" went into series production in 1986. In just 16 years of mass production, more than 500 2S7 units of various modifications were produced. In 1983, the "Peony" was modernized. The new self-propelled guns received the index 2S7M "Malka". The machine differs from the basic model by a more powerful engine, increased constant ammunition (8 rounds), increased to 2.5-3 rounds per minute rate of fire and new equipment of the fire control system. In addition, the self-propelled guns were equipped with a device for receiving and reflecting information, which automatically prepares the initial data for firing, taking into account weather conditions.

Now in the army there are about 60 2S7M, about 260 2S7 are in storage. Monstrous caliber, huge firing range, new combat capabilities - Russia is completing the modernization of one of the most powerful self-propelled guns in the world - the 203-mm self-propelled gun 2S7M Malka, as well as the 240-mm self-propelled mortar 2C4 Tulip. It is widely believed that in the era of precision missiles and aircraft, guns of this caliber are hopelessly outdated.

The 2S7M "Malka" [tool] is a modernized version of 2S7 "Peony", still considered one of the most dangerous and powerful weapons in the world. The cannon can fire various shells, including concrete-penetrating and chemical. One of the features is the ability to use special ammunition with a nuclear charge. Malka differs from Peony in a more powerful omnivorous engine, which works not only on diesel fuel, but also on kerosene and gasoline. The modernization of the chassis increased the resource to eight to ten thousand kilometers

Uraltransmash began updating the arsenal of these weapons in 2017. At first, repair crews worked in the troops. Specialists conducted a safety check of the barrels and the main units of the machines that were on conservation. At the same time, the enterprise began repairing and modernizing the "atomic" Tulips. Most likely, it was on them that they checked the need for a deeper upgrade of the most powerful guns in the world.

The general director of Uraltransmash JSC (part of Rostec) Dmitry Semizorov said that "within the framework of the state defense order for 20202022, the supply of modernized guns began." Malka underwent a full cycle of tests, including mileage and firing, during which the characteristics of mobility, wear resistance of the chassis, power plant and transmission, as well as the reliability of loading and fire control mechanisms, the strength of the 2A44 gun were tested. The updated equipment received a new chassis and electronics, as a result of which its tactical and technical characteristics were seriously increased, the specialist said.

The ammunition of the gun includes shots with variable charges. The main ones are high-explosive and active-rocket shells. The weight of the first is 110 kg, it contains 17.8 kg of explosive. The maximum firing range is 37.5 km. The second weighs 103 kg, it contains 13.8 kg of explosive, but the range of destruction of targets is 47.5 km. In addition to them, concrete and nuclear munitions were developed for the cannon. All this allows the gun to hit both highly protected targets such as a bunker, and areal: airfields, storage bases, the accumulation of military equipment and enemy manpower.

Despite its crushing power, the Malka was used exclusively during exercises. In 2008, it was used by the Georgian military during the war in South Ossetia. But they could not achieve any success. The Russian army was advancing quickly, which is why six cars were abandoned by the retreating Georgian troops.

At the end of September 2019, in the Amur Region, self-propelled artillery mounts of high power were used for the first time as high-precision weapons - in conjunction with a drone. The crews coordinates are received live from the Orlan-10 UAV. Such a symbiosis revealed the new capabilities of these far from the most modern guns. However, the Ministry of Defense is not in a hurry to write them off. On 20 November 2019, the Ministry of Defense published a video of testing one of the most powerful self-propelled guns in the world - 2S7M Malka. The video captures the shooting of Russian artillerymen in Kuzbass. It is noteworthy that this is actually the first official evidence that the new Malka is being tested.

The modernization of one of the most powerful guns in the world, the Malka, will be completed before the end of December 2019, and now it is undergoing successful tests at the training ground. About this in an interview with RIA Novosti, said General Director of Uraltransmash Dmitry Semizorov. According to him, import substitution was carried out and new instrument complexes were installed. During 2020, it is planned to prepare production for serial production of these artillery systems.

According to the general director of Uraltransmash, in the upgraded version, the on-board gearbox, which was previously produced in Kharkov, was replaced by a domestic one, and a new engine was installed instead of the previously installed Ukrainian one. We carried out import substitution in the guidance systems, the protection system of the machine itself. Now the modernized Malka is in the field and is successfully passing tests, added Semizorov.

After the modernization, for which Uraltransmash is responsible, Malki will receive new gearboxes, distribution mechanisms and power supply units. They will also replace intercom equipment, a radio station, a system of anti-atomic protection, surveillance devices, and equipment for receiving and processing data. "Tulips", in turn, will be equipped with modern communication systems that allow you to work in a single tactical link system. According to the military, both updated artillery systems will remain useful on the battlefield for a long time, where, apparently, more precise cruise missiles, guided aircraft ammunition and attack drones reign supreme.

The main goal of modernizing the Malka and Tulip is to increase the accuracy of firing, military expert Alexei Leonkov tells RIA Novosti. they havent lost. In Syria, the contribution of artillery to the overall victory over the gangs is enormous. Almost half of the losses of the militants are caused by the fire of the barrel systems and MLRS. Heavy long-range guns are indispensable when breaking powerful fortified areas. "

Although the Malku was developed for shells with a special warhead, self-propelled guns can also shoot non-nuclear ammunition of high power. For example, with a 100-kilogram high-explosive high-explosive active-rocket projectile, the cannon confidently hits a range of 50 kilometers. In other words, in terms of combat capabilities, this self-propelled gun is comparable to the main caliber of battleships from the Second World War.

For the destruction of bunkers and infantry strikes, there are concrete, cluster, and high-explosive fragmentation munitions. According to experts, it was the universality of Malki that served as the reason for its modernization. In addition, the experience of armed conflicts of recent decades has shown that the most common among self-propelled guns caliber 152 mm is not always effective.

The only thing that was missing Malka and Tulip - is of sufficient accuracy to confidently hit small targets. However, modern means of target designation and guidance close this question.

According to Leonkov, in order to make the Malka highly accurate, it is enough to include it in the automated command and control system and reconnaissance and fire contours of the Ground Forces. Then it will be able to receive target designations from satellites, drones, planes and reconnaissance and sabotage groups of the Special Operations Forces operating behind enemy lines.

The upgraded Malki and Tulips will become a long-range ground-based sniper rifle capable of revealing well-defended targets. Shells and mines, even such large ones, will cost the Ministry of Defense much cheaper than Caliber cruise missiles or, for example, KAB-500 adjustable bombs. In addition, many of these ammunition have been stored in warehouses since the Cold War.




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