NATO Cal­i­bre Opens New Ex­port Op­por­tu­ni­ties for MSTA-S

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 trade com­pany be­lieve that deep up­gra

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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 152mm Msta-S failed to gain pop­u­lar­ity in the world arms mar­ket. Few coun­tries only have pro­cured small batches of this selfpro­pelled 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, in­clud­ing with un­aimed fire when there are no vis­i­ble aim­ing points, 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.

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