Russian army to get new guided shells for Koalitsiya, Msta self-propelled howitzers

The Russian artillery will be able to hit targets at a distance of over 100 kilometers. Super long-range guided shells will soon join the round of munitions of self-propelled 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV and 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers.

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2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer displayed at Army 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

So far, the distance of guided shells does not exceed 20 km. The longer-range will make the guns capable of destroying command posts, headquarters, airfields, communication hubs and bridges in deep adversary rear. Experts believe the new shells will radically expand the capabilities of the ground forces, the Izvestia daily writes.

Sources in the defense industry said several long-range shells were being designed for 2S35 Koalitsia-SV self-propelled howitzers. They refused to disclose the deadline but said the design will begin trials shortly. The new shells will deliver precision strikes to a distance of 100 km. Msta-S guns will be also armed with them.

A super long-range shell is a guided projectile with a ram rocket engine. R&D is ongoing to create a shell that unfolds in flight like a telescope. It improves the characteristics of the in-built engine and radically increases the range in comparison with the traditional design. The current Krasnopol artillery shell has a maximum range of 20 km. New munitions will destroy objects in deep adversary rear by single shots. Koalitsia will engage in missions assigned to tactical missiles.

"The target can be reported by a drone," expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. "There are other technical solutions to ensure high precision. We will be on a par with advanced Western designs," he said.

Guided shells have to destroy important targets in a tactical depth, including command posts, communication hubs, missile launch positions, airfields, helipads. "At present, corps or divisions have no long-range weapons. In Soviet time, each division had a battalion of Tochka missiles, however, now there are no such units in the staff matrix. A commander has no weapons capable of destroying targets in the depth of his zone of responsibility," Murakhovsky said.

The Pentagon is also developing super long-range shells. The United States plans to create an Extended-range cannon (ERCA) and munitions to it. Active-reactive XM113 will give upgraded M109A7 self-propelled howitzers a range of 40 km. A longer barrel and a prospective shell with a ram rocket engine will increase the distance to over a hundred kilometers.

The Russian military substantiated prospective artillery and precision shell engagement principles in Syria. In November 2017, footage appeared of guided munitions striking at dozens of terrorist objects. Drones provided guidance to them. They detected targets and provided data for Krasnopol shells which destroyed even small bunkers and pickups of militants.

Guided 152mm shells cause less collateral damage than heavy air bombs which is important in combat in populated areas. A precision hit with a deviation of less than one meter is enough to destroy most objects on the battlefield.

Designers said new Russian heavy and medium drones can carry powerful laser rangers and operate as pointers for long-range shells at maximum fire distance, the Izvestia said.

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2S19 Masta-S 152mm self-propelled howitzer in action (Picture source: Army Recognition)

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