Fire Support





Towed Artillery and Mortars

2B9 82-mm Vasilyek Automatic Mortar

The 2B9 is a breech-loaded, recoil-operated mortar fed by four-round clips. The cyclic rate of fire is 40 to 60 rds/min but a clip of four rounds can be fired in two seconds. The 82-mm barrel is mounted on a towed, split trail, wheeled carriage and in action the weapon rests on the trail legs and a forward extendible leg that is lowered by a handwheel, with the main carriage raised off the ground. The ordnance then rests on a turning plate allowing 10 of traverse but the saddle is not fixed directly to the plate. Instead, it is supported by hydraulic elevators that can extend the ordnance into a high angle for indirect fire. For this the saddle, cradle, ammunition feed tray and ordnance are elevated together and moved forward so that at full elevation the trunions are above the carriage axle. Elevation is from 0 to 80. The 2B9 can be fired as a mortar, using bombs loaded manually from the muzzle, at a high barrel elevation angle, or for automatic direct fire in the manner of a light or anti-tank gun (direct sights are provided) using the breech magazine loading feature. Range for direct fire is 1000 m and combat ranges are between 100 and 5000 m. The weapon can be towed but is normally transported under canvas covers on the cargo area of a modified GAZ-66 (4 x 4) 2000 kg truck. A number of tracked MT-LB multi-role armored vehicles have been fitted with an 82-mm Vasilyek automatic mortar.


2B11/2S12 120-mm Towed Mortar

The 2B11 is a 120-mm towed mortar (the 2S12 is the same mortar carried portee-style on the back of a truck). The 2B11, which is a conventional, muzzle-loading, smoothbore mortar with a large circular baseplate, has a number of improvements over its predecessors, the M-1937 and M-1943, primarily of which is the use of modern materials which reduce the overall weight compared to earlier models. The 2B11 is fitted with a special safety device which prevents double-loading. The 2B11 has a crew of five. The 2B11/2S12 has a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute with 6 seconds required to reload the tube for the next firing. The 2B11 can fire virtually any 120-mm mortar bomb produced in both the East and the West. The maximum range for standard FRAG-HE rounds is 7100 meters, with a minimum range of 480 meters.


2B16 120-mm Towed Combination Gun

The 2B16 is a 120-mm towed combination mortar-howitzer. The ordnance is likely a towed variant of the ordnance of the 2S9 120-mm Self-propelled Combination Gun. When in the firing position the 2B16 Combination Gun is supported on a small circular baseplate located under the forward part of the carriage with the wheels raised clear of the ground, and on the two trails. The trails are of a box section and locked together at the rear for towing, probably by a GAZ-66 (4 x 4) 2 ton truck which also carries the crew and a quantity of ready use ammunition. The ordnance is fitted with a large multi-baffle muzzle brake with the recoil system being mounted above the ordnance and extending about half-way along the barrel. When in the traveling configuration the ordnance is withdrawn out of battery to the rear to reduce the overall length of the system. A thin shield is provided either side of the ordnance to give some protection to the gun crew from shell splinters with the left side of the shield being slightly higher than the right as this also protects the sighting system. The upper part of the shield can be folded forward through 180 if required, although there is an aperture in the shield for the direct fire telescopic sight. The elevation and traverse handwheels are located on the left side of the carriage as are the direct and indirect sights. The breech is of the vertical sliding type and what appears to be a chamber indent device is fitted to retain the round in place when the weapon is fired at high elevation. It is believed that a power rammer is normally fitted to assist in loading ammunition at higher elevations as well as increasing its rate of fire. The 120-mm gun has a rate of fire of 6 to 8 rds/min. The direct fire HEAT projectile is estimated to defeat up to 600-mm of armor. In the indirect fire role the mortar fires high explosive, white phosphorous and smoke rounds. According to former Soviet sources, the maximum range of the 120-mm weapon is some 8000 m. Mounted below the turret rear is an ammunition loading hatch and mounted on top of the hull is a device for loading ammunition from the ground directly into the fighting compartment. This allows sustained fire missions to be carried out whilst still retaining onboard ammunition supply.


D-30 122-mm Towed Howitzer

The D-30 has a unique three-trail carriage, a conspicuous box-like shield for the recoil-recuperator mechanism mounted above the tube, and a small protective shield which is fitted between the wheels. The gun has a semiautomatic, vertically sliding, wedge-type breechblock. A truck (Ural-375 or ZIL-131) or armored tractor can tow it at speeds up to 80 kilometers per hour. It is towed muzzle-first by a large lunette just under the muzzle brake, with its trails folded under the barrel. Early models of the D-30 had a multi-baffle muzzle brake; more recent models (D-30M) have a double-baffle muzzle brake similar to that used on the SP version 2S1. In firing position, the crew of eight unhitches the gun; it lowers the central emplacement jack, raising the wheels high enough to clear the trail legs; and it spreads the two outer trails 120 degrees on each side. The revolving mount permits 360 degrees traverse and is equipped for high and low angles of fire. This makes the D-30 fully suitable for antitank defense. The D-30 fires the following variable-charge, case-type, separate-loading ammunition: FRAG-HE, HEAT-FS. Other types of projectiles include chemical, illuminating (S-462 weighing 22.4 kg), smoke (D-462 weighing 22.3 kg), leaflet, flechette, incendiary and recently an RAP has been introduced with a maximum range of 21900 m. There are at least two chemical projectiles for the D-30. The Sarin projectile weighs 22.2 kg of which 1.3 kg comprises the Sarin CW. The 122 mm viscous Lewisite projectile weighs 23.1 kg of which 3.3 kg comprises the viscous Lewisite CW agent. In both cases the CW agent is dispersed by the explosion of a TNT bursting charge. The D-30 can also be equipped with a IR or passive night vision sights for direct fire.


