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Atomnaya Artilleriya - Atomic Artillery

420mmRDS-412B1 Oka Transformer
406mmRDS-412A3 SM-54 Capacitor-2P
320-mm Novorossiysk battleship
310-mmnonenoneUS Army mistake
305-mm coastal batteries
280-mm SM-79 Stator
240-mm 3BV4 2S4 Tulip
230-mm 9M-24 Reseda recoilless gun
203-mm3BV22S7 Pion
203-mm 3BV2 B-4Mhowitzer
180-mm 3BV1S-23
180-mm 3BV1cruiser shipboard
152-mm 3BV3 D-20 towed howitzer
152-mm 3BV3 2S3 Acacia SPH
152-mm 3BV3 2A36 Hyacinth-B towed gun
152-mm 3BV3 2S5 Hyacinth-S SPG
In the Soviet Union, very large caliber atomic artillery appeared as a result of the inability of the Soviet nuclear manufacture compact munitions. These tools were designed to destroy nuclear missiles important military and industrial sites in the near rear of the enemy. By 2020 the most terrible and destructive cannons and mortars of the Cold War were returning to service: 203-mm self-propelled guns 2S7M Malka and 240-mm self-propelled mortar 2S4 Tulip. They were specially created for firing nuclear mines. It was they who emphasized the power of the Soviet army on the border with West Germany, restraining NATO from plans to attack the USSR. In the 1990s, in the wake of detente and democratization, they were hidden far beyond the Ural Range, where, according to Western military leaders, they, apparently, should have rested in a grove from old age. But it happened differently.

In the late 1950s, the American nuclear scientists managed to dramatically reduce the overall weight and dimensions characteristic of tactical nuclear weapons, and in 1957 in the United States took into service 203-mm projectile M-422 with a nuclear warhead W-33 capacity of 2 kt. The shell was designed for standard M-110 self-propelled howitzers. In 1963 the accepted into service the M-454 - the first shell for the standard NATO M123A1, M109 and M198 155 mm caliber howitzers. The projectile was equipped with the W-48 nuclear device with a yield of 0.1 kt and a weight of only 58 kg.

In the early years of the Cold War the US government developed a military doctrine that included the admissibility of the massive use of nuclear weapons in the caliber of a few kilotons in a strictly limited space.

The Soviet Union had an interesting position on this sensitive issue. Official media in the USSR always acted with sharp criticism of the new doctrine, arguing that any limited use of nuclear weapons will automatically lead to a global nuclear war. It is interesting here that this idea had not been raised in the speeches of Soviet leaders. However, no documents about the real Soviet military doctrine of the time we have, but in the NATO doctrine of limited nuclear war was adopted and remained in force until the beginning of the 1990s.

Their use would be dependent on the weather, time of day and intensity of enemy air defenses, and they had a very high response time (from the application to strike). The best option was to provide corps and divisions of its own means of delivering nuclear weapons. In the 1950-1960s by such means may be classical or recoilless artillery and unguided tactical missiles. The USA began work in all three areas. Similarly, although with some delay, thse arrived in the Soviet Union. Tactical nuclear weapons could be used by the Soviet Union only in the case it was going to conduct limited nuclear war.

Already in the late 1940s, the development of the huge nuclear guns began in the United States. As a result, in 1952 the 280-mm gun T-131 was adopted, which was a semi-permanent installation. There were two tractors transporting this supergun and only on the highway. On engineering training positions to fire it took several hours. The guns fired shells with nuclear yield of 15 kt (3/4 of the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima). The gun was delivered to Korea and Europe to strengthen the US Army Corps and remained in service until 1963.

In 1952, the USSR was tasked with creating an artillery shell with a nuclear filling. Four years later, at the Semipalatinsk test site, a successful test of the RDS-41 charge for a 406 mm caliber was carried out, but it was required to reduce the caliber.

