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Kalashnikov to increase range and firepower of Krasnopol 155mm smart munition.

| 2022

MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS-DEFENSE/. The Krasnopol smart artillery projectile will get an extended fire range, greater firepower and higher firing efficiency after its upgrade, Kalashnikov Group CEO Vladimir Lepin said in an interview with Kalashnikov magazine.
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Krasnopol guided rounds (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

“Today we are at the final stage of the research and development work on the modern modification of the Krasnopol precision-guided projectile, under which the Kalashnikov Group will make basic assemblies and units for the munition,” the CEO said.

“The upgrade will increase the new system’s firing range, substantially boost the probability of striking a small-size target with a single shot, enhance the warhead’s firepower and the efficiency of fire under clouds and strong wind conditions,” he said, responding to a question about the prospects of improving the weapon that also includes an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The system was successfully tested in Syria, Lepin said. In June, the Rostec state hi-tech tech corporation reported its high efficiency in the special military operation in Ukraine.

Krasnopol precision-guided munition

The Krasnopol precision-guided artillery projectile was developed by the Shipunov Instrument-Manufacturing Design Bureau (part of the High-Precision Systems Group). The system comprises a high-explosive fragmentation-guided shell and a laser target designator to direct the projectile at the target. The 152mm shell can be used by all types of artillery systems, including the Msta-S, Msta-SM and Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled artillery systems. The shell has a weight of 8 kg and a range of 20 km (12.4 mi). The target designator can lock on three targets at a time.

The latest Krasnopol-M2 modification has 155mm caliber and a range of 26 km and can also destroy small targets. In addition, the upgraded artillery munition features increased firepower and the capability to strike targets at any time of the day, even in strong wind and heavy clouds.


The 2K25 Krasnopol is a 152/155 mm cannon-launched, fin-stabilized, base bleed-assisted, semi-automatic laser-guided, artillery weapon system. It automatically 'homes' on a point illuminated by a laser designator, typically operated by a drone or ground-based artillery observer. Krasnopol projectiles are fired mainly from Soviet self-propelled howitzers such as the 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S19 Msta-S and intended to engage small ground targets such as tanks, and other direct fire weapons, strong-points, or other significant point targets visible to the observer. It can be used against both stationary and moving targets (providing these remain within the observer's field of view).

The weapon system was developed in the Tula-based KBP Instrument Design Bureau under the supervision of A.G. Shipunov. Work on the project was initiated in the 1970s. In February 1986 the Krasnopol system was adopted by the Soviet Army under the designation 30F39, and began mass production in Izhmash and Izhmeh factories. Since 2002, it is augmented by the 120- and 122 mm Kitolov-2 laser-guided system.

A 155 mm variant of the project was also developed to access the commercial markets, which can be fired from howitzers such as the G6 and M109A6. Besides Russia, the Krasnopol is also manufactured in China by Norinco.

The 2K25 Krasnopol system consists of the 30F39 guided shell, a 1D22, 1D20, or 1D15 laser target designator (LTD), and the 1A35 shot synchronization system. The laser designation system has a range of 5 km (3.1 mi), while the projectile itself has a range of 20 km (12 mi)[14] and a target seeker radius of 1km (0.62 mi). The two-part projectile is divided into the following sections: target seeker, guidance module, warhead and rear compartment. The seeker and guidance module are stored as a single component in a sealed container, as is the rear section with a warhead; this allows the oversized projectile to be loaded and transported inside existing ammunition containers in legacy self-propelled howitzers. The two components are joined immediately prior to firing.

The system functions as follows. The observer determines the target location (e.g. map coordinates or bearing and distance from their own position), ensures that their laser target designator can 'mark' the target and requests or orders a fire mission against the target using Krasnopol. A gun is then aimed at the target location and a guided shell is fired. The firing unit uses its 1A35K command device to send a signal via a communications link confirming the firing of the projectile to the 1A35I observation post device with the observer. The laser target designator is then used to illuminate the target and the in-flight projectile detects the radiant laser energy reflected by the target and the navigation system steers the shell towards the point of greatest incident energy—the designated target with top attack pattern. The iris of the optical seeker head is protected by a cap which is ejected by a mechanical timer upon firing. The guidance module contains an inertial reference system, a power source, various electric motors and controls and four folding canards used to execute command guidance signals. The warhead is a high explosive fragmentation type that can also be used against heavily armored vehicles such as tanks owing to the steep trajectory of the projectile which allows it to defeat the relatively thin roof armor on most vehicles. Behind the warhead is a rear compartment that houses four folding stabilizers. Krasnopol system can also fire a salvo from multiple artillery pieces on one target using a single laser designator.

After the destruction of the initial target, the LTD operator may request or order another target. If these subsequent targets are close together they should be upwind (from the previous target) to reduce smoke and dust interference with the designator.

Krasnopol is capable of hitting targets moving at speeds up to 36 km/h (22 mph).

Performance problems in India

In December 2006, The Indian Express reported that India’s Russian Krasnopol 155mm laser-guided shells have displayed defective performance during Army test-firing in the Mahajan ranges in Rajasthan in 2004 and 2005. In March 2007, Defence Minister Shri AK Antony confirmed the extent of the problem.

In a June 2009 report the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said, "Krasnopol proved to be a complete dud during testing at high altitudes, as it was woefully short on both range and accuracy. 'Such procurement of defective quality ammunition adversely impact the Army's operational preparedness,' "

Since 2019 India uses the M982 Excalibur 155 mm extended range guided artillery shell developed by the US Army, in addition to the Krasnopol.[18] A 2018 competitive assessment by the Indian Army of various available 155mm precision-guided rounds selected the M982 Exacalibur for purchase. It did not include Krasnopol in the comparison. It's believed that the more expensive M982 will eventually replace Krasnopol in the Indian inventory.


2K25 Krasnopol
The original model of the Krasnopol was designed to be used with former Soviet-Bloc artillery systems of 152 mm (6.0 in), such as D-20, 2S3 Akatsiya, 2A65 (Msta-B). Krasnopol carries a 20.5 kilograms (45 lb) high explosive fragmentation warhead. The entire missile weighs 50 kilograms (110 lb). However, its length made it incompatible with the autoloader of the 2S19 152mm Self-Propelled Gun.

2K25M Krasnopol-M
The Krasnopol-M was a miniaturized version of the projectile, developed in the mid-1990s by Shipunov's team at the KBP Design Bureau taking advantage of new electronics technology acquired in the design of the 120 mm Kitolov-2 guided projectile (similar in construction and purpose; this is, in essence, a smaller model of the Krasnopol to be used with the 2S9 NONA 120 mm mortar and designated 3OF69 and a related projectile for 122 mm howitzers designated Kitolov-2M 3OF69M) was made with a shorter length to enable it to be used with autoloader-equipped self-propelled guns without having to be disassembled into two parts. It also comes in an alternate 155 mm (6.1 in) caliber to allow it to be used with NATO-standard 155 mm howitzers. Besides the reduced total length, the Krasnopol-M also has a different protective cap for the optical seeker.

KM-1M Krasnopol-M2
KM-1M Krasnopol-M2, a further development based on Krasnopol-M, is a 155mm artillery projectile designed to engage armored targets. It uses a semi-active laser (SAL) guidance system in the terminal phase of its trajectory. Krasnopol-М2 GAP (Guided Artillery Projectiles) was developed to be used with artillery systems such as M109A1-6, G5/G6, FH77, TRF1 among others.

GP1 and GP6: Chinese versions of Krasnopol

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