M-46 130-mm Towed Field Gun

The 130-mm field gun M-46 has a recognizable long, thin tube with a cylindrical, perforated (pepperpot-type) muzzle brake. It has a hydro-pneumatic recuperator and a recoil cylinder located above and below the tube, respectively. For travel, the crew withdraws the tube from battery to reduce the overall length of the weapon. The rearward- angled, winged shield may then hide the recuperator above the tube from sight. The gun has a manually operated horizontal sliding wedge breech-block. It fires case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition. It has night direct fire sights (IR and/or passive in nature). The gun is mounted on a two-wheeled split trail carriage with large sponge-filled rubber tires on each of the single wheels. For travel, it has a two-wheeled limber. A truck or armored tractor can tow it at speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour. The trails consist of steel plates welded into box-section construction. When traveling the barrel is withdrawn by a mechanism on the right trail from battery to the rear to reduce the overall length of the weapon. The carriage is of the split trail type and is provided with a two-wheeled limber. When traveling the spades are removed and carried on each of the two trails. The recoil system is mounted under the barrel, and in front of the shield, which has been removed on some models, is an inverted U-shaped collar. The M-46 has direct fire sights including an APN-3 active/passive night sight. The M-46 is an excellent indirect fire weapon with high muzzle velocity and exceptional range (27,490 meters). It is also a formidable antitank weapon with impressive armor penetration capability. Its tactical role usually is counter-battery. It fires case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition, including: FRAG-HE, APC-T. Other types of projectile include SP-46 illuminating weighing 25.8 kg with an m/v of 687 m/s and smoke target marking with an m/v of 930 m/s. An RAP is known to be in service having been used by Syria in the 1973 Middle East War. At least two chemical projectiles have been fielded for this weapon. The 130 mm Sarin projectile weighs 33.4 kg of which 1.6 kg comprises the Sarin CW agent which is dispersed by a TNT bursting charge. The other is a VX projectile weighing 33.4 kg of which 1.4 kg is the VX CW agent.


D-20 152-mm Towed Gun-Howitzer

The D-20 uses the same carriage and recoil system as the 122 mm Field Gun D-74 which was also shown for the first time in 1955. The D-20 can be distinguished from the D-74 by a much shorter and fatter stepped barrel and a larger double-baffle muzzle brake. The shield has an irregular top with a sliding center section and the top of the shield can be folded down to reduce the overall height of the weapon. A circular firing pedestal fitted as standard on all D-20s is inverted and secured just forward of the shield when traveling. In the firing position the firing pedestal is lowered, allowing the weapon to be traversed quickly through a full 360. On each of the split box-section trails is a castor wheel (on top) and a spade (underneath). It fires the following case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition: FRAG-HE, CP, AP-T. Other types of ammunition include chemical, HE/RAP (range of 24000 m), HEAT, illuminating (S-540), smoke (D-540) and tactical nuclear (0.2 kT). More recent ammunition types include HEAT-SS (spin-stabilized), flechette, scatterable mines (anti-tank and anti-personnel) and semi-active laser. The latter is called the KRASNOPOL by the former Soviet Union and is claimed to have a maximum range of 18 km. At least two types of chemical projectiles have been identified. One weighs 40 kg of which 2.8 kg comprises the Sarin CW agent which is dispersed by the TNT bursting charge. The 152 mm viscous Lewisite projectile weighs 42.5 kg of which 5.4 kg comprises the CW agent which is dispersed by the explosion of the TNT bursting charge.


2A36 (M1976) 152-mm Towed Gun

This gun has a distinctive four-wheeled carriage, and has an armored shield that slopes to the rear and extends over the wheels. The 49 caliber barrel of the 2A36 is fitted with a multi-slotted muzzle brake weighing 141 kg with the recoil system consisting of a buffer and a recuperator which are mounted above the ordnance towards the rear. The horizontal sliding breech mechanism opens to the right automatically. The ordnance pivots on the cradle which is of cast and welded steel construction. Elevation and traverse is manual with the former being from -2 30' to +57 with traverse being 25 left and right. The direct and indirect sights are mounted on the left side of the carriage as are the elevation and traverse mechanisms. Mounted below and to the rear of the breech is the load assist system which is referred to as a quick firing loading system by the former Soviets. This includes a hydraulic rammer operated from the hydro-pneumatic accumulator with controls being provided for ramming and return. A fused projectile is placed on the loading tray which is mounted to the right of the breech. When the breech is opened this slides to the left until it lines up with the breech. The projectile is then rammed into the ordnance, the loading tray then slides back to the right. Types of separate loading ammunition fired include high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and armor-piercing tracer (AP-T). The former weighs 46 kg and has a maximum muzzle velocity, using the top charge, of about 800 m/s. Before loading the projectile the fusing mode is selected either for fragmentation or high explosive action. The cartridge cased charge is then located in a similar manner and when the breech is closed the rammer automatically returns to the side and the weapon is then ready to fire. The former Soviets quote a rate of fire of six rounds a minute for the 2A36 and say that a battery can put almost one ton of ammunition onto a target in one minute. The AP-T round is used in the direct fire mode against tanks and other armored fighting vehicles. The propelling charge, which weighs a maximum of 11 kg, is placed in a conventional cartridge case. The standard HE-FRAG projectile has a maximum range of 27000 m although a rocket-assisted HE-FRAG projectile, called the active-reactive projectile by the former Soviets, can also be fired. This has a maximum range of 40000 m. Other types of projectile that can probably be fired by the 152 mm 2A36 include chemical, smoke, concrete piercing, incendiary and tactical nuclear. The ammunition system used by the 152 mm 2A36 is of a new design and is not inter-operable with that of earlier former Soviet artillery systems, such as the 152 mm 2S3, and may well be of a new streamlined design. The walking beam suspension has a total of four rubber-tired braked road wheels for high speed towing as well as for improved cross-country mobility with the tires having a normal tire pressure of 4.8 kg/cm2. Each of the front road wheels has a hydraulic shock absorber and a manual handbrake. When in firing position, the 152 mm 2A36 is supported on a circular jack that is located under the forward part of the carriage and on each of the box type welded trails which is provided with a spade. The standard spade is the winter spade but when firing from soft terrain much larger summer spades are used. When coming out of action, the jack is raised clear of the ground and secured under the front, spades removed and stowed on the trails, trails brought together and clamped with a tie mechanism. The hinged tow bar is fitted to the right trail and the weapon is then hitched up to the prime mover. Although the 2A36 was first observed being towed by the new KrAZ-260 (6 x 6) truck, it can also be towed by the KrAZ-255B (6 x 6) truck or ATT, ATS or ATS-59 full tracked vehicles.


2A65 (M1987) 152-mm Towed Gun-Howitzer

The 152 mm 2A36 is also referred to as the MSTA-B by the former Soviet Union with the weapon also forming the main armament of the new 152 mm self-propelled artillery system the 2S19 which is also referred to as the MSTA-S. The 2A65 has a long slender barrel which is estimated to be about 40 calibers long, and has a double-barrel muzzle brake. The split trail carriage has few features of note other than swiveling castor wheels secured towards the end of each trail leg and the provision of a hydraulically raised and lowered firing platform under the forward carriage. The 2A65 weighs 7000 kg, is manned by a crew of eight and can be brought into action in about two minutes. It is normally towed by a 6 x 6 truck up to a maximum speed of 80 km/h or 20 km/h across country. A ramming mechanism and a semi-automatic breech can produce a maximum rate of fire of seven rounds a minute. The 2A65 can fire most existing 152-mm howitzer projectiles but a new family has been specifically designed for the 2A65 (and 2S19). In his family one of three pre-loaded cartridge cases can be selected to suit a particular fire mission. Firing the latest FRAG-HE projectile the maximum range is 24,000 meters, but a FRAG-HE with a base bleed (BB) unit added can improve this to 29,000 meters. There is a cargo round containing 42 dual purpose (anti-personnel and armor-penetrating) bomblets, each containing 45 grams of explosives. Another novel projectile dispenses small radio transmitters intended to jam enemy communications. The 2A65 can also fire the KRASNOPOL laser-guided anti-armor projectile. A RAP projectile can be fired to ranges as great as 40,000 meters.


