Russia's 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer completes state trials while already in mass production


On October 20, 2023, Rostec, the Russian state-owned conglomerate, announced the successful completion of state trials for the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV 152mm self-propelled howitzer, developed to replace the 2S19 Msta-S. Surprisingly, on August 10, 2023, Deputy Director General Vladimir Artyakov disclosed that mass production of the 2S35 had already commenced even before the conclusion of these state trials.
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The 2S35 was initially planned to be equipped with the unified Armata tracked platform, but as of now, it retains a modified chassis from the T-90A Main Battle Tank (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)


The ongoing conflict in Ukraine seems to be accelerating the development and production of new Russian armored vehicles, aiming to deploy them swiftly to the battlefield. These vehicles include the T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank (MBT), apparently set for deployment as early as 2024, the TOS-2 thermobaric rocket launcher, the 2S43 Malva self-propelled howitzer, the secret and unique Predel-E coastal radar, which Ukraine destroyed during operational testing, and the 2S18 Pat-S, which will serve as a blueprint for a new amphibious self-propelled howitzer.

The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV, operated by a three-person crew, features technological advancements that position it ahead of Western equipment on paper. This new self-propelled howitzer is characterized by its unmanned, remote-controlled turret housing a 152mm gun, with the crew's survival compartment located in the chassis.

The primary mission of the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV is to neutralize artillery and mortar batteries, armored vehicles, and enemy personnel. Additionally, it is designed to tackle the destruction of air and missile defense systems, control posts, and field fortifications. One of its key features is the implementation of fully automated shot preparation processes, which streamline critical procedures such as selecting the type of projectile, fuse installation, and gun aiming. This significantly reduces the time required to commence firing while ensuring a desirable rate of fire.

The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV is armed with a high-elevation 2A88 152mm gun, coupled with an automatic loader with an average firing rate of 10 rounds per minute (some sources cite figures of 8 or 12) and a total ammunition capacity of 60 rounds (or even 70). At the rear of the turret, without crew members, there is a munition resupply system that allows for replenishing ammunition from a specially designed resupply truck with assisted manipulator arms.

This 152mm gun can use a wide range of ammunition, including conventional explosive shells (with a range of 29 km), rocket-assisted projectiles (40 km), and the laser-guided 30F39 Krasnopol missile (20 km). In the case of the Krasnopol, the automatic loading mechanism is not used due to the missile's length. Additionally, new munitions currently in development could achieve a range of up to 70 km.

The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV features a small integrated dozer blade at the front for quickly digging a semi-entrenched firing position in 12 to 40 minutes, depending on the type of soil. If there is no need to prepare a position, the vehicle can be ready for action in just 90 seconds.

It also incorporates a remote weapon station armed with a 12.7mm Kord machine gun as its secondary armament and a total of twelve 81mm 902B Tucha smoke grenade launchers capable of deploying wide-spectrum smoke screens (infrared and visual opaque). These launchers are potentially coupled with four small automatic detectors (likely millimeter-wave radars) installed at the four upper corners of the turret. While these detectors theoretically provide 360-degree coverage, the launchers are all directed forward (approximately 40 degrees from each side).

Night vision systems support 24/7 operations, while an automatic sighting system enhances shot accuracy, increasing the likelihood of successful engagements. Control screens for sights and firing procedures empower the crew to monitor and adjust shooting parameters effectively, all within the confines of the protected vehicle.

The 2S35 was initially planned to be equipped with the unified Armata tracked platform, but as of now, it retains a modified chassis from the T-90A Main Battle Tank (MBT). Weighing in at 55,000 kg, the 2S35 can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h, offering impressive mobility. A range of 500 km ensures it can engage in extensive operations without concerns about fuel shortages.