The first published image of SAO 2S43. The three-dimensional model differs markedly from the real prototype
Currently, the Central Research Institute “Burevestnik” (part of the NPK “Uralvagonzavod”) and a number of related organizations are engaged in development work with the code “Sketch”. Its goal is to create a number of promising self-propelled artillery pieces with different features, characteristics and capabilities. One of these samples is CAO 2S43 “Malva”. As it became known, by now it could go to preliminary tests.
The first news about the tests of Malva Insurance Company appeared at the end of July last year. Then the leadership of the Central Research Institute “Burevestnik” said that at the final stages of testing there are a number of promising samples of self-propelled artillery, incl. product 2C43. However, no details were given.
New messages about testing Malva were published by Izvestia on January 11th. With reference to sources in the Ministry of Defense, it is argued that at the end of 2020, a test schedule for the promising CAO was prepared and approved. This document defined the list of activities for the end of 2020 and beyond.
In accordance with the schedule, by the end of 2020, the development organization was supposed to conduct sea trials and test firing of a prototype. Apparently, we are talking about factory tests. After these measures, it was required to finalize the design and correct the identified shortcomings.
A new stage of testing starts in the spring or summer of this year. The modified prototype will be handed over to the Ministry of Defense, which will conduct all the necessary checks. The timing of these tests remains unknown.
Experienced “Malva” in profile
Apparently, not too much time is allotted for testing and fine-tuning the structure. For example, in October last year, in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the commander-in-chief of the ground forces, General of the Army Oleg Salyukov, revealed the general plans for the Sketch development project. This work will be completed in 2022. At the same time, purchases of the first samples of promising technology are expected. It follows from this that all stages of the tests “Malva” should pass this and next year, but no more.
The launch of the ROC “Sketch” and the development of a number of promising CAOs became known a few years ago. Data on a number of new projects were disclosed fairly quickly – but not on Malva. The first detailed data on the 2C43 product appeared only in the fall of 2019, at the same time a three-dimensional image of the self-propelled gun was published.
By the time such messages appeared, the Burevestnik Central Research Institute had completed the design and began assembling the prototype. So, back in August 2019, the institute received from the Bryansk Automobile Plant a chassis for mounting an artillery system. The main characteristics of the gun and chassis also became known.
The first official photo of Malva Insurance Company was published in July 2020. At the same time, it was announced that the experimental vehicle would become an exhibit of the future Army-2020 exhibition. The self-propelled gun was indeed delivered to the forum, but it was demonstrated in the closed part of the exposition. At the public site there was only a stand with general information about the project. In addition, the developer distributed a flyer with basic data and a couple of new photographs.
According to official information, the CAO 2S43 “Malva” is intended to destroy tactical nuclear and conventional weapons of the enemy, to strike at artillery batteries, convoys of equipment, air defense systems, command posts, etc. In general, in terms of its functions and tasks, the new self-propelled gun does not differ from the models already in service with the missile forces and artillery.
Flyer from the developer institute
The major differences lie in the architecture of this CAO. The combat vehicle is built on the basis of the four-axle all-wheel drive chassis BAZ-6010-027 and is equipped with an open artillery unit. This combination of units provides a special ratio of combat weight, mobility, mobility, firepower and operating cost.
The base chassis is equipped with an armored cabin to accommodate the crew on the march. Smoke grenade launchers are installed on the roof of the cabin. Probably, the CAO will also receive small arms for self-defense. The cargo platform is given for the placement of various units and stowages, and an artillery unit is installed in the stern.
The “Malva” uses a 152-mm rifled howitzer 2A64, borrowed from the ACS 2S19 “Msta-S”. The gun has a 47-clb barrel with a three-chamber muzzle brake, an ejector and advanced recoil devices. It is mounted on a new machine with the possibility of horizontal guidance within 30 ° to the right and left of the axis and with vertical guidance from -3 ° to + 70 °. Apparently, automated drives controlled by the OMS are used. There is a folding coulter under the machine with two base plates.
The 2S43 ammunition load includes 30 rounds of separate-case loading and is transported in boxes on the platform. The transfer of shells and casings to the breech is carried out manually by calculation forces. The rate of fire is declared at 7 rds / min. Perhaps some means of mechanization are used to increase it. The maximum firing range of a conventional projectile is 24.5 km.
SAO “Malva” in the stowed position has a length of 13 m and a total weight of 32 tons. For comparison, the ACS 2S19 is 10 tons heavier. Provides high speed on the highway and the ability to move over rough terrain. Calculation of the gun – 5 people.
Lighter and faster
The self-propelled gun 2S43 “Malva” is considered as a means of expanding the combat capabilities for the divisional artillery of the ground forces. First of all, it should complement the ACS 2S19 “Msta-S”, with which it is unified in terms of armament.
The main innovation of the Malva project is the use of a wheeled chassis, which has obvious advantages over tracked chassis. Thus, with the same armament and combat capabilities, the 2S43 product is much lighter and more mobile than the 2S19 self-propelled gun, and also cheaper to operate. However, the “Msta-S” compares favorably with the “Malva” in better protection of the crew and a simpler process of deployment in position.
Foreign experience shows that wheeled ACS / SAO have a right to exist and are able to fully realize their advantages over other equipment. They are not considered as a substitute for traditional self-propelled guns, but are designed to complement them and solve some of the combat missions.
Competent organization of combat work and combat use makes it possible to combine tracked and wheeled vehicles into a flexible system capable of quickly and efficiently responding to all major challenges. At the same time, operational and economic benefits are achieved.
The self-propelled gun “Malva” has yet to confirm the calculated tactical, technical and operational characteristics, as well as compliance with the customer’s requirements. Some of the tests should have been carried out last year, and in the coming months, the prototype will undergo new tests. This means that CAO 2S43 “Malva” is approaching a possible start of production and adoption. Accordingly, new reports on the progress of the project and the successes achieved should be expected in the near future.