M-240 240-mm Mortar

The 240 mm M-240 mortar consists of a barrel with breech and breech-block frame, a frame with shock absorbers, the mount with training and equilibrating mechanisms, a two-wheel traveling carriage with the suspension, a boom for changing from the firing to the traveling configuration, a baseplate and a towing bar with a lunette. The sights are carried separately and are mounted on the mortar only when firing. The shock absorbers are used to protect the sights from firing vibrations and also provide the link between the ordnance and mount. It is also used when the mounting returns to the loading position after firing. The boom provides stability when firing and also has two winches to convert the mortar from the firing to the traveling configuration. The M-240 has a minimum range of 800 m and a maximum range of 9700 m with traverse limited to 18. Elevation limits are from +45 to +65. The sights, elevation and traverse gears are on the left-hand side of the barrel. The mortar is normally towed, at a maximum speed of 40 km/h, muzzle first by an AT-P, AT-L or AT-S tractor which also carries the crew of 11. Additional vehicles carry the ammunition and emplacing equipment. On arrival at the firing position, which has to be on firm ground, the mortar is uncoupled from the tractor and the towing lunette is removed. The large circular welded baseplate is lowered to the ground and packed with earth to provide a stable firing platform. The smoothbore barrel is 5.34 m long and for loading is swung into the horizontal position. At the lower end of the barrel is the breech-block and projectile guide. Bringing the M-240 into action takes at least 25 minutes, slightly less to move it after firing. Weight in action is approximately 4150 kg. The HE bomb weighs 130 kg of which 34 kg is payload. The bomb, which is almost 1.5 m long, is brought to the mortar on a two-wheeled trolley and a team of five is used for loading. Large tongs/gripping pincers are used to lift the bomb from the trolley onto the projectile guide with two men on each handle and the fifth steadying the fins. The bomb is then pushed into the barrel and the breech is closed. The barrel is then raised to the firing position. The rate of fire is about 1 rd/min.



Self-Propelled Artillery and Mortars

2S9 120-mm SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZER/MORTAR (SO-120)

The 120-mm 2S9 Anona (Anemone) self-propelled howitzer/mortar was first seen in public in May 1985 and it is an airborne artillery assault vehicle that has been developed to carry out two tactical functions: conventional artillery equipment to replace existing mortars and howitzers and as a direct fire anti-tank weapon system firing HEAT projectiles. The 2S9 has a crew of four; commander, driver/mechanic, gunner and loader. The 2S9 hull is a stretched version of the BMD airborne combat vehicle and is divided into three compartments; the command compartment, the fighting compartment and the engine compartment. The two-man turret is located in the middle of the hull and is of welded steel construction with 16-mm thick frontal armor. The turret roof has two hatches, one for the gunner and the other for the loader. The track is the same as that used on the BMD airborne combat vehicle and the suspension is hydro-pneumatic with an adjustable ground clearance of between 100 and 450-mm. The ground clearance is adjustable by the driver/mechanic from within the vehicle. There are six road wheels each side and five track-return rollers. The 2S9 is armed with a 120-mm breech-loaded mortar (2A60) with a barrel approximately 1.8-m long. The mortar is probably provided with an interrupted-screw breech mechanism and a chamber detent to retain a round in place when the barrel is elevated. Ammunition is fixed and loading is manual, although ramming is automatic. The 120-mm mortar has a rate of fire of 6 to 8 rds/min. In the indirect fire role the mortar fires high explosive, white phosphorous and smoke rounds. Mounted below the turret rear is an ammunition loading hatch and mounted on top of the hull is a device for loading ammunition from the ground directly into the fighting compartment. This allows sustained fire missions to be carried out whilst still retaining onboard ammunition supply. The 2S9 takes 30 seconds to come into action and a similar time to come out of action. When in the firing position the suspension is raised to provide a more stable firing platform. Standard equipment includes an NBC system, night vision equipment and an electric bilge pump. The 2S9 is amphibious and is powered in the water by two water-jets at the rear. Power can be delivered to the water-jets and the track at the same time. When in the water, splash vanes can be erected in front of the driver's position. For air transport the 2S9 can be carried by any former Soviet Military Air Transport (VTA) medium or heavy cargo aircraft. It can be para-dropped from the An-32 `Cline', Il-76 `Candid' or An-22 `Cock' aircraft using the PRSM-915 heavy drop system, from heights between 300 and 1500 m.


2S23 120-mm SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZER/MORTAR SYSTEM

The 120-mm 2S23 self-propelled howitzer/mortar system is essentially a modified version of the turret used with the 2S9 system mounted on a modified BTR-80 (8 x 8) armored personnel carrier chassis. The all-welded steel turret of the 2S23 does differ from that observed on the 2S9 (SO-120) in a number of areas including the installation of three electrically operated smoke dischargers either side of the turret firing forwards and a raised commander's cupola towards the rear of the turret on the left side which overhangs the side of the turret. On the 2S23 the infra-red searchlight is mounted on the forward part of the commander's cupola which is also provided with vision devices. Forward of the cupola is a 7.62-mm pintle-mounted machine gun. The turret is also provided with vision blocks for direct observation. The 120-mm main armament, designated the 2A60, has a maximum range of 8000-m with a maximum rate of fire being 6 to 8 rds/min. In addition to firing former Soviet 120-mm mortar bombs, the 120-mm weapon of the 2S23 can also fire mortar bombs fired by the French Thomson-Brandt MO-120-RT-61 mortar system that is used by many countries around the world. This fires a wide range of mortar bombs including HE, HE extended range, illuminating and smoke. The direct fire sight is located to the left of the 120-mm main armament while the indirect fire sight is mounted in the turret roof on the left side. The indirect sight housing of the 2S23 appears to be slightly different from that of the earlier 2S9 (SO-120) system. Although the chassis of the 2S23 is similar to that of the BTR-80 it does have a number of differences including removal of all firing ports and their associated vision devices, removal of the side doors between the second and third road wheels, different roof hatches and removal of the commander's roof-mounted infra-red searchlight. Although the doors in the upper hull sides have been removed, a door is fitted in the lower part of the hull between the second and third wheels as an emergency exit. The 2S23 retains the amphibious characteristics of the original BTR-80 and has a single water-jet at the rear of the hull with a trim vane being mounted on the front of the vehicle. This folds back onto the glacis plate when not required. Standard equipment on the 2S23 includes an NBC system, night vision equipment and a central tire pressure regulation system that allows the driver to adjust the tire pressure to suit the type of ground being crossed.


