2B1 Oka Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)
The ultimately-abandoned 2B1 Oka tracked self-propelled artillery system mounted a massive 420mm main gun barrel.
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The 2B1 "Oka" was a short-lived, heavy-class, self-propelled gun system developed by the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Such large-caliber guns had proven the norm for decades and found renewed importance during World War 1 and into the interwar years leading up to World War 2. The French, British, Americans and Germans all became keen on the prospects of large-caliber guns and, while their tactical use was severely restricted, their simple existence often proved a psychological tool against civilian populations they might target.
A prototype of the 2B1 system was unveiled in 1957 at the legendary Kirov Plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 2B1 Oka's operating principle was relatively simple - to lob large explosive projectiles against target areas deep within enemy territory - as far away as 45 kilometers according to her design. The 2B1 made use of a mammoth 420mm cannon installation mounted to a tracked hull. The gun mount sat at the center of the hull roof. Eight double-tired road wheels dotted the track sides with each pair heavily strutted to counter both weight and recoil. The drive sprocket was mounted to the front of the track system with the track idler at the rear and at least four track return rollers were used. Heavy duty recoil struts straddled the main gun at its base and the gunnery crew would have operated in the elements for no cover was afforded - the 2B1 was essentially a rolling gunnery stage and nothing else. No muzzle brake was fitted to the smooth barrel system which was not tapered in any way. A single V12 diesel-fueled engine would have supplied up to 700 horsepower.