Russian army trains crews to operate new Msta-SM2 artillery systems

The Russian army has intensified the training of the crews for the newest 2S19M2 Msta-SM2 152 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

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Msta-SM self-propelled howitzer displayed at Army 2018 near Kubinka (Picture source: Army Recognition)

On April 22, the Russian Armed Forces’ official newspaper, the Red Star (Krasnaya Zvezda) reported a training session of Western Military District’s (WMD’s) crews for the Msta-SM2 artillery system. "The WMD’s crews of the upgraded Msta-SM2 [152 mm] SPHs have approbated an automated fire-control system at the Mulino training range," said the Red Star. The approbation was finished with a regimental tactical exercise, during which the crews practiced indirect firing in automated mode, using GLONASS receivers.

Compared to the basic Msta-S, which entered service in the late 1980s, the Msta-SM2 features a far better rate of fire. "The use of the upgraded aiming and fire-control system allowed the crew of a [self-propelled] gun to hit the targets at a rate of fire of up to 10 rounds per minute," said the Red Star, adding that the servicemen activated the multiple-round simultaneous impact (MRSI) mode to engage the targets.

During the above-mentioned exercise, the crew of the Msta-SM2 artillery systems were supporting an advance of core units of a motor rifle regiment and suppressing the forces of a simulated enemy. "Some 70 weapon systems were involved in the exercise, including [the Msta-SM2s], Tornado-G [122 mm] multiple rocket launch systems, and the Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles," said the Red Star.

The Msta-SM2 appears to be primarily operated by the Western Military District. In January 2019, the MoD reported the delivery of approximately 20 such artillery systems to a WMD’s motor rifle division.

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