Russian army to increase fire power and range of artillery units


The Russian Defense Ministry launched a large-scale artillery reform. Regiments and brigades are armed with Uragan-M1 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, MSTA-SM 152mm self-propelled howitzers and drones. Super powerful weapons - 2S7 Pion self-propelled gun system and 2S4 Tyulpan self-propeled morar systems - are returning. There have been no such large-scale changes in the army in over 30 years. Artillery units considerably expand the range of missions, efficiency, fire range and power. Experts believe modern combat tactic will considerably change after the reform, the Izvestia daily reported.


Russian army to increase fire power and range of artillery units Uragan M1 multi caliber MLRS Russia 925 001
New Uragan-M1 Multi-Caliber MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System (Picture source Russian MoD)


The Defense Ministry told the newspaper it had been decided to radically increase the fire power of artillery units in all-arms (motorized infantry and tank) divisions and brigades. In particular, they will get Uragan salvo fire squadrons. Drones will target the artillery.

In 2013-2017 the Russian army formed seven self-propelled artillery regiments within five motorized infantry and two tank divisions. Besides, a separate artillery regiment was formed again. It operates within the 22nd army corps of the Black Sea fleet and is in charge of Crimean coastal defense.

The Defense Ministry reported a change in the structure of artillery regiments and brigades. Previously the regiments had two squadrons armed with self-propelled howitzers and one squadron of Grad salvo fire systems. Combined arms brigades had the same artillery strength.

Since this autumn the regiments and brigades began to receive additional squadrons of 220mm Uragan weapons. The first to get them was the 275th self-propelled artillery regiment of Kantemirovskaya tank division. It has a full set of eight launchers.

Expert Viktor Murakhovsky said the Uragan considerably increases the fire power of the formations. "The Uragan-M1 is a universal system. New shells have been designed for it, cluster, fuel-air and with increased range. It can also fire Grad 122mm munitions," he said.

Expert Anton Lavrov said Uragans will give a "long hand" to brigades and divisions. The fire range will increase up to 70 km. The range of Grad was 20 km", he said.

The Defense Ministry said upgraded Uragan-M1 will replace the current weapons with time. Experts said the packaged loading of the launchers with the help of transportation and launching containers will considerably accelerate the rate of fire. Uragan-M1 is armed also with guided missiles. The automatic control system and onboard computer allows the weapon to destroy targets real-time without human interference.


pRussian army to increase fire power and range of artillery units 2S4 Tyulpan Russia 925 001
2S4 Tyulpan Soviet-made 240mm self-propelled mortar system at Army-2017, International Military Technical Forum near Moscow in August 2017.


"The rate of fire increased several times. Now you can quickly recharge and fire two salvos instead of one without changing the position. Such capabilities are specifically necessary in areas where the adversary is engaged in active counterbattery fire," Murakhovsky said.

The 45th Svirsk high-power artillery division of Bogdan Khmelnitsky Order participated in several conflicts in the past years. In 2009 the unit was disbanded. However, this year it was decided to restore the brigade. It is deployed in Tambov and is armed with 16 203mm self-propelled artillery guns Pion and eight 240mm Tulip mortars.

"2S4 Tyulpan and 2S7 Pion advantages are powerful charges that can destroy fortified targets. The experience of the latest conflicts showed that 122mm and 152mm artillery is not sufficiently effective. The charges are insufficient for the destruction of adversary fire points in city buildings and for proper erection of field fortifications," Lavrov said.

240mm Tulip mortars fire guided Smelchak mines which deliver high-precision strikes. "Guided mines are engaged at all Tulip training exercises. This component deserves specific attention at present," Lavrov said.

The Defense Ministry said this year the super heavy weapons will be supplied to other artillery brigades of combined arms armies. A Pion squadron is already operational in the headquarters of the 165th artillery brigade deployed in Amur region. A Tulip squadron operates in the 305th artillery brigade in Primorye region. By the end of the year heavy mortars will be supplied to the 385th artillery brigade deployed in Orenburg region.

Besides long-range howitzers and salvo fire weapons, brigades and regiments will receive reconnaissance drones with automatic control systems. The Orlan-10 artillery reconnaissance drone will considerably change combat tactic. The drones were tested late last year. They began to arrive in the troops in the autumn of this year.

Drones are an important element of modern warfare. The Orlan-10 can determine the location of adversary counterbattery radars with several-meter accuracy, including portable ones like the American radars AN/TRQ-36.

Expert Vladislav Shurygin believes the Russian Defense Ministry staged a revolution in the art of war. "The artillery significance was diminishing in the past years. It was replaced by high-precision weapons: guided bombs and missiles," he said.

"Artillery was considered poorly effective. For example, the norms envisage close to 3 thousand shells to destroy one pillbox. Now the Russian artillery received unique capabilities. Such a combat mission can be accomplished with one shell. Unit and detachment commanders received a universal tool to detect and destroy any targets on the battlefield real-time," he said.


Russian army to increase fire power and range of artillery units 2S7 Pion Russia 925 001
2S7 Pion Soviet-made 203mm self-propelled gun system at Army-2017, International Military Technical Forum near Moscow in August 2017.


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