Msta-S: The Howitzers Ukraine and Russia Are Using on Each Other



From the 1709 Battle of Poltava by means of the tip of World Warfare II, Russia has excelled in backing up its extra cellular forces with highly effective and quite a few artillery. From the time President Vladimir Putin launched his “particular army operation” into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, large weapons have been a mainstay, each for battery hearth within the discipline and for besieging cities, with all of the civil terror that attends it.

Though the Ukrainians maintain excessive hopes the 100 British-designed, American-built M777A2 155 mm howitzers donated to their trigger by the U.S., Australia and Canada could make a decisive distinction with its edges in vary and accuracy, the next proportion of Ukraine’s first-line howitzers are equally matched with its Russian counterparts … as a result of they’re the identical weapons. 

The story of the Russian Howitzer

In 1980, the Soviet Union started Prozhekt Ferma, a brand new technology long-range howitzer, which entered manufacturing because the 2A65 Msta-B (after the Msta River in northwest Russia, with the B standing for “Buksiruyemaya,” or “towed”).  Crewed by six to 11 gunners who can hearth 5 to 6 rounds per minute at a velocity of two,720 rounds per minute, this 152.4 mm howitzer has a spread of 18 miles. With a four-wheeled break up carriage and an armored protect, the gun could be towed by the KrAZ-260 or Ural 4320 six-by-six wheeled vehicles or the MT-LB tracked multipurpose prime mover. 

The Msta-B first appeared amongst Soviet forces in Japanese Europe in 1987 and has since seen fight in Chechnya, Syria, the Donbas area and Ukraine. Within the present battle, the Russians have dedicated a minimum of 370 Msta-Bs to the preventing, however so has Ukraine, which discovered itself with 130 Msta-Bs after the breakup of the Soviet Union, deployed to the 11th Artillery Brigade at Ternopil and the 55th Artillery Brigade at Zaporizhia. Furthermore, the MT-LB prime mover had been produced in Kharkiv, from which a Russian assault had been thrown again in Might. 

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In 1988 the Russians unveiled a self-propelled platform for the Msta howitzer. Designated the 2S19 Msta-S, it carried its foremost gun with auto-loader inside a big, boxlike, 360-degree rotating turret on a suspension based mostly on the T-80 tank however powered by the older however less complicated 840-hp V-84A diesel engine used within the T-72 tank. The car was 23 ft, 5 inches lengthy; 11 ft, 1 inch vast; and 9 ft, 10 inches excessive. Weighing in at 93,000 kilos, it accommodated a five-man crew, together with a semi-automatic laying system, nuclear biochemical safety, passive evening imaginative and prescient gear for the motive force, a snorkel for fording streams, a dozer blade and 81 mm smoke launchers. In addition to the 152.4 mm 2A65 howitzer, which may very well be elevated from minus 4 to 68 levels, the Msta-S carried a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun. The car’s vary was 310 miles, and its most highway pace was 35 mph.  

In 2000, the 2S19M1 launched a totally automated laying system, and in 2008, the Russian military ordered additional enhancements, primarily an automatic hearth management system that gave it the 2S19M2, which entered service in 2013, with a price of fireplace of six to eight rounds per minute.  

The Msta-s in Fight

By the point Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the Msta-S had seen motion within the Second Chechen Warfare and the Donbas. Within the latter, one of many 40 Ukrainian cellular howitzers was captured by pro-Russian insurgents. Throughout the present battle, Russia had 760 Msta-S howitzers out there for his or her customary mass hearth.

Though outperformed general by the M777A2 towed howitzer, the 2A65 in both type is less expensive and available to each side. As of mid-Might 2022, the Ukrainians had misplaced three of their SP weapons, whereas the Russians misplaced 54. With a complete of 1,130 produced to date, the Msta-S and its towed stablemate are prone to determine in any campaigning to return.

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