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Russia Deploys Newly 2S43 Malva Howitzer for the First Time to Destroy Ukrainian Bridges.

Russian forces have used for the first time in combat operation, the new S43 Malva, an 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer, to destroy Ukrainian bridges in the Kharkiv direction. Precision strikes from the latest Russian self-propelled artillery are cutting off supply routes for Ukrainian troops.
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Russian soldiers deploy for the time in Ukraine, the new S43 Malva wheeled self-propelled howitzer to target Ukrainian bridges in Kharkiv Oblast. (Picture source: Telegram Social Network)

The development of the 2S43 Malva began as part of Russia's effort to modernize its artillery capabilities. The initial concept and technical requirements for the Malva were established in 2021. The howitzer was developed by TsNII "Burevestnik," part of the Uralvagonzavod Corporation, and manufactured by Uraltransmash. The primary innovation of the Malva is its 8x8 wheeled chassis, which offers improved mobility, reduced operational costs, and lower weight compared to traditional tracked self-propelled guns​.

The first firing tests of the 2S43 Malva took place in 2021, shortly after its development phase. These tests were crucial for evaluating the system's performance under various conditions and making necessary adjustments. The state trials for the Malva were successfully completed on May 17, 2023​.

After the successful trials, the first batch of 2S43 Malva howitzers was delivered to the Russian Armed Forces on October 26, 2023​ ​. The system's operational readiness was further demonstrated when it was deployed in Ukraine. On June 2, 2024, an aerial image confirmed the Malva's presence in the firing position in the Kharkiv region, showcasing its effectiveness in active combat scenarios​.

The Malva is equipped with a 152mm 2A64 rifled gun, capable of firing up to 24.5 kilometers with a 30-round ammunition storage capacity. Its gun elevation range is -3° to +70°, with an azimuth of ±30°, providing significant versatility in targeting​ (Home)​​ (Home)​. The wheeled design allows for rapid deployment and operational flexibility across diverse terrains, making it a valuable addition to Russia's artillery arsenal.

The 2S43 Malva is a new Russian-made 152mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer designed for rapid deployment and precision strikes

Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian Armed Forces have deployed and tested several advanced combat vehicles and military equipment, reflecting their ongoing efforts to modernize their military capabilities. These developments encompass various categories, including main battle tanks, armored fighting vehicles, air defense systems, and electronic warfare units.

Among the notable advancements is the T-90M Proryv, an upgraded T-90 main battle tank version. The T-90M features advanced armor protection, a new fire control system, and improved targeting capabilities. This tank has been observed in various engagements, showcasing its enhanced survivability and firepower on the battlefield.

Electronic warfare capabilities have been significantly bolstered with the introduction of systems such as the Krasukha-4. This system, designed to jam and disable enemy radar and communications, has been used in real-world scenarios to disrupt Ukrainian command and control networks. This operational effectiveness underscores the importance of electronic warfare in modern conflicts and its potential to reshape the battlefield.

The Russian military has also introduced the TOS-2 Tosochka flamethrower and the ISDM Zemledeliye mine-laying system. The TOS-2 Tosochka is the latest iteration of Russia's heavy flamethrower systems, following the TOS-1A. Mounted on a wheeled chassis, the TOS-2 offers improved mobility and logistical advantages. It is equipped with advanced thermobaric rockets capable of producing devastating blast effects and intense heat, making it highly effective against fortified positions, infantry, and lightly armored vehicles. The TOS-2 features an automated targeting and fire control system, enhancing its accuracy and reducing the time needed to prepare for firing. Its deployment in Ukraine has demonstrated its destructive capabilities in breaking through defensive lines.

The ISDM Zemledeliye represents a new generation of automated mine-laying systems, designed to deploy scatterable mines quickly and efficiently over a wide area. Mounted on a KamAZ-6560 8x8 truck chassis, it offers high mobility and the ability to operate in diverse terrains. The ISDM is equipped with a computerized control system for precise deployment of both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines, ensuring optimal coverage and effectiveness. It can be operated remotely, reducing risk to personnel and enabling rapid deployment and retreat. In the conflict in Ukraine, the ISDM has been used to create minefields that disrupt enemy movement and fortify defensive positions.

Testing new defense products in combat zones like Ukraine offers several advantages and interests for the Russian defense industry, providing real-world validation, enhancing product credibility, and offering unique opportunities for innovation and development. The practical deployment of new military technologies in active conflict environments enables manufacturers and military strategists to gather invaluable data and insights that cannot be replicated in controlled testing scenarios.

One of the primary advantages is the ability to validate the performance and reliability of defense products under actual combat conditions. This includes assessing how well systems withstand the rigors of battlefield use, such as exposure to extreme weather, rough terrain, and sustained operational pressure. Real-world testing allows for the identification of any weaknesses or flaws that may not be apparent in simulated environments, ensuring that the products can be refined and improved based on comprehensive feedback.

Moreover, testing in a combat zone provides immediate and direct feedback from frontline users, such as soldiers and commanders, who interact with the equipment daily. This feedback is crucial for understanding the practical utility and ergonomic efficiency of the products, enabling designers to make user-centered adjustments that enhance effectiveness and ease of use. The experiences and insights of these end-users can lead to significant advancements in product design and functionality, ensuring that the equipment meets the real needs of the military.

Another key interest is the enhancement of product credibility and marketability. Defense products proven effective in actual combat are more likely to gain the confidence of potential buyers, both domestically and internationally. Successful deployment in a conflict zone serves as a powerful endorsement, showcasing the product's capabilities and reliability. This can lead to increased sales and export opportunities, strengthening the economic position of the Russian defense industry.

Additionally, the dynamic nature of combat environments fosters innovation and rapid development. The constant challenges and evolving threats encountered in a war zone drive the need for continuous improvement and adaptation. This environment accelerates the research and development cycle, pushing manufacturers to develop more advanced and resilient technologies. The lessons learned from real-world applications can inspire new designs and technological breakthroughs, keeping the defense industry at the cutting edge.

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