In the Spot­light: Des­tined to Win


Msta-S self-pro­pelled how­itzer

Rus­sia will un­doubt­edly strengthen its po­si­tions in the ar­tillery sec­tor of the world arms mar­ket by start­ing pro­mot­ing its new 155-mm 2S19M1-155 Msta-S self-pro­pelled how­itzer. Spe­cial­ists in the Rosoboronex­port arms ex­porter be­lieve that deep up­grad­ing and con­ver­sion to NATO cal­i­bre will greatly in­crease cus­tomer in­ter­est in one of the most ad­vanced ar­tillery sys­tems.

The new self-pro­pelled how­itzer is a pro­found up­grade of the 152-mm 2S19 Msta-S how­itzer in ser­vice with the Rus­sian Army since 1989, which showed it­self to best ad­van­tage in two mil­i­tary cam­paigns in the North­ern Cau­ca­sus. It has es­tab­lished a good rep­u­ta­tion for high ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity and fire ac­cu­racy. How­ever, de­spite im­pres­sive tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics and com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the 152-mm Msta-S failed to gain pop­u­lar­ity in the world arms mar­ket. Few coun­tries only have pro­cured small batches of this self-pro­pelled how­itzer.

Ex­perts are unan­i­mous in not­ing that this strange gap in Msta-S ex­ports has been caused by a mas­sive tran­si­tion from the 152-mm Soviet cal­i­bre to 155-mm NATO stan­dard started in the early 1990s. This is why Rus­sia has lost some po­si­tions in this mar­ket seg­ment. The in­tro­duc­tion of the new 155-mm Msta-S must rec­tify such in­con­gruity.

The new Msta-S has an up­graded tar­get­ing and fire con­trol sys­tem com­pris­ing bal­lis­tic com­puter, to­po­graphic sur­vey and ori­en­ta­tion sys­tem and satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion equip­ment, de­signed to pro­vide au­to­matic tar­get­ing and data stor­age for at least 10 fire mis­sions.

The new how­itzer can en­gage tar­gets from closed fir­ing po­si­tions and con­duct di­rect fire by day and night and in moun­tains at el­e­va­tion an­gles rang­ing from - 4 to +70 .

It fires the 155-mm HE M1A4 and HE BB M1A4 NATO-stan­dard high-ex­plo­sive frag­men­ta­tion rounds at the range of up to 40 km. Pro­vi­sion is made for fir­ing with the Rus­sian laser-guided pro­jec­tiles Krasnopol-M2. The au­to­matic pro­jec­tile and semi-au­to­matic pro­pel­lant charge load­ing sys­tems fa­cil­i­tate crew work and pro­vide high rate of fire (up to 6-8 rds/min) at all aim­ing an­gles. It means that a bat­tery of eight how­itzers can bring down up to three tonnes of pro­jec­tiles in one minute upon a tar­get. When fir­ing at a max­i­mum range, up to 70 pro­jec­tiles will be up in the air si­mul­ta­ne­ously be­fore the first pro­jec­tile hits the tar­get.

The am­mu­ni­tion al­lowance is car­ried in the tur­ret and in­cludes 42 155-mm rounds for the how­itzer and 300 12.7-mm car­tridges for the anti-air­craft ma­chine gun.

At present the new 155-mm Msta-S how­itzer is tak­ing part in the im­por­tant ten­der for sup­ply­ing self-pro­pelled how­itzers to the In­dian Army.

It sur­passes its main com­peti­tors by rate of fire and cruis­ing en­durance, and at the same time it has smaller size and weight. In ad­di­tion, the Rus­sian how­itzer can be loaded and fired in the all-round (360 ) sec­tor in re­la­tion to the ve­hi­cle cen­ter­line.

Ex­perts note that the new Msta-S meets all mod­ern re­quire­ments and at the same time sur­passes the best world pro­to­types by a num­ber of char­ac­ter­is­tics.

It is wor­thy of men­tion­ing that some cus­tomers, for in­stance In­dia, may find it es­pe­cially im­por­tant that the Msta-S chas­sis is very much uni­fied with the chas­sis of the T-90S main bat­tle tank (which is be­ing suc­cess­fully man­u­fac­tured in that coun­try un­der li­cence). Thus it fa­cil­i­tates main­te­nance, re­pairs and spares de­liv­ery.

New-gen­er­a­tion mine-sweep­ing equip­ment

Mas­sive use of land mines in wars and armed con­flicts, con­duct­ing “land mine war­fare” ne­ces­si­tate the de­vel­op­ment of new and im­prove­ment of ex­ist­ing mine­field breach­ing de­vices. Mod­ern en­gi­neer equip­ment is ca­pa­ble of suc­cess­fully de­tect­ing mines, but solv­ing the main task – their neu­tral­iza­tion – takes too much time and does not re­move threat of ex­plo­sion. Mineclear­ing de­vices are among the safest and most ef­fec­tive means to pen­e­trate mine­fields and mined ter­rain ar­eas.

