Serbia modernizes 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer

The Serbian Army unveils a modernized version of its 122 mm 2S1 "Gvozdika" self-propelled howitzer at the Partner 2023 Expo, now called the "Gvozdika-Carnation." This update offers a series of improvements that enhance the army's ability to respond quickly and effectively to threats.
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Serbian 2S1 "Gvozdika-Carnation" Self-Propelled Howitzer at Partner 2023 (Picture source: Army Recognition )

The "Gvozdika-Carnation" is based on the chassis of the Russian MT-LB multipurpose armored vehicle. This base provides protection against small arms and artillery shell splinters, thus ensuring the safety of the crew and onboard instruments. The primary armament consists of a turret-mounted 122 mm howitzer, complemented by a roof-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun.

In terms of range, the howitzer can fire OF-462 HE projectiles up to 15.2 km, M10 BT HE projectiles up to 18.3 km, and M10 BB HE projectiles up to 21.5 km. The rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute, and the system can operate in MRSI (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact) mode, allowing it to fire 5 to 6 shells almost simultaneously.

The "Gvozdika-Carnation" is also equipped with its own integrated Firing Control System (FCS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS). An integrated ballistic module, as well as a driver visualization system and a commander surveillance system, are also included. Crew comfort is also considered, with an air conditioning and heating system, as well as a fire protection system.

The modernization of the 2S1 "Gvozdika" into the "Gvozdika-Carnation" is not merely a minor update but rather a significant overhaul that addresses several limitations of the previous version. The old 2S1 was already a reliable artillery system but suffered from certain shortcomings in terms of accuracy, reaction time, and crew comfort. For example, the lack of an integrated firing control system and inertial navigation system made the system dependent on external equipment and extended the time needed to acquire and engage targets.

The new "Gvozdika-Carnation" version proactively addresses these issues. The integration of modern firing control and inertial navigation systems significantly speeds up the targeting and firing process, which is crucial in modern combat scenarios where every second counts. Moreover, improvements in range and firing accuracy mean that the howitzer can engage targets at greater distances with higher precision, increasing its lethality while reducing risks to friendly forces and nearby civilians.

The modernization of the 122 mm "Gvozdika-Carnation" self-propelled howitzer by the Serbian Army will likely never replace the construction or purchase of a new system, but it is far less costly for the army. The primary advantage of this modernization is to have a relatively decent system at a very attractive cost. With significant improvements in terms of accuracy, reaction speed, and crew comfort, this new vehicle represents a reliable investment for the Serbian Army.