2S1 122-mm SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZER (SO-122)

The all-welded steel hull of the 2S1 is divided into three compartments: driver's at the front on the left, engine to the right of the driver and the turret at the rear. The welded turret, which does not overhang the side of the hull, has a well-sloped front and sides with the commander seated on the left, gunner in front of and below the commander and the loader on the right. The indirect sight is mounted in the roof of the turret, forward of the commander's cupola with the direct sight being mounted to the left of the main armament. A long stowage box is often mounted on the left side of the turret and there is a large door in the rear of the hull, hinged on the left side. The rear door has a single firing port in the center. The suspension system is similar to the MT-LB multi-purpose tracked vehicle's and consists of seven road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear, but no track-return rollers. An unusual feature of the 2S1 is that the suspension can be adjusted to give different heights, which is of particular use when the vehicle is being transported by tactical transport aircraft. The 2S1's main armament, designated the 2A31, is a modified version of the 122-mm D-30 towed howitzer. The ordnance is fitted with a fume extractor and muzzle brake and is held in position when traveling via a lock on the hull glacis plate which is operated by remote-control by the driver. A power rammer and extractor are fitted to the folding guard rail to enable a higher rate of fire to be achieved and to permit loading at any angle of elevation. A maximum sustained rate of fire of 5-8 rds/min can be obtained with a sustained rate of fire of 70 rounds for the first hour and, of the 40 122-mm projectiles normally carried, 32 are HE, six smoke and two HEAT-FS. Of the 40 rounds of 122-mm ammunition carried, 16 are in standby stowage on the left and right of the sidewalls. When in action, ammunition would normally be used from outside the 2S1 system and fed to the crew inside via a ramp. One of the two ammunition members outside the vehicle is connected to the vehicle intercom and would fuse the projectiles before they are passed into the vehicle. The remaining 24 projectiles and charges are stowed near the loader's position with the empty cartridge cases being ejected outside the turret. The HE projectile has a maximum range of 15300-m. Other ammunition types available include leaflet, HE/RAP (range of 21900 m), armor piercing high explosive, flechette, and chemical projectiles. Standard equipment includes infra-red night vision lights and an NBC system. It is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by its tracks. Any water that enters the hull during amphibious operations is removed via the exhaust outlet using the bilge pump. Whilst afloat only 30 rounds (projectiles and charges) are carried.


2S3 152-mm SELF-PROPELLED GUN/HOWITZER

The all-welded steel hull of the 2S3 is divided into three compartments; driver's at the front on the left, engine to the right of the driver and the turret at the rear. On the forward part of the glacis is a splash board to stop water rushing up the glacis plate when the vehicle is fording a stream. The air-inlet and air-outlet louvers are on the top of the hull with the exhaust outlet on the right side of the hull, just above the track guard. The large all-welded turret has a sloped front and well-sloped sides with a vision block in each side. The commander is seated on the left of the turret with the gunner forward and below him and the loader on the right. The commander has a cupola which can be traversed through a full 360 and a single piece hatch cover that opens to the rear. Mounted on the forward part of the hatch is a 7.62-mm machine gun which can be aimed and fired from inside the turret. There is an OU-3K infra-red/white searchlight mounted to the left of the machine gun. In the rear half of the hull is a total of 33 projectiles complete with fuses which are stowed in three horizontal layers. On the 2S3M/2S3M1 is a projectile carousel which holds an additional 12 projectiles in the vertical position. Stowed below the projectiles are 16 charges in two layers of eight with an additional eight being stowed near the loader's position and the remainder being stowed in brackets in the vehicle. An ammunition resupply hatch is provided in the right side of the turret and there is an oval hatch at the rear of the hull which opens downwards. Wherever possible, ammunition would be used from outside the 2S3 with the onboard ammunition supply being retained ready for immediate use. The two ammunition crew-members are in a 6 x 6 truck and on arriving at the fire position one of these plugs into the external connector of the 2S3's intercom system at the rear and listens into the firing commands. The prepared projectiles (complete with set fuse) and charge are then passed through the openings in the rear of the vehicle. The later 2S3M/2S3M1 has a single opening. Main armament Is a 152-mm weapon, designated the 2A33, which is based on the towed 152-mm D-20 gun/howitzer but with a bore evacuator added behind the muzzle brake. The barrel has a double-baffle muzzle brake, fume extractor and a gun barrel traveling lock. The normal projectile fired by the 2S3 is the HE-FRAG OF-540, which is fitted with an RGM-2 fuse, weighs 43.5 kg, contains 5.76 kg of TNT, and has a maximum muzzle velocity of 655 m/s and maximum range of 18500 m. Other types of projectiles fired include chemical, HEAT-FS (also referred to as HEAT-SS, with latter standing for spin stabilized), HE/RAP (high explosive rocket assisted projectile) with a range of 24000 m, AP-T, illuminating, smoke, 0.2 kT tactical nuclear, incendiary, flechette, scatterable mines (anti-tank and anti-personnel) and semi-active laser. The gun has an elevation of +60, a depression of -3 and turret traverse is a full 360. The 2S3 has infra-red night vision equipment and an NBC system. It has no amphibious capability and normally carries an unditching beam at the rear of the hull.

VARIANTS: Late production versions of the 2S3 are designated the 2S3M and 2S3M1. The 2S3M and 2S3M1 have an ammunition load of 40 projectiles and charges and also a loading carousel which facilitates loading and therefore increases the rate of fire. These versions can be distinguished from the rear as they have two small stowage compartment covers positioned to the right and left of the hull rear as opposed to a larger oval cover in the center. The 2S3M1 is, in addition, equipped with a data terminal which automatically displays the fire command transmitted to the battery officer's upgraded 1V13M command vehicle.


