Never shy about adopting large-caliber guns into its inventory, the Soviet Army took on hundreds of the 2S5 "Giatsint-S" ("Hyacinth") Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs) into service. The vehicle was centered around the same 152mm gun as featured in the 2A36 Giatsint-B towed-artillery piece (designed at the same time) and therefore retained that weapon's inherent capabilities while adding mobility and a broader tactical value through the 2S5's track-and-wheeled form. Design work on the 2S5 spanned from 1967 into 1974 to which production ranged from 1976 to 1991. The 2S5 entered formal service in 1975 and remains in active use today (2014) with the forces of Belarus, Finland (as the "152 TELAK 91") and Russian Army and Navy. Russian stocks include many hundreds in storage with fewer than 600 in active roles.
At its core, the 2S5 is a 28-ton vehicle utilizing a shallow armored hull superstructure. A typical operating crew is five while the vehicle requires coupling with ammunition carriers to supply its projectiles - this increases the human commitment to the system by several additional members. Overall length is 27 feet with a width of 10.6 feet and height of 9 feet. Armor protection is 15mm at the thickest facing. Power is served through a diesel-fueled engine of 520 horsepower which allows for a top road speed of 38 miles per hour and an operational range out to 311 miles. The chassis is fully suspended atop a torsion bar suspension system. The track-and-wheel system consists of six paired rubber-tired road wheels to a hull side with four track return rollers used. The drive sprocket is forward and the track idler is rear.
The 152mm gun and its traversable/elevation mounting are fitted atop the hull. A plate at the rear of the vehicle is lowered prior to firing to help quell the resulting (and highly violent) recoil action of the firing process. As with many other vehicles of the period, the 2S5 adopted an NBC ("Nuclear, Biological, Chemical") kit to protect its occupants in the event of nuclear war with the West.