South of Russia is waiting for a large-scale rearmament. The Ministry of Defense began to equip the Southern Military District with the latest self-propelled artillery installations (ACS) 2S19M2 “Msta-SM”. Their deliveries are expected to be completed within one to two years. Robotic weapons not only have an increased range and firing accuracy, but can also use “smart” high-precision projectiles. At the same time, self-propelled guns are practically invulnerable to the enemy. Experts believe that modern self-propelled guns will be a worthy response to strengthening the southern flank of NATO. Moreover, not so long ago, the North Atlantic Alliance conducted exercises, during which long-range missile systems were deployed in Romania.
The first 2S19M2 units have already been delivered to the Southern Military District. The complete rearmament of the district’s artillery brigades and some artillery regiments with Msta-SM self-propelled guns will take one or two years, sources in the defense department told Izvestia. Receiving robotic and automated self-propelled guns will radically increase the capabilities of the Ground Forces in the south of the country.
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Earlier, the Ministry of Defense reported that in 2020 the troops will receive 36 self-propelled 2S19M2 SPGs. In previous years, they came mainly to the Western Military District, which directly borders on NATO member countries.
According to Dmitry Semizorov, General Director of Uraltransmash, the modernized howitzer will not only become more mobile and maneuverable, but will also receive new shells. Its firing range has also been increased.
“Recently, the newest armored vehicles and self-propelled guns have been given priority to military districts bordering NATO countries, as well as hot spots,” military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia.
The actions of the North Atlantic Alliance only add fuel to the fire, the expert said. He recalled that the other day the United States conducted an operation in Romania for the high-speed transfer, deployment and firing at targets in the Black Sea of HIMARS missile launchers. Therefore, an increase in the capabilities of artillery and other troops in the Southern Military District is necessary to maintain the balance of forces in the region, Vladislav Shurygin noted.
The gun mount, which was put into service back in 1989, was taken as the basis for the creation of the Msta-SM. Conventional 2S19s were intended to equip artillery regiments of motorized rifle and tank divisions. Some of these machines were previously improved and modernized to the 2S19M1 variant during a major overhaul at the plant.
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In contrast, the 2S19M2 gun mounts are made from scratch. A new 2A64M2 gun and a more advanced electronics kit are installed on combat vehicles. The main innovation was the “Ring” equipment for integrating the ACS into the tactical echelon control system. In order to take full advantage of the integration benefits, an automated guidance and fire control system – ASUNO – was installed on each of the howitzers. It is she who gives her completely new opportunities.
As a result, each combat vehicle gained the ability to automatically exchange information with the battalion and battery command post, artillery radars, and receive and transmit information about each shot. If necessary, you can even direct it remotely, from the command post. The crew can only confirm the opening of fire.
A satellite navigation system has been added to the modernized gun mounts. Now “Msta” constantly knows its coordinates with an accuracy of several meters. This reduces the time required to prepare data for firing. Compared to the previous version, it can open fire after taking a position almost twice as fast.
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“The new Msta-SM is a weapon for a war against a high-tech enemy,” says military expert Aleksey Khlopotov. – Automation and rate of fire are essential for modern warfare, when drones and counter-battery radars work against artillery.
Msta-SM is specially designed to quickly change positions after volleys and be ready for new ones. And she herself has serious arguments in artillery duels: rate of fire, long range and the possibility of using high-precision shells, the expert said.
The new “Msta” has a radically increased rate of fire – from eight to ten rounds. The gun mount was able to carry out “fire raids”, when each projectile is fired along a trajectory individually calculated by the computer so that they all fly to the target at the same time. It also provides firing of Krasnopol corrected ammunition with laser guidance. Targets for them can now be “highlighted” not only by special forces, but also by UAVs.
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In conjunction with drones
Will enhance the capabilities of new self-propelled guns and increasingly close interaction with drones. The staff of the artillery brigades has already included units equipped with the Orlan-10 UAV. With their help, you can conduct reconnaissance and adjust the fire for the entire firing range of howitzers.
As Izvestia previously reported, from this year the Orlan-30 UAV should also go to the troops. These drones are equipped with not only an optoelectronic system, which gives an improved image quality, but also a laser rangefinder-target designator. Having detected the enemy, the drone can determine its exact coordinates for destruction with conventional projectiles or “illuminate” with a laser to guide corrected ammunition.
Such drones have already been tested in Syria, as well as during major exercises in Russia. In January 2018, the Ministry of Defense showed a video of the use of high-precision shells made from a drone. Then a group of militants was destroyed, which attacked the Khmeimim airbase with drones.