2S5 152-mm SELF-PROPELLED GUN

The chassis of the 2S5 is of all-welded steel armor construction that is believed to have a maximum thickness of 15-mm so providing the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. A dozer blade is mounted under the nose of the 2S5. This is used for clearing obstacles and preparing firing positions without specialized engineer support. Mounted externally on the forward part of the cupola is a 7.62-mm machine gun that can be operated by remote-control with a white light searchlight being mounted on the left side. The commander is provided with periscopes and other viewing devices. The long-barreled 152-mm ordnance, which is fitted with a five part multi-baffle muzzle brake, is mounted externally on the roof at the rear and when traveling is held in position by a travel lock. When deployed in the firing position a large spade is lowered to the ground to provide a more stable firing platform. The 2S5 takes three minutes to come into action and a similar time to come out of action. Ammunition is of the separate loading type, for example projectile and charge, and crew fatigue is reduced by means of a semi-automatic loading system. This consists of an electrically driven chain rammer located to the left of the breech which, when not required folds back through 90 so that it is parallel to the breech and the projectile and charge-loading system. The latter is pivoted on the right side and has a projectile tray and a charge tray. The projectile and charge are loaded in the trays and then swung upwards through almost 90 where the rammer first rams the projectile then the charge. The 2S5 can be supplied with ammunition from either on board via the rear of the vehicle or from ammunition on the ground. A total of 30 projectiles and charges is carried with the projectiles being stowed vertically in a carousel device in the left side of the rear compartment with the 30 charges to the right in three rows of 10. Each row of 10 charges is also stowed vertically and they are on a horizontal conveyor belt that returns under the floor of the vehicle. The charge consists of a conventional cartridge case containing the actual charge and once fired the breech automatically opens and the spent cartridge case is ejected. Maximum range, firing conventional ammunition is 28500-m while a range of 40000-m can be achieved using a rocket-assisted projectile. In addition to the normal high explosive fragmentation projectile which weighs 46 kg, with propellant and cartridge weighing a maximum of 34 kg, other types include chemical, concrete-piercing, improved conventional munitions and tactical nuclear. A unit of fire is 60 rounds. The mechanical ammunition-handling system enables a maximum rate of fire of 5-6 rds/min to be achieved. Standard equipment for the 2S5 includes an NBC system and infra-red night equipment for the driver and commander.


2S19 152-mm SELF-PROPELLED ARTILLERY SYSTEM

The 2S19 is based on a full tracked MBT chassis with the driver at the front, fully enclosed turret in the center and powerpack at the rear and in many respects is similar to the French 155-mm GCT self-propelled artillery system based on an AMX-30 MBT chassis. The hull and turret is of all-welded steel armor construction which provides protection from small arms fire, shell splinters and mines. The 2S19 self-propelled artillery system is based on the chassis of the T-80 MBT but with automotive components of the T-72 MBT as the 2S19 has a distinct exhaust outlet on the left side that is not on the T-80 which is powered by a gas-turbine engine. Mounted under the nose of the vehicle, in a similar manner to that of the T-72/T-80 MBT's, is a dozer blade that can be used to prepare fire positions or clear obstacles. The suspension is of the torsion bar type with six road wheels, idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and track-return rollers with the upper part of the track being covered by a skirt. The vehicle commander is seated on the right and operates the roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun that can be operated by remote-control and the searchlight. The 12.7-mm machine gun can be used to engage both ground and air targets. Mounted externally on the right side of the turret are boxes of 12.7-mm machine gun ammunition for ready use. Main armament comprises a long-barreled 152-mm gun fitted with a fume extractor and a muzzle brake. When the 2S19 is traveling the ordnance is held in position by a traveling lock mounted on the glacis plate. The 152-mm gun fires an HE-FRAG (high explosive fragmentation) projectile to a maximum range of 24700 m, although using an extended-range projectile its range is probably 36000 m. Other types of projectile can also be fired including illuminating, incendiary, smoke and tactical nuclear. Automation of the loading process enables a maximum rate of fire of 8 rds/min to be achieved using onboard ammunition and 6 to 7 rds/min using projectiles and charges from the ground. This selects and then places the fused projectile into the breech with the charges being loaded semi-automatically. In addition to selecting the projectile from the magazine, the automatic loading mechanism controls the number of rounds to be fired and has built-in test equipment. Laying in elevation is automatic with laying in traverse being semi-automatic. A total of 50 projectiles and charges is carried. Spades are not required on the 2S19 as it is very stable when in the firing position. If required the 2S19 can be reloaded through the turret rear while the system is firing. This enables the system to move off to its next fire position with a full load of ammunition on board. Three smoke dischargers are mounted either side of the turret. A 16 kW autonomous gas-turbine auxiliary power unit (APU) is provided in the turret and this provides power within 30 to 60 seconds of being switched on. This allows the system to be fully operational at temperatures ranging from -50 to +50C with the main diesel engine being switched off to conserve fuel supplies. Standard equipment includes an NBC system and night vision equipment for the driver.


2S7 203-mm SELF-PROPELLED GUN (SO-203)

The 2S7 is based on a large chassis that is probably the largest armored vehicle currently in the former Soviet inventory. The fully enclosed crew compartment is at the front of the vehicle and has seats for the commander, driver and two other crew members. The commander and driver are each provided with a circular roof hatch and in front of these are periscopes for forward observation. To their immediate front is a windscreen that, when in a combat area, is covered by an armored shutter hinged at the top. In addition, there is a single forward-facing periscope in the forward part of the roof between the commander and driver. The torsion bar suspension has seven dual rubber-tired road wheels either side with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear, and six track-return rollers that support the inside of the track only. Along either side of the hull are a series of large stowage boxes with the 203-mm gun, which is not fitted with a fume extractor or a muzzle brake, being mounted at the rear. One piston of the recoil brake and recuperator is located on the gun with the other two pistons beneath it and these limit recoil to a maximum of 1400-mm. The 203-mm gun is designated the 2A44 and when traveling is held in position by a manually operated lock mounted on top of the cab. The 203-mm rifled gun is fitted with a screw type breech block that opens to the right and is fitted with a large power-assisted loading device. The gun operator is seated at the rear of the hull on the left side with the elevation and traverse controls. It is reported that traverse is probably electric and elevation hydraulic, with manual controls being provided for emergency use. Ammunition is of the separate loading type, for example projectile and charge with a maximum muzzle velocity of 960 m/s. Maximum range, using unassisted ammunition, is 37.5 km. The standard HE round is designated the ZOF 43 and weighs 43 kg with a total of four projectiles and charges being carried on the 2S7 for immediate use. The remainder of the ammunition load is carried by another vehicle, usually a truck. In addition to the HE projectile it is reported that other types of projectile can be fired including tactical nuclear and concrete-piercing and, possibly chemical. The 2S7 is provided with an ammunition-handling system that enables a rate of fire of 2 rds/min to be achieved, with this being operated by the loader. Mounted at the very rear of the 2S7 is a large hydraulically operated spade that is lowered to the ground before firing commences. Standard equipment includes an NBC system of the overpressure type and night vision equipment. An auxiliary power unit is not provided for the 2S7 so the main engine has to be kept running as a power supply during firing.

VARIANTS: The latest version is designated the 2S7M which has more recent communications equipment and can carry a total of eight projectiles and charges.


