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Ukrainian army mounting 1953 Soviet naval 2M-3 turret on flat-bed Kamaz trucks

In June, a photo appeared on social networks, showing a Ukrainian Kamaz 6x6 truck with a 1950s-vintage naval 2M-3 turret armed with 25mm cannons mounted on its bed. One more improvised anti-drone weapon.
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Ukrainian improvised anti-drone solution: 2M-3 naval turret mounted on a Kamaz truck (Picture source: social media)

The war in Ukraine has already supplied countless opportunities to see improvised field modifications and improvised mountings of unexpected weapons on both wheeled and tracked chassis. Some of these weapons are really old: for instance, World War I Maxim guns mounted on pickup trucks.

The naval gun known as the 2M-3 was developed between 1945 and 1949 to arm various smaller combat ships, submarines and civilian ships supporting the navy. The used of the 25mm 110-PM autocannon is unique to the Soviet navy. They were not used on aircraft or land-based applications. Production of the 2M-3 and 2M-8 guns began in 1953 and continued until 1984, primarily in the Soviet Union. It first entered service in 1953, followed closely by the 2M-8 in 1954.

The design is based on the earlier 25mm KM-84 automatic cannon. The 1,500kg locally controlled open roof mount is rather simple and is fitted with two 110-PM autocannon, with one positioned above the other. The single operator is seated on the left of the mount, the two guns are located vertically in the middle and the ammunition is stored on the right. Normally the mount is operated hydraulically but manual control is fitted as backup. The guns are air-cooled but cooled using a water hose during sustained fire. The rate of fire is 450 rpm. The effective range averages 2,500 meters, but 1,700 meters in the anti-aircraft role. The barrel life is around 12,000 rounds.

Over time, the 2M-3 and 2M-8 guns fell out of favor as newer technologies emerged. The changing landscape of naval warfare demanded more advanced and versatile weapons systems. As a result, the 2M-3 and 2M-8 guns were gradually phased out of active service, making way for more modern naval armaments.

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2M-3 turret displayed at Vadim Zadorozhny Technical Museum (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

Defense News July 2023

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