The Ukrainian Army has captured a lot of state-of-the-art military weapon systems of the Russian Armed Forces since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine War in February this year. Most recently the Ukrainian Army has captured a latest version of the Russian 152-mm “MSTA-SM2” Self-propelled Howitzer. The Msta-SM2 is a latest generation artillery system, which has improved ballistics, has the ability to fire latest precision-guided munitions with GPS guidance, this gun also has a unusual feature, it has a deep fording capability which means after preparation it can cross water obstacles that are up to 5 m deep.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to gain trophy weapons and advanced military equipments in the Kharkiv region. The Ukraine Weapons Tracker Twitter Account has recently announced that another Russian Self-propelled Artillery Gun has landed into the hands of the Ukrainian Army.
So, the Russian modernized 152-mm self-propelled gun “Msta-SM2” was won by the Armed forces of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region recently.
If we turn to look at the latest reports, we will see interesting statistics, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the Russian Army has lost only 12 such howitzers, and all of them has been received by the Armed Forces of Ukraine as trophies.
In addition, in more than seven months of full-scale war, the Russian Army also lost 76 “Msta-S” howitzers, of which the Ukrainian Army took as many 31 units as trophies.
At the same time, the Military Balance guide tells us that as of now 2021, the Armed Forces of Ukraine had only 35 units of 2S19 “Msta-S” self-propelled guns, of which only three units were lost in combat, two were destroyed, and one was captured by the Russian Troops.
Detailed information about the “MSTA-SM2” Self-propelled Howitzer
The 2S19 Msta is a 152.4 mm self-propelled howitzer designed by the Soviet Union, which entered service in 1989 as the successor to the 2S3 Akatsiya. The vehicle has the running gear of the T-80, but is powered by the T-72’s diesel engine.
The 2S19M2 or 2S33 “Msta-SM2” is a improved version of the original Msta, currently in production equipped with a new automatic fire control system which increases the rate of fire. This new gun has digital electronic maps which significantly speeds up the terrain orientation in difficult geographical conditions and allows performing faster and more efficiently firing missions. Russians say that its range is up to 80 km.
The 2S33 MSTA-SM2 howitzer is fitted with with a new 2A79 152 mm/L60 ordnance that has improved ballistics. It can fire ammunition with more propellant charges and with a higher breech pressure than the 2S19 Msta-S. The gun is longer and has a heavier barrel. As a result it has a greater range of fire. Maximum range of fire with standard HE-FRAG shell is 30 km and 40 km with rocket-assisted shell. The original 2S19 Msta-S had a maximum range of 24 km with standard HE-FRAG shell and nearly 29 km with rocket-assisted shell. So that’s a significant improvement in range.
Chassis of this artillery system uses many components of T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks. Hull of the Msta-SM2 resembles that of the T-72 tank, but its armor is significantly thinner. This artillery system is powered by a rear-mounted V-84A diesel engine, developing 840 hp. Additionally it is equipped with auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems, when the main engine is turned off.
There is a remotely-controlled 12.7 mm machine gun for self-defense.