2S4 240-mm SELF-PROPELLED MORTAR (SM-240)

The 240-mm self-propelled mortar known to the West as the M-1975 is known as the SM-240 (2S4) by the former Soviet Army, although its more common name is the Tyulpan, or Tulip Tree. The M-1975 consists of a much modified GMZ tracked minelaying vehicle carrying a 240-mm M-240 breech-loading mortar on the hull rear. The mortar is carried complete with a baseplate and is hydraulically lowered from its traveling position around a pivot on the hull rear. The baseplate is hinged to the hull rear so that when emplaced the mortar barrel faces away from the hull. The 240-mm mortar is lowered into the firing position under remote-control and when in position can be elevated from +45 to +80 with a traverse of 8 left and right. Some rounds are probably carried inside the vehicle hull and it is likely that some form of assisted loading is provided. The rate of fire is probably about one round a minute, with firing being by remote-control. The hull of the vehicle is of all-welded steel armor with the engine compartment at the front right and driver front left. The commander is seated to the rear of the driver and has a raised cupola with an externally mounted 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun. A further hatch is to the rear of the commander's cupola with a similar outward opening hatch on the opposite side of the vehicle roof. Ammunition is stowed internally and is loaded into the mortar using a hand-operated crane mounted at the rear of the vehicle on the left side. The mortar sighting system is on the right side of the mortar. Suspension is of the torsion bar type with each side having six road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and four track-return rollers. Firing a standard 130 kg HE round designated the F-864, a minimum range of 800-m and a maximum range of 9700-m can be achieved. In addition there is understood to be an extended-range round with a maximum range of 20000 m. Other rounds include a chemical projectile and nuclear. A concrete-piercing round for use against urban targets has been reported.



Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs)

BM-21 122-mm Multiple Rocket Launcher

The BM-21 is distinguishable from other MRLs by its square-cornered, 40-tube launching apparatus with 4 banks of 10 tubes. A protective canvas often covers the apparatus. The BM-21 is mounted on the Ural-375D 6 x 6 truck chassis, which has a distinctive fender design and a spare tire on the rear side of the cab. The BM-21 has no blast shields on the driver's cab. However, the material used in the cab windows and windscreen is strong enough to withstand the overpressure and other effects associated with the firing of 122-mm rockets. The BM-21's crew can fire it either from the cab or remotely from a distance of up to 60 meters when using a cable set. They can fire some or all rockets at a fixed 0.5-sec interval. They can fire single rockets manually at any desired interval. This five-man crew can reload the launcher in 8 to 10 minutes. The BM-21 fires a rocket with a range of 20,380 meters. Each launch tube is grooved to impart a slow rotary motion to the rocket. However, the rocket is primarily fin-stabilized. This combination of spin- and fin-stabilization ensures closely grouped fire at ranges of up to 16 kilometers. On explosion, the warhead produces a great fragmentation effect and shock wave. The warhead fill may be Frag-HE, chemical, incendiary, scatterable mines, or AP/AT bomblets. An advanced rocket has a maximum range of 30,000 meters. It takes the battalion 23/32 minutes to occupy fire positions (day/night) and 11/14 minutes to leave the fire position. The battalion will normally be found some 5000 m behind the FEBA during offensive and defensive operations. The launcher can be traversed through 180 and the bank of 40 launcher tubes elevated from 0 to +55 electrically or manually. The rockets can be launched singly at any desired time interval by manual means or in partial or complete salvo at a fixed 0.5 second time interval from within the cab or up to 60 m away from the cab with the aid of a remote-control unit connected to the vehicle by a cable. The rockets must be fired with the launcher parked obliquely to the target to prevent blast damage to the unshielded cab. Because of its high volume of fire and large area coverage, the BM-21 is well suited for use against troops in the open, for use in artillery preparations, and for delivery of chemical concentrations. One volley from a BM-21 battalion is 720 rounds. Because these weapons have a large circular error probable (CEP), they are not suited for attacks against point targets. The Ural-375D vehicle has a maximum road speed of 75 kilometers per hour. a cruising range of 750 kilometers, and an exceptional cross-country capability.

BM-21-1 VARIANT: The 122-mm MRL BM-21-1 closely resembles the BM-21. However, the BM-21-1 variant uses a ZIL-131 chassis instead of a Ural-375D; therefore, it has a slightly lower profile than the BM-21. The rear fenders of the ZIL-131 rotate with the launcher when the BM-21-1 is aimed for firing. A more important difference is that the BM-21-1 has only 36 tubes, unlike the BM-21 which has 40. A launching apparatus has had the two center tubes in each of the lower two banks removed.


BM-21V 122-mm Airborne Multiple Rocket Launcher

For use in the composite artillery battalion allocated to each former Soviet Airborne Assault Brigade and Airborne Division the 12-round BM-21V (V standing for vozdushnodesantii, or airborne) system was developed. This has the NATO designator M1975 and has two tiers of six tubes mounted on the lower chassis of the reduced weight airborne forces GAZ-66B (4 x 4) 2000 kg truck. This has a collapsible canvas cab, removable doors and windscreen, telescopic steering wheel and tie down points for aiding parachute dropping and air landing. The launcher is traversed forward towards the cab for traveling and for firing uses two stabilizing jacks at the rear of the vehicle. The BM-21V fires the same 122-mm fin-stabilized rocket as the BM-21 and BM-21-1. The rockets can deliver Frag-HE, chemical, or incendiary warheads to a range of 20,380 meters, or the newer HE and cargo rockets out to 30,000 meters. This airborne MRL can fire all 12 rockets in 6 seconds or fire each singly. It can reload in 5 minutes. The B version of the GAZ-66 has reduced weight and mass due to a canvas-covered cab and a windshield that can be folded down to simplify air-landing or air-dropping. The BM-21V has a maximum highway speed of 87 kilometers per hour.


BM-22 220-mm Multiple Rocket Launcher

The 220-mm BM-22 Uragan (Hurricane, 16-round) MRL was introduced into service in 1977 and is sometimes referred to in the West as the M1977. The industrial designation for the BM-22 system is 9K57 and is mounted on a modified ZIL-135 (8 x 8) cross-country truck chassis designated the BAZ-135LM (industrial designation 9P140) which is fitted with a central tire pressure regulation system and has steering on the front and rear axles. Before the rockets are launched two stabilizers are lowered at the rear of the vehicle, one either side. The BM-22 provides chemical, high explosive and submunition supporting fire to maneuver units. The following rocket types are known to be used with the system: unitary HE, APAM bomblets (30 bomblets), AT mines (24 mines), and AP mines (312 mines). The launcher has a traverse of +-30, maximum elevation of +55 and consists of one layer of four tubes and two layers of six tubes. A rapid reload capability is provided for by another ZIL-135 that carries 16 rockets arranged in two stacks positioned either side of the vehicle bed with a single round capacity reloading arm between them. For reloading the launcher is lowered to the horizontal and swung to one side, the new rockets being loaded with the aid of a rammer. Reloading time is estimated to take up to 20 minutes. Maximum rate of fire is one round every 0.5 seconds.


9A52-2 Smerch 300-mm Multiple Rocket Launcher

The 9A52 300-mm is the largest caliber of multiple rocket launcher used by the Commonwealth of Independent States and it is commonly known as the Smerch (Tornado). The complete system has the industrial designation of the 9K58. The original 9A52 launcher has a total of 14 launcher tubes, but a modified variant, Smerch-M, has also been deployed, this has the industrial index of 9A52-2 and has a total of 12 launcher tubes. The main role of the system is to suppress missile, artillery and mortar batteries, destroy strong points and eliminate enemy nodes of resistance. The system is based on an improved MAZ-543M (8 x 8) cross-country truck designated the MAZ-7310 which is also used for the re-supply vehicle. The launcher has a fully enclosed two-door cab that is on the left side of the vehicle whereas the rocket re-supply vehicle has a four-door fully enclosed cab that is in two parts, one either side of the front-mounted engine compartment. The launcher vehicle also has a radiator grill that extends to the right side of the chassis whereas the re-supply vehicle has a smaller radiator that is in the center of the vehicle. On the launcher vehicle there is an additional fully enclosed compartment to the immediate rear of the driver's compartment at a slightly raised level. Mounted on the rear of the chassis is the 300 mm 14- or 12-round multiple rocket launcher, this has one group of four rocket tubes either side and another group of four rocket tubes horizontally above. Before the rockets are launched two stabilizers are lowered to the ground, these are positioned one either side between the rear two road wheels. The system takes three minutes to be prepared for action with a similar time to come out of action with the normal crew consisting of four men. The launcher has powered traverse of 55 left and right with maximum elevation being +55, a salvo of 12 rockets can be fired in 38 seconds with accuracy being claimed as 0.23 per cent of range. According to former Soviet sources, one volley of rockets from a 9A52-2 launcher can cover an area of 672000 m2. The unguided rocket has a maximum range of 70000 m and is fitted with a cluster warhead that contains 72 HE fragmentation bomblets. The 9A52 re-supply vehicle has a similar chassis and carries a total of 12 or 14 rockets which are reloaded using an onboard crane. This vehicle, designation 9T234 for Smerch and 9T234-2 for Smerch-M, has a three-man crew and weighs 41.5 tons fully loaded. In addition there is also special drill and training equipment.



Surface to Surface Missile (SSMs) and Rocket Systems

Free Rocket Over Ground (FROG-7) Artillery Rocket

The FROG-7 (9K52 Luna) is the final version of the Free Rocket Over Ground family of unguided battlefield rockets developed by the former Soviet Union. It is an unguided, spin-stabilized, short-range, battlefield support artillery rocket. It employs a modified BAZ-135 transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicle (industrial designation 3R11), which carries one rocket and a crane on an 8 x 8 wheeled chassis. It is supported by a resupply vehicle (TZM), which consists of the BAZ-135L4 8 x 8 truck with three missiles. These reload missiles are placed on the TEL by that vehicle’s own hydraulically operated crane, which is on the right side of the launcher rail. A typical FROG-7 battalion is equipped with an HQ battery, and two firing batteries, each with two TELs and a D-band RMS (END TRAY) long-range meteorological radar. The range of the rocket is 70 km, and the rocket has a CEP of 500 to 700 meters. It is fitted with either a 450 kg HE, 450 kg nuclear, or 36 kg chemical warheads. The FROG-7b is an improved rocket which can carry a cargo warhead capable of delivering bomblets or mines. Preparation for firing can take 15 to 30 minutes depending on the situation.


SS-21 SCARAB Tactical Ballistic Missile

The SS-21 SCARAB (9K79 Tochka) is a single-stage, short-range, tactical-ballistic missile. It is transported and fired from the 9P129 transporter erector launcher, which is based on BAZ-5921 6 x 6 wheeled chassis. It is supported by two missile transport vehicles: a tactical transloader (9T218) which is based on the same BAZ-5921 chassis (identifiable from the TEL by the canvas covered rear bed); and a 9T238 missile transporter trailer, which is towed by a ZIL-131 truck. The 9P129 TEL has a crew compartment in the forward section of the vehicle, and a missile compartment behind this. During transport, the missile is entirely enclosed, with the warhead in a temperature-controlled casing. The SS-21 SCARAB missile (9M79) has a maximum range of 70 km and a CEP of 160 meters. An improved version, called the 9M79-1 (Tochka-U) has a maximum range of 120 km, thanks to an improved composite propellant. The SS-21 is capable of carrying several different warheads. The basic warhead is the 9N123F HE-Frag warhead which has 120 kg of high explosives. The 9N123K is a submunition warhead which can probably carry either bomblets or mines. The SS-21 can also carry the AA60 tactical nuclear warhead. There are several other warheads believed to be in existence; these include chemical, terminally guided warhead, and a smart-munition bomblet warhead.


SS-1C SCUD Tactical Ballistic Missile

The SS-1c SCUD is a single-stage, short-range tactical ballistic missile, using storable liquid propellants. It is transported, and fired from a TEL based on a MAZ-543 wheeled (8 x 8) chassis. The SCUD was designed for targets such as marshaling areas, major storage dumps, and airfields. The SCUD, which has a maximum range of 300 km, has been deployed in three variants: (S-1b) SCUD A, (SS-1c) SCUD B, and SCUD D. The primary difference between each of these variants is their guidance system and resulting CEP. The SCUD A and SCUB B have a rudimentary inertial guidance system using three gyroscopes and have a CEP of 450 meters. The SCUD D has an active radar terminal seeker to refine the aim point as the warhead approaches the target, and a CEP of 50 m. The warhead separates from the motor and fuel tank assembly following motor burn-out to increase warhead stability and accuracy. All of the SCUD variants are capable of delivering the same warheads: HE, chemical, and nuclear. The MAZ-543 TEL gives the SCUD missile system greater road mobility. It reduces the number of support vehicles required, and still preserves a great choice in selecting off-road firing positions.



Fire Support C2 and Radars

Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle MT-LBu (IV12 series)

To operate with the 122 mm 2S1 (M-1974) self-propelled howitzer and the 152 mm M-1973 self-propelled gun/howitzer, the former Soviet Union has developed the Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle (ACRV) which is based on the chassis of the M-1974 but with a much larger superstructure. The ACRV has an NBC system and like the M-1974 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by its tracks. Track shrouds fitted on the forward fender to improve water flow are often removed on land and stowed at the rear of the vehicle. There are at least three versions of the Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle. These ACRVs are called MT-LBus as they are based on the chassis of the MT-LB multi-purpose armored vehicle used in large numbers. The basic ACRV has a driver and usually has seating for up to seven men. Typically it has a five-man crew consisting of driver, commander, radio operator, navigator and rangefinder operator. The former Soviet Army is now known to refer to these vehicles as the 1V12 system which applies to those command and control vehicles assigned to self-propelled artillery systems. These systems have been improved, and the current models have the designation 1V13M-1, 1V14M-1, 1V15M-1, and 1V16M-1. The Polish designations for these vehicles are 1W12, 1W13, 1W14, 1W15 and 1W16. Each battery has two vehicles, with the 1V13 deputy battery commander's vehicle serving as the battery fire direction center, while the 1V14 serves as the observation post for the battery commander. In addition, the battalion command platoon also includes one 1V15 for use by the battalion commander and one 1V16 for the battalion fire direction under the control of the deputy battalion commander.