JSC Rosoboronex­port is of­fer­ing its for­eign part­ners a new prod­uct – new-gen­er­a­tion mine-sweep­ing equip­ment. The TMT-S and TMT-K en­gi­neer tank mine-clear­ing de­vices, adopted by the Rus­sian Land Forces, com­prise a set of ex­tra mine-sweep­ing means pro­vid­ing sweep­ing for mod­ern and ad­vanced land mines with acous­tic, seis­mic, in­frared, mag­netic and op­ti­cal fuzes as well as pro­vide de­struc­tion of mine (ground bomb) ex­plo­sion con­trol wire­lines.

The TMT-S mine-clear­ing roller is de­signed to breach lanes in mine­fields. It has three stag­gered roller sec­tions. Each sec­tion in­cludes five rollers mounted in two rows and kine­mat­i­cally con­nected be­tween each other through side bars. Such a so­lu­tion pro­vides a dy­namic link be­tween rollers in the sec­tion and damps ex­plo­sion en­ergy taken by one roller through the weight of the whole equip­ment of the sec­tion. Rollers in the sec­tions are in­stalled with a min­i­mum clear­ance be­tween the ad­ja­cent rollers which en­ables anti-tank and an­tiper­son­nel mines with fuzes hav­ing small pres­sure plates to be swept. The rollers move freely rel­a­tive to each other, due to a pivot con­nec­tion of sus­pen­sion parts, thus pro­vid­ing more ac­cu­rate fol­low­ing of ter­rain ac­ci­dents. The mine-clear­ing roller pro­vides a con­tin­u­ous sweep­ing lane 3.9 m wide.

Its frame car­ries the EMT elec­tro­mag­netic at­tach­ment de­signed for sweep­ing mines with prox­im­ity mag­netic fuzes. In fact, the elec­tro­mag­netic at­tach­ment is an in­de­pen­dent mine-clear­ing de­vice. When power on, elec­tro­mag­nets gen­er­ate an al­ter­nat­ing elec­tro­mag­netic field in front of the tank which is equiv­a­lent to the mag­netic field of a tank, re­sult­ing in an ex­plo­sion of mines with mag­netic fuzes be­fore the tank ap­proaches them. The width of the swept lane is 4 me­ters.

Dur­ing the use of a clus­ter de­vice with au­to­matic dis­pens­ing of ra­di­at­ing el­e­ments in­tended for sweep­ing side-hit­ting mines, py­rotech­nic car­tridges are fired cre­at­ing false acous­tic and in­frared tar­gets. Mines with seis­mic, in­frared or acous­tic fuzes are trig­gered at a dis­tance up to 100 m by ground vi­bra­tion aris­ing when a ve­hi­cle with a mine-clear­ing de­vice moves and the dis­pensed py­rotech­nic car­tridges ra­di­at­ing in­tensely in the in­frared band and gen­er­at­ing acous­tic ra­di­a­tion trig­ger.

Cut­ters-grub­bing ploughs are in­stalled in front of the frame. The grub­bing ploughs are moved from trav­el­ing to work­ing po­si­tion and back by a mine-clear­ing roller’s pneu­matic sys­tem. In work­ing po­si­tion, the grub­bing ploughs are buried in the ground and break mine and ground bomb con­trol wire­lines with their knives. The limit depth of cut­ting a fir­ing wire with cut­ters-grub­bing ploughs is 270 mm.

The TMT-K is a track-width mine plough equipped with a spe­cial net at­tach­ment for con­tin­u­ous sweep­ing for scat­ter­able mines in ad­di­tion to ex­tra equip­ment sim­i­lar to that used on the KMT-S. The TMT-K is also fit­ted with a weight trans­fer mech­a­nism for additional load­ing of its work­ing el­e­ments that pro­vides in­creased load un­der the rollers through trans­fer of part of weight of the ba­sic ve­hi­cle. The weight trans­fer mech­a­nism helps ad­just load un­der the rollers depend­ing on the soil con­di­tion and type and mine lay­ing method (stan­dard or sab­o­tage with a buried fuze pres­sure plate), which im­proves minesweep­ing ef­fi­ciency, in­creases trav­el­ling speed and ma­neu­ver­abil­ity of the tank with a mine-clear­ing de­vice.

The de­sign fea­tures of the TMT-K pro­vide high-per­for­mance minesweep­ing op­er­a­tions in rough ter­rain, in­clud­ing on rises, falls and hill­sides through an in­creased lower ter­rain fol­low­ing limit and in­di­vid­ual roller sus­pen­sion. Spring and pneu­matic shock ab­sorbers ad­di­tion­ally dis­si­pate mine ex­plo­sion en­ergy and re­duce dy­namic loads trans­mit­ted by sweep­ing equip­ment to the tank.

Both the mine-clear­ing de­vices pro­vide emer­gency un­cou­pling, changeover of grub­bing ploughs from trav­el­ing to work­ing po­si­tion and lane mark­ing with­out the crew leav­ing the ve­hi­cle.

Msta-S self-pro­pelled how­itzer

TMT-S mine-clear­ing de­vice

on the BMP-3 chas­sis

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