Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)
The 2S19 MSTA-S makes use of a 152mm field howitzer fitted atop the chassis of the T-80 Main Battle Tank powered by the engine of the T-72 Main Battle Tank.
Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited:
As a tracked vehicle, the 2S19 sits atop six, double rubber-tired road wheels fitted to a track side. The track features a drive sprocket at the rear with the track idler at front. All wheel systems are suspended with a torsion bar system allowing for good cross country performance. The upper portions of the track are covered over in light "skirt" armoring for basic protection, though these panels remain flat and offer only limited ballistics protection from heavier-caliber armaments.
Primary armament for the 2S19 system is the powerful 152mm 2A64 howitzer which can be used to great and terrible effect in lobbing large explosive projectiles at enemy positions. This is backed by a single, heavy-caliber 12.7mm NSVT series machine gun to counter anti-aircraft threats, light armored threats and even infantry concentrations if need be. A trained and experienced crew can let off between six- and eight-rounds per minute at ranges up to 18 miles. Utilizing rocket-assisted projectiles, this lethality can be increased to 22 miles. Turret traverse is a full 360-degrees with the gun's elevation limited to +68 and -4 degrees. The gun is partly managed by a semi-automatic gun laying system and features an automatic loader for quick response times. Ammunition types available include the standard High-Explosive (HE) round as well as smoke, illumination, chemical and nuclear-tipped variations. "Smart" munitions also play a role in the 2S19's inherent lethality with precision-guided projectiles allowing for pinpoint accuracy. There are two banks of three smoke grenade dischargers for self-preservation with these launchers fitted to the front-facing panels of the turret to either side of the main gun mount. The 2S19 can also generate its own smoke if need be. The turret sports slightly angled surfaces but generally promotes a large ground-level profile to the enemy.
Russia has remained the primary (and quantitative) operator of the 2S19 system with a handful of nations procuring the system over the years. These operators include Belarus, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ukraine and Venezuela. To date, there have been a few notable 2S19 variants including the improved 2S19M1 appearing in 2000 and sporting a digital Fire Control System (FCS). An stripped "export-friendly" form then appeared in 2006 as the 2S19M1-155 sporting a 155mm L/52 series main gun to help market the weapon to NATO-conformed countries. Naturally, the larger projectile size ensured a reduction in available onboard shells to 46 rounds. Several other related project types have appeared throughout the life of the 2S19 though few have been furthered into production forms.