According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, a Russian government daily newspaper, the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV new 152mm self-propelled gun (SPG) will enter service with the Russian Army before 2020. The howitzer will supplement and eventually replace the 2S19 Msta. This information was confirmed by Major General Mikhail Matveevsky, the commander-in-chief of missile and artillery troops. The weapon was first seen in public (initially with its turret covered) in 2015 during rehearsals for the Moscow Victory Day Parade.
The self-propelled howitzer is designed to knock out armoured vehicles, weapons systems, critical infrastructure sites, including command and control centers. Early versions of the howitzer actually had two guns, one mounted on top of the other, doubling the firepower.
The primary weapon is a 152mm 2A88 cannon, equipped with a muzzle brake and a recoil system. The Koalitsiya-SV has a range of up to 70 kilometers using precision-guided rounds and up to 40 km with standard rounds. It can fire 16 rounds per minute on average with a maximum rate of 20 rounds per minute – the highest maximum rate of fire unparalleled in the world. It is achieved thanks to the new pneumatic loader. For comparison, the US M109A6 Paladin’s maximum rate of fire is 4 rounds per minute. Estimated ammunition load is around 60-70 rounds and using a special loader vehicle the recharge time for full ammunition load is 15 minutes.
The Koalitsiya boasts a fully-automatic ammunition loading and handling systems. A very high level of automation allows to reduce the crew to just three men – the driver, gunner and commander. To compare, the US Paladin analogue has a crew of 6.
The howitzer features a warning receiver, night vision equipment, a microwave shell priming system, a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection suite, and a shock absorber. A rectangular box is mounted on each side of the main armament to monitor operational information. Each crew member can see screens displaying situation awareness and guidance data.
The system utilizes a modular charge system. It can fire a wide range of munitions, including standard and rocket-assisted HE-FRAG projectiles, cluster projectiles with anti-tank submunitions, and jamming ammunition.
The SPG can also fire 9K25 Krasnopol semi-automatic laser-guided projectile with a range of 20km. The munition has four movable control surfaces at the front and four foldable fixed fins at the rear. When in flight, four fixed fins unfold to the rear with four movable control surfaces unfolding to the front. The projectile uses inertial guidance for the mid-course trajectory with semi-active laser homing used for the terminal phase when the target is illuminated by the tripod-mounted laser designator.
The Koalitsiya-SV features advanced fire control system (FCS) which uses automatic mode to select the munition to be used against the given target. The system can fire autonomously or can be remotely operated using an integrated fire control system. The howitzer's location and firing information are displayed on the command and control panel.
The weapon has demonstrated great accuracy achieved with the help of advanced ballistic computer during field trials. A few rounds flying different trajectories can approach the target at the same time. The specifications make a single SPG capability comparable with an entire artillery battery.
The Koalitsiya-SV’s tracked chassis uses components of the T-90 main battle tank and is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine developing around 1,000 hp. The suspension is of the torsion bar type with either side having six road wheels, idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and five track-return rollers, with the upper part of the track being covered by a skirt.
Compared to the T-90, the bow of the hull has been modified to accommodate the driver’s compartment. The driver’s seat is in the middle with the commander and gunner seated on the driver’s left and right respectively. The speed is 60km/h and the operational range is 500km.
The vehicle has a remotely controlled 12.7-mm machine gun. Equipped with smoke grenade dischargers, the turret provides self-defense against air and ground targets. The armor is hard enough to protect the servicemen against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. The vehicle is also fitted with automatic fire suppression systems. It theory, the weapon can be installed on 8×8 wheeled platforms.
A weapon with a sniper capability, the SPG is rated as one of the ten best howitzers in the world. With the Koalitsiya-SV in service, the Russian Army will have an unparalleled system from the point of view of automation, accuracy, operational range and the rate of fire.