On November 25, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video report revealing some details on the operations of Msta-S self-propelled 152 mm howitzers during the special military operation in Ukraine.
The Msta has a maximum firing range of 25 kilometers with base bleed rounds and up to 29 kilometers with rocket-assisted rounds. It can also fire the laser-guided 2K25 Krasnopol round, which has a range of 20-25 kilometers. The howitzer can fire up to ten rounds per minute.
The vehicle of the howitzer is based on the T-80 tank hull, but is powered by the T-72’s diesel engine. It has an operational range of 500 kilometers and a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
In the video report, a battery senior officer with the call sign “Metallurgist” explained the work of Msta-S howitzers in Ukraine.
“The primary mission is to hit and destroy enemy artillery guns. Presently, our basic task is [also] to conduct counter-battery warfare and we operate with a roving 2S19M2 [Msta-S] gun. We strike both enemy small-caliber hardware like pickup trucks and heavy materiel like infantry fighting vehicles and tanks. The most effective result is the destruction of three tanks in a 24-hour duty shift,” the officer said.
According to the Russian MoD, Msta-S self-propelled howitzer batteries changes their position after each strike on enemy targets.
“In their combat mission, artillery squads of the Central Military District follow the principle: (one target – one position). This denies the adversary the opportunity to deliver a directed retaliatory strike. Owing to the trajectory of the shells, the enemy reveals the weapon emplacement that has already been abandoned by artillery teams,” the ministry explained.
Around 760 Mata-S howitzers are reportedly in active service with the Russian military, more than 200 others are kept in storage. The self-propelled howitzer is still in mass production at Uraltransmash plants, thus more are being delivered on a regular basis.
The latest version of the howitzer, dubbed the Msta-SM2, is equipped with an automatic fire control system and a digital navigation system.
NATO states supplied Ukraine with hundreds of howitzers and multiple rocket launchers in the months that followed the start of the Russian special military operation. However, Kiev forces are still outgunned by the Russian artillery.
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