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Russia deploys 2S31 Vena 120mm self-propelled mortar in Ukraine

According to a tweet by WarVehicleTracker's on September 15, 2023, Russia had recently deployed the 2S31 Vena, a 120mm self-propelled mortar, in Ukraine. This vehicle, which can operate on both land and water, is built on the chassis of the BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and shares some components with the 2S18 Pat-S, a prototype 152mm self-propelled howitzer.
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Russia deploys its 2S31 Vena 120mm self-propelled mortar in Ukraine (Picture source: WarVehicleTracker/Twitter)

The 2S31 Vena serves as a replacement for Russia's older 2S9 Nona-S 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar and is currently in use within Russia's missile forces and artillery. It benefited from the lessons learned from the 2S18 Pat-S prototype and reused certain components from that project.

Armed with a three-man turret featuring a 2A80 120mm rifled gun, an advancement of the 2A51 Combined Artillery Gun used in the 2S9, the 2S31 Vena boasts a maximum firing range of 13 km. It includes features like a semi-automatic lock, recoil absorbers, and sector inclination devices. With a capacity for 70 rounds, it features a longer barrel than its predecessor, extending the firing range while using the same projectiles as the 2A51.

The primary gun can be elevated from -4º to an impressive +80º and includes a tracker for re-establishing the sighting line. The turret also incorporates six 81mm electrically operated smoke grenade launchers on each side at the front. The 2S31 Vena can fire both Russian and NATO standard shells and is equipped with an onboard computer, ensuring precise firing under various weather conditions, day or night, over long distances, at a rate of 8 to 10 rounds per minute.

For protection, the vehicle features all-welded aluminum armor construction, weighing 19,080 kg, providing defense against small arms fire and shell splinters for its crew of four.

In terms of mobility, the 2S31 Vena is equipped with a UTD-29 V-type 12-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel engine, delivering a maximum power output of 500 hp. The vehicle has an operational range of 600 km and a top road speed of 70 km/h. Its hydro-mechanic transmission includes a power reducer for the hydrojets, and it has a suspension system with six dual rubber-tired road wheels on each side.

The 2S31 Vena boasts a modern fire control system, with the gunner using a periscope sight and a separate sight for precise aiming. The vehicle commander has a separate turret to the right of the main gun, operating an autonomic target designation system and observation devices. This commander's turret offers a 90-degree traverse range and front observation capabilities. The fire control system also incorporates navigation and topographic positioning systems.

Fully amphibious, the 2S31 Vena can be propelled in water using two water jets positioned low on either side of the hull's rear, achieving afloat speeds of up to 10 km/h. It comes equipped with standard features such as an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) protection system, a land navigation system, night vision equipment, vehicle washdown capability, and a toilet. Additionally, laser detectors are mounted on various parts of the turret, working in conjunction with the smoke grenade system for enhanced functionality.

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The 2S31 Vena 120mm amphibious tracked self-propelled mortar (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)


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