ACRV IV13 (Battery Fire Direction Center) This model is issued on the scale of three per self-propelled battalion. It has a crew of six with the driver seated at the front on the left with a single piece hatch cover that opens to the rear and the vehicle commander to his right with a single piece hatch cover that opens forwards. Both have a windscreen in front with a shutter which is lowered in a combat area. The remainder of the crew are seated at the back. This is often fitted with an externally mounted 12.7 mm DShKM anti-aircraft machine gun which in turn is mounted on a rotating cupola. The circular cupola is provided with vision equipment and single piece hatch cover.

ACRV IV14/IV15 (Battery and Battalion Command Vehicle) The battery commander's vehicle is designated the ACRV M1974-2A and has whip antennas while the battalion commander's vehicle, the ACRV M1974-2B, has a 10 m telescopic antenna which is stowed on the upper left hull when not required. The ACRV M1974-2A, used both as a command and observation vehicle, is fitted with a laser rangefinder in the turret and also carries a dismountable rangefinder such as the DAK-1 (NATO Codename SAGE GLOSS).

ACRV IV16 (Battalion Fire Direction Center) Main identification features of this version are the lack of a box on the right side of the hull, clean turret top and side and additional antenna on the hull roof. This version contains the battalion's electronic field artillery computer and is fitted with a 10 m telescopic antenna which is stowed on the upper left hull when not deployed.


Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle ACRV 1V17 Series

The ACRV 1V17 Series was developed to support towed artillery and multiple rocket launcher battalions. Unlike the ACRV 1V12 series, which is based on the MT-LBu chassis, the 1V17 series consists of BTR-60-based vehicles (1V18, 1V19) and two truck-mounted vehicles (1V110, 1V111). The 1V110 is based on the GAZ-66B (6 x 6) box-body van (BBV) truck and is the wheeled equivalent of the 1V13. It serves as the battery FDC (fire direction center). The 1V18 and 1V19 are BTR-60-based vehicles, which are the wheeled equivalents of the 1V14 and 1V15. They serve as the command observation posts (COPs) for the battery and battalion commander’s, respectively. These vehicles have the armament removed from the turret and replaced with rangefinding, and sighting equipment. The 1V111 is based on the ZIL-131 (6 x 6) BBV truck and is the wheeled equivalent to the 1V16. It serves as the battalion FDC.


Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle 1V119

The ACRV 1V119 is the airborne equivalent to the 1V12 and 1V17-series of artillery command and reconnaissance vehicles. They are used to support airborne artillery battalions, towed, self-propelled, and MRL. These vehicles act as the battery and battalion COPs, and FDCs. This vehicle is also used in airborne antitank battalions and in some headquarters units. The ACRV 1V119 is based on the stretched BMD chassis, the same as the 2S9 self-propelled mortar-howitzer. It has a turret equipped with several imaging, light intensification, and rangefinding equipment. Mounted on the turret roof is a TALL MIKE ground surveillance radar. The ACRV 1V119 can serve as both the observation and command and control vehicles for artillery batteries and battalions. The imaging, night vision and rangefinding equipment facilitates target identification, selection, and refinement. The TALL MIKE radar helps to identify both infantry and vehicular targets.


PRP-3 Artillery Reconnaissance Vehicle

This artillery reconnaissance vehicle is used as an artillery fire adjustment and/or artillery/mortar locating vehicle. The front of the vehicle is identical to the BMP-1 but the vehicle has a new two-man turret that has two single-piece hatches which open forward. Both hatches have periscopes for observation plus a large optical device in front of the hatch. Armament consists of a 7.62-mm machine-gun which has replaced the 73-mm gun. On the right side of the turret is a shuttered outcropping which houses an unidentified optical device. Mounted on the rear of the turret is a SMALL FRED battlefield surveillance radar with a flat antenna that folds forward when not in use. The SMALL FRED, which operates in the J-band, has a detection range of 20 km, and a tracking range of 7 km. To the rear of the turret on the left side is a further circular hatch cover and a telescoping antenna. This vehicle has a five-man crew and is fitted with extensive communications equipment and optical devices.


PRP-4 Artillery Reconnaissance Vehicle

This artillery reconnaissance vehicle, which is the replacement for the PRP-3, is used as an artillery fire adjustment and/or artillery/mortar locating vehicle. The front of the vehicle is identical to the BMP-1 but the vehicle has a new two-man turret that has two single-piece hatches which open forward. Both hatches have periscopes for observation plus a large optical device in front of the hatch. Armament consists of a 7.62-mm machine-gun which has replaced the 73-mm gun. On the either side of the turret are shuttered outcroppings which house unidentified optical devices. Mounted on the rear of the turret is a TALL MIKE battlefield surveillance radar, which has replaces the SMALL FRED found on the PRP-3. The TALL MIKE battlefield surveillance radar, which is also found on the BRM-1K and ACRV 1V119, detects vehicles out to 7000 meters and personnel out to 2000 meters. The TALL MIKE is retracted into the turret when not in use. To the rear of the turret on the left side is a further circular hatch cover and a telescoping antenna. This vehicle has a five-man crew and is fitted with extensive communications equipment and optical devices.


SNAR-10 BIG FRED Battlefield Surveillance Radar

This vehicle is an MT-LB fitted with an artillery/mortar-locating radar which has been allocated the NATO reporting name of BIG FRED. When traveling the antenna folds forward onto the top of the large turret which is to the rear of the vehicle. The forward turret-mounted 7.62-mm machine gun is retained. The radar is believed to be of a similar type to the British THORN EMI Cymbeline in that the radar measures the slant range and bearing of two points in the mortar bomb/artillery shell trajectory. The time taken for the bomb/projectile to travel between the two points is also measured and the onboard computer uses this information together with the pre-set elevation angles to determine the position of the enemy mortar or artillery piece. This information is then relayed to the field artillery units and the target is engaged. The radar has a range of about 20 km. Specifications of the MT-LB with BIG FRED are similar to those of the basic MT-LB except for a weight of 11500 kg, height with antenna down of 2.9 m and a crew of four to six.



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