The Russian MSTA-S 2S19 152mm self-propelled howitzer.
The 152mm 2S19 MSTA-S self-propelled howitzer is designed to defeat unsheltered and covered manpower, weapons and materiel to division level. The MSTA-S entered service with the Russian Army in 1989.
MSTA-S comprises a turret mounted on a tracked armoured 6×6 chassis, which has been based on elements of the T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks.
It is manufactured by Uraltransmash of Ekaterinberg, Russia, which also produced a towed version, called MSTA-B, and has developed two new variants, 2S19M with a computerised fire control system and 2S19M1 with a Nato standard 155mm gun.
Uraltransmash is developing an upgraded version of the MSTA-S for the Russian Army. It is estimated that about 150 systems are active in the Russian Army.
2A64 152mm howitzer gun
The howitzer’s 152mm gun is the 2A64, manufactured by the Barrikady State Production Association, Volgograd, Russia, which produces a variety of large-calibre artillery armament for the Russian Army and Navy. Elevation is from +68° to -3° with 360° traverse.
There is also a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun that is remotely controlled by the commander. Three smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret.
50 rounds of ammunition for the howitzer gun are carried onboard and 300 cartridges for the machine gun.
MSTA-S howitzer munitions
MSTA-S fires a variety of ammunition – HE-FRAG (high-explosive fragmentation), HE-FRAG with base gas bleed, cluster projectiles with fragmentation submunitions and the Krasnopol laser-guided 152mm projectile. It can also fire the 3RB30 jammer carrying projectiles which set up radio intereference to disrupt enemy communications. These have a range of 22km and can jam frequencies between 1.5MHz to 120MHz to a radius of 700m.
The Krasnopol projectile has been developed by the KBP Instrument Making Design Bureau, Tula, and is designed to defeat armoured vehicles and weapon emplacements. It has inertial mid-course guidance and semi-active laser homing. The laser seeker is produced by LOMO of St Petersburg. The projectile has a range of 3km to 20km, and can hit a target by the first shot without registration. Krasnopol is designated by the 1D15 (1D22) laser designator and has a 1A35 shot synchronisation system.
Ammunition and gun loading, laying and retargeting are highly automated, allowing maximum firing rate of eight rounds a minute with onboard rounds and six to seven rounds a minute with rounds from the ground. A battery of eight MSTA-S can deliver 3t of projectiles on a target in one minute.
The laying control system is coordinated with the fire control vehicle. All the onboard ammunition is stored in the turret and a mobile reloading tray allows loading and firing at all angles of laying without needing the gun to return to the loading position. A charge loading mechanism is also provided. The system provides automatic gun loading for projectiles and semi-automatic loading for charges. All the gunner has to do is hold the panoramic sight on the laying point. The commander also has control of the firing and laying equipment.
The design of the ammunition rack allows different types of projectiles to be stored in the same rack. The automatic loading mechanism can select the type of ammunition and control the loading and the number of rounds. Used ammunition cases are ejected automatically to reduce the build-up of waste gases.
There are separate conveyers in the rear of the turret that allow the loading of ground ammunition. Before the howitzer starts off, the projectile conveyer is folded and fixed on the turret and the charge conveyer is folded inside the turret.
The 2S19 is powered by a diesel engine with direct injection and mixed supercharge. It is a high-speed, four-cycle, multi-fuel, liquid-cooled engine. The diesel engine has a maximum power of 574kW to 617kW (780hp to 840hp).
The running gear has torsion bar suspension with an adjustable damping system and automatic block mechanism without stabilising spades. Road speed is 60km/h with a range of 500km.