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2S1 Gvozdika (M1974)

122mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)

The 2S1 Carnation appeared in military army inventories all across the globe during the Cold War.
Authored By: Martin Foray | Edited: 5/18/2019
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1972
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Soviet Union / Poland / Bulgaria
Production: 10,100
Capabilities: Amphibious; Fire Support/Assault/Breaching;
Crew: 4
Length: 25.00 ft (7.62 m)
Width: 9.35 ft (2.85 m)
Height: 8.96 ft (2.73 m)
Weight: 17 tons (15,700 kg); 34,613 lb
Power: 1 x YaMZ-238N V-8 water-cooled, diesel-fueled engine developing 300 horsepower at 2,100rpm and driving a conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
Speed: 38 mph (62 kph)
Range: 311 miles (500 km)
Operators: Algeria; Angola; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Belarus; Bulgaria; Cuba; Croatia; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Finland; Georgia; Hungary; India; Iran; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Libya; Poland; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Ossetia; Soviet Union; Syria; Ukraine; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yemen; Yugoslavia; Zimbabwe
The 2S1 Gvozdika (translating to "Carnation") was a standard Red Army self-propelled howitzer platform. The type was recognized in the West in 1974 and given the appropriate designation of "M1974". Production of the type was undertaken at state factories in the Soviet Union, Bulgaria and Poland to which several thousand of these capable systems were delivered. Operators beyond the Red Army included various satellite nations, communist allies and Soviet-friendly nations the world over. The initial 2S1 prototype was completed in 1969 and the type entered service with the Red Army sometime in the early 1970s. Once in operational service, the 2S1 was available in large numbers.

The Soviet Army gained much valuable experience in their dealings with the capable German Army in World War 2. In the decades following, a commitment to ever-improving army support was key to the might of the Soviet land army. Such systems in development became large caliber mortars, field guns, main battