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Russian Forces in Ukraine to Receive Modernized 2S19M1 Howitzers with Drone-Targeting Capabilities.

| Defense News Army 2024

On April 5, 2024, ROSTEC, the Russian State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production, and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Products, announced the delivery of modernized 2S19M1 Msta-S 152mm self-propelled howitzers to the Russian army for rapid deployment in Ukraine. It can fire latest generation Russian of guided ammunition such as Krasnopol, illuminated by a laser designator using drone data transmission.
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The 2S19M1 is a modernized version of the the 2S19 152mm self-propelled howitzer equipped with a new advanced fire control system. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

The 2S19 is considered one of the world's most powerful artillery systems in the Russian military inventory and is widely used by Russian forces deployed in Ukraine. The gun boasts a high rate of fire—up to eight rounds per minute. Moreover, the 2S19M1 howitzer is equipped with modern control systems that enable the use of high-precision guided ammunition, such as the Krasnopol.

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' in on a point illuminated by a laser designator, typically operated by a drone or a ground-based artillery observer. Krasnopol projectiles, mainly fired from Soviet self-propelled howitzers like the 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S19 Msta-S, are intended to engage small ground targets such as tanks, other direct-fire weapons, strong-points, or other significant point targets visible to the observer. They can be used against both stationary and moving targets, provided these remain within the observer's field of view.

The 2S19M1 is a modernized iteration of the original 2S19 "Msta-S" 152mm self-propelled howitzer, developed in the Soviet Union during the 1980s. Designed to provide the Soviet Ground Forces with a mobile, armored platform capable of delivering powerful indirect fire support, its modernization has introduced several significant enhancements aimed at boosting the system's combat effectiveness, reliability, and operational versatility.

Notable upgrades include an advanced fire control system that significantly improves accuracy and reduces target engagement time. This system enables quicker target acquisition and enhances the capability to engage moving targets with improved precision. Furthermore, the howitzer's communication systems have been upgraded to ensure better connectivity and coordination with other units on the battlefield, facilitating more efficient command and control operations.

The 2S19M1 also boasts improvements in propulsion and mobility systems, offering increased speed and maneuverability across varied terrains. This is critical for repositioning the howitzer in response to tactical situations and ensuring survivability in highly mobile and fluid combat environments. Moreover, enhancements in its ammunition handling systems allow the 2S19M1 to maintain a high rate of fire, crucial for achieving and sustaining fire superiority during engagements.

Equipped with a digital automated guidance and fire control system, the modernized 2S19M1 Msta-S can be integrated into the reconnaissance and strike circuit. This allows the self-propelled gun to quickly strike after detecting a target using a UAV or other reconnaissance means, significantly increasing the artillery system's effectiveness.

The 2S19M1 MSTA-S self-propelled system is powered by a V12 diesel engine with a maximum power output of 840 hp, coupled to a mechanical transmission with seven forward and one reverse gear. It can reach a maximum road speed of 60 km/h and has a maximum cruising range of 500 km.

Defense News April 2024

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