Russia Finally Ramps Up Production of Powerful Koalitsiya-SV Howitzer

Russia's long-delayed Koalitsiya-SV howitzer, boasting a 152mm gun and automated loading, is finally in serial production.

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Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna
Girish Linganna is a Defence & Aerospace analyst and is the Director of ADD Engineering Components (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany with manufacturing units in Russia. He is Consulting Editor Industry and Defense at Frontier India.

Russia showed the self-propelled Howitzer 2S35 “Koalitsiya-SV” nine years ago. The Victory Day parade showcased it, commemorating another anniversary. However, despite its acceptance, the Russian armed forces did not produce the new equipment in series for many years. Only a dozen of the latest artillery installations were in service. When this situation would change was uncertain. The Russian armed forces recently received the 2S35 in “commercial quantities” and are currently in series production.

The Soviet Union adopted the self-propelled “Msta-S” with a 152 mm caliber into service in the late 1980s, marking the beginning of the “Koalitsiya”‘s history. According to the Russian media, by 1989, it generally met the parameters of its best foreign counterparts. However, it quickly became obsolete during the tumultuous 1990s. Russia’s progress on new guns and howitzers essentially stalled during this time. The Central Research Institute of Burevestnik (TsNIITochMash) couldn’t progress for nearly a decade due to a lack of project funding and the disruption of established production chains from the Soviet era. As a result, Russia faced a significant lag in artillery systems. Fortunately, in the early 2000s, the situation began to improve.

Uraltransmash, Motovilikha Plants, and the Central Design Bureau “Titan” were among the companies that contributed to developing the new advanced self-propelled howitzer. This is in addition to the TsNIITochMash. They were responsible for producing a brand-new transport platform, barrel, breech, and a one-of-a-kind pneumatic mechanism for loading ammunition. These four businesses laid the groundwork during the “Koalitsiya-SV” research and development program (R&D). Even though the project did not formally begin until 2006, a large portion of the work had already been completed three years before that year. The first pair of experimental prototypes was introduced in the year 2013. The vehicle had an outstanding performance, producing a preliminary batch of ten self-propelled cannons in 2014. These guns were delivered to the Russian military just before May 9, 2014.

The “Koalitsiya-SV” howitzer is designed with a turret configuration and a hull with striking characteristics similar to those of the T-90. The three compartments that make up the vehicle’s interior are designated as combat, control, and “power.” The crew of the vehicle is comprised of three personnel: the driver, who is seated in the center of the control compartment; the commander, who is seated to the left; and the gunner, who is seated to the right. At the same time, the combat compartment of the howitzer is completely devoid of any personnel and is located in the middle of the internal space. The process of preparing for shooting and loading the projectile is completely automated. This substantially simplifies the crew’s work and increases the effectiveness of the self-propelled gun in actual combat situations.

The 2S35’s primary weaponry is the 152mm gun 2A88, which has a barrel length of 52 calibers. The “Koalitsiya’s” gun can swivel 360 degrees to fire because it has a turret system. The muzzle brake on the weapon helps to increase the precision of the shot. The significantly enhanced loading system makes it possible to reload the “Koalitsiya” from any place on the barrel. Depending on the firing mode, it also offers the highest firing rate among systems comparable to it, which ranges from 12 to 16 shots every sixty seconds. One hundred and seventy rounds are contained within the ammunition load of the system. Approximately fifteen minutes are required to refill the ammunition load when using a specialized vehicle. The “Koalitsiya” can hit targets up to forty kilometers away when armed with conventional ammunition. When used with guided munitions, it is possible to hit targets up to 70 kilometers away. The “Koalitsiya” is equipped with a “KORD” machine gun measuring 12.7 millimeters in diameter and several smoke grenade launchers measuring 902 millimeters.

The V-92, a diesel engine with a power output of 1001 horsepower, is manufactured by ChTZ to power the new Russian self-propelled cannon. According to estimates, the vehicle’s total weight is somewhere between 48 and 55 tons, depending on the configuration and the equipment it carries. The self-propelled gun can travel up to 800 kilometers and attain speeds of up to 65 kilometers per hour on the highway. Laser guidance recognition systems, Doppler radars for fire control systems, and automatic aiming systems are some of the supplementary and optional equipment available for the 2S35. In addition to facilitating the application of the concept of “network-centric warfare,” a TZ ECU makes it possible to add new pieces of equipment without any problems. In the latter part of 2023, the “Koalitsiya” was put into production on a large scale.


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