152mm tracked self-propelled howitzer - Russia
The 2S3 Akatsiya is a Russian-made 152 mm self-propelled howitzer based on a tracked armored vehicle. The first two prototypes of the 2S3 were completed by late 1968 and testing continued through to 1969 but problems were encountered with contamination in the turret so an additional four improved systems were built. The system was accepted for service with the Russian army in December 1971 although production had commenced the previous year. The 152mm 2S3 Akatsiya is designed to engage enemy personnel in the open and under shelter and to wipe out the adversary's weapons, military equipment, and other targets to the depth of a division limit of advance. The 2S3 is always in service in the Russian armed forces and is used by several other countries in the world.
2S3 Akatsiya main variants:
- 2S3M: The 2S3M and 2S3M1 have an ammunition load of 40 projectiles and charges and also a loading carousel which facilitates loading and therefore increases the rate of fire. These versions can be distinguished from the rear as they have two small stowage compartment covers positioned to the right and left of the hull rear as opposed to a larger oval cover in the center.
- 2S3M1: equipped with a data terminal with automatic displays.
- 2S3M2: new barrel 152mm/39 caliber, an increase of firing range to 25 km.
- 2S3M3: new 155mm/39 caliber for NATO types of ammunition. It can also fire the 155 mm Krasnopol-M laser-guided projectile out to 17 km.
The 2S3 Akatsiya is armed with the 2A33 152mm howitzer, which is a modified variant of the D-20 towed howitzer but with a bore, evacuator added behind the muzzle brake. The barrel has a double-baffle muzzle brake, fume extractor, and a gun barrel traveling lock. The 2S3 Akatsiya can fire at a rate of 30 rounds in 10 minutes or 75 rounds per hour. The 2S3 can fire a wide range of ammunition including the HE-FRAG OF-540, which is fitted with an RGM-2 fuze, weighs 43.5 kg, contains 5.76 kg of TNT, has a maximum muzzle velocity of 655 m/s and a maximum range of 18,500 m. Other types of projectiles fired include BP-540 HEAT-FS (also referred to as HEAT-SS, for spin-stabilized), HE/RAP (High-Explosive Rocket-Assisted Projectile) with a range of 24,000 m, AP-T, illuminating, smoke, incendiary, flechette, scatterable mines (anti-tank and anti-personnel) and the Krasnopol laser-designated projectile covered in the entry for the 152 mm 2S19. The 152 mm gun has an elevation of +60° and a depression of -4°. Turret traverse is a full 360°. The commander has a cupola that can be traversed through a full 360º and a single-piece hatch cover opening to the rear. Mounted on the forward part of the hatch is a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun which can be aimed and fired from inside the turret.
|Design and protection|
The layout of the 2S3 consists of three main compartments with the driver at the front on the left, the engine to the right of the driver, and the fully enclosed turret mounted at the rear of the hull. The vehicle has a crew of six. A single door is mounted to the right side of the turret. The hull bottom carries a turntable mounted on a ball race resting on five rollers. The 152.4 mm L/27 howitzer D-22 (2A33) can be elevated from -4° to +60° with a turret traverse of a full 360°. The all-welded steel hull of the 2S3 provides protection for the crew against the firing of small arms and shell splinters.
|The 2S3 Akatsiya uses a modified tracked chassis of the SA-4 Ganef (2K1 Krug-Russian-made surface-to-air missile system mounted on the chassis of a self-propelled artillery system SU-100P. The 2S3 is powered by a V-59 V-12 water-cooled fuel-injected diesel engine developing 520 hp, coupled to a manual transmission with 6 forward and 2 reverse gears. The torsion bar suspension on each side consists of six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear, and four track-return rollers. The first and last return rollers support the inside of the track only. The first, second and sixth road wheel stations have a hydraulic shock absorber and there is a distinct gap between the first and second and second, and third road wheels. The 2S3 Akatsiya can cross 0.7 m high vertical obstacles, 3.0 m wide trenches, 1.05 m fording depth, and climb 30° gradients. Two vehicles can be transported by the military transport aircraft Antonov An-22.|
|The 2S3 has infrared night vision equipment and an NBC system. The gun laying, including firing, is accomplished by the gunner. In addition to the PG-4 sight, there is an OP5-38 gunner's telescope. Cants of up to 5º in pitch and roll axes can be offset. The panoramic telescope has a 10.5º field of view and ×3.7 magnification. The OP5-38 gunner's telescope has a 11º field of view, a magnification of ×5.5, and is normally used for direct-fire engagements. According to Russian sources, the NBC system also keeps the turret clear of fumes when the gun is fired. An infrared searchlight is mounted to the left of a 7.62 mm machine gun. Earthmoving equipment is attached to the front part of the hull allowing the 2S3 to self-dig hull-down protected position.|
|One 152mm 2A33 howitzer and one 7.62mm PKT machine gun||Protection against the firing of small arms 7.62mm caliber and artillery shell splinters|
|Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Libya, Russia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.||27,500 kg|
|Russia||63 km/h maximum road speed|
|Infrared night vision, NBC protection system, infrared searchlight, panoramic telescope||500 km|
|4||Length: 7.76 m; Width: 3.25 m; Height: 2.61 m|
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