In 1954, the Soviet Union began the design of giant self-propelled guns for firing nuclear warheads. In any case, it was decided to create three types of nuclear artillery: cannon, mortar and recoilless rifles, calibers significantly exceeding US atomic cannon. All guns were created self-propelled. The heavy tank T-10 was used as the basis for the chassis. Nuclear missiles for a special power of guns going to be equipped with a special charge RDS-41, developed by 1955 at KB-11 (Arzamas-16, now the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov). The charge was tested in Semipalatinsk in March 1956, the power was 14 kilotons.

According to the decree of the USSR Council of Ministers dated 18 November 1955 the year, work began on the mortar carrier 2B1 "Oka" and self-propelled gun 2A3 "Kapacitor-2P". Development of an artillery unit was assigned Kolomna Special Design Bureau of Machine Building. For the development of the chassisKB Leningrad Kirov plant was responsible.

In 1955, drawings and production documentation issued for the 406-mm gun SM-54 (2A3) were completed in the Leningrad SDB-34 to shoot a special shell "Kapacitor" (by the way, the entire system is often called by this name). The projectile weight was 570 kg, maximum range - 25.6 km. Production was entrusted to the plant "Barricades". The Kirov factory for Instruments made the chassis, called "object 271". The first sample SM-54 left the gates of the Kirov plant in 1957. The final installation had a weight of 64 tons. Total production was only four giant self-propelled guns.

Almost simultaneously to the design of a 420-mm smoothbore mortar 2B2 "Oka" was initiated. In 1957, a prototype self-propelled mortar settings for shooting the special shot "Transformer" was ready. The barrel of the mortar, over 20 meters in length, was made in a single piece. The machine weight was 55.3 tons, firing range - 45 km, riring at a rate of one shot in 5 minutes. Crawler chassis ("Object 273") was made at the same Kirov factory.

"Kapacitor" and "Transformer" could not pass over bridges or under overpasses, did not fit in the envelope of trains and could not turn around in the city. After much deliberation it was decided not to take on these giant arms and to stop work on both systems.

In parallel to the SRI-58 under the direction of legendary designer Vasily Grabin was created 420-mm recoilless gun S-103 heavy tank chassis. Testing of the prototype installation were carried out at the site Rzhevka near Leningrad. But November 29, 1956 the 101-m shot trunk was torn, and the installation completely collapsed.

The grandiose "atomic cannon" were not taken into operational service. All work on them were discontinued in 1960. The development of rocket technology made them hopelessly obsolete. Their place in the structure of weapons was taken by tactical and operational-tactical missiles.

The USSR was 15 years behind the United States in the creation of nuclear warheads for conventional small-caliber guns. In 1959, in Sneginsky Research Institute-1011, work began on the creation of a small-sized charge. It was necessary to ensure the survivability of systems in conditions of super-high overloads, characteristic for an artillery shot. It was necessary to observe nuclear safety and to exclude the possibility of an unauthorized explosion.

Only in 1964 did it begin designing the 240-mm 3BV4 shells in normal (9 firing range, 5 km) and active-reactive (18 km) options for 240-mm mortar shells - M-240 towed and self-propelled "Tulip"; 203-mm 3BV2 projectile for 203 mm howitzer D-4M (18 km) and 152-mm 3BV3 projectilefor 152 mm howitzers - D-20 towed and self-propelled "Acacia" (17.4 km). The crew of the atomic weapons had special protective clothing and, if possible after the shot was trying to hide in the folds of the terrain, or in the trenches. Due to this, as well as low-power of the ammunition, the irradiation dose of the staff was not great.

In addition, a 180-mm shell was developed with a 3BV-1 special-purpose ammunition for a 180-mm S-23 gun and 180-mm ship and coastal installations. According to unofficial information received from naval officers, the cruiser "Glory" (nine 180-mm guns) was in the Mediterranean during the "six-day war" of 1967, having combat special ammunition. Finally, special ammunition was planned for 320-mm guns of Novorossiysk battleship and 305-mm coastal batteries on Russky Island and near Sevastopol.

Thus, in the United States and the Soviet Union both deployed means to deliver tactical nuclear weapons with become conventional propelling artillery guns.

To equip nuclear warheads battalions of ground and airborne troops, as well as divisions of saboteurs, in 1961 the US adopted by the system recoilless smoothbore guns "Davy Crockett", consisting of a lightweight 120-mm gun M28 and heavy 155-mm gun M29. Both fired the same XM-388 shell with a nuclear warhead W-54U1 power of 0.01 kt.

The Soviet response to the "Davy Crockett" became a complex of two 230-mm recoilless guns "Reseda" / Rezeda on the BTR-60PA chassis. They fired the unguided 9M-24 solid-propellant missile. The diameter of the warhead of the projectile was 360 mm with a total length of the projectile 2.3 meters. The weight of the 9M-24 projectile was 150 kg, the weight of the warhead 90 kg. Maximum range - 6 km, minimum - 2 km, with an accuracy of 200 meters. However, for unknown reasons, the project was discontinued.

Instead, in 1968 the KBP started designing "Ram" and "Eglantine" tactical missile complexes for special warheads. Complex "Taran" was intended for the tank, and "Rosehip" - for motorized rifle regiments. According to the tactical and technical requirements of the maximum firing range should be 6-8 km, and the minimum - 1-2 km. CEP on observed targets was to be 100 m and on unobservable 250 m.

In the 1960s, spetszaryadami began to equip almost all types of aviation, army, anti-aircraft and ship guided missiles. The main thing is that the diameter of the warhead is not less than 150 mm, and the weight is not more than 25 kg.

In the early 1970s, scientists designed nuclear warheads for ammunition of calibers 240 and 203 mm. Their serial production was established at the plant in Trekhgorny, and today the samples of these weapons are presented in the museum of the enterprise. The projectiles were equipped with a towed howitzer B-4M, a heavy towed mortar M-240, a self-propelled mortar 2S4 "Tulip", self-propelled artillery 2S7 "Pion".

The development of 152.4-mm nuclear shells is one of the most striking pages in the history of the creation of nuclear munitions in the USSR. Under the leadership of Academician Yevgeny Zababakhin, it was possible to create a small-sized nuclear charge (the mass of the projectile is only 53 kg) and the safe automation of its undermining. The munition was in service with the land forces in 1981-1991 and was intended for the D-20 howitzer, the self-propelled howitzer 2C3 "Acacia", the towed 2A36 "Hyacinth-B" gun, the self-propelled gun 2S5 "Hyacinth-S".

The first nuclear weapon for use from standard 152mm artillery, called ZBV3, was finally accepted in 1965. Subsequent weapon designs followed using existing and new technology:

  1. 152mm projectile ZBV3 for self-propelled guns 2S19 Msta-S, 2S3 Acacia, 2S5 Giatsint-S, towed gun D-20, 2A36 Giatsint-B, and 2A65 Msta-B. The yield was 1 kiloton, maximum range 17.4km. The nuclear weapon was designated RFYACVNIITF and designed by Academician E. I. Zababakhin in Snezhinsk.
  2. 180mm projectile ZBV1 for S-23, MK-3-180 (originally a coast artillery piece), maximum range 45km.
  3. 203mm projectile ZBV2 for self-propelled gun 2S7 Pion, and towed howitzer B4M, range from 18km to 30km.
  4. 240mm projectile ZBV4 for mortar M-240 and self-propelled 2S4 Tulip. Normal maximum range 9.5km, and 18km with rocket assistance.

At the end of the Cold War, Russia followed the United States lead and deactivated its nuclear artillery units in 1993. By 2000, Russia reported that "nearly all" nuclear artillery shells and missile warheads had been destroyed.

In early 1972 work on the complex "Ram" and "Eglantine" were discontinued. Soviet sources speculate this was done in a secret agreement with the US, which is indirectly confirmed by the removal from service "Davy Crockett" system in 1971. Regiments and battalions were left without their portable "Hiroshima".

The last step in the development of nuclear artillery in Russia can be considered the sounded possibility of installing a 152 mm gun on a new generation of tanks "Armata". In fact, this means that Armata will be able to fire with unified shells with a special charge, and this radically changes all perceptions of the capabilities of Russian tank formations.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:21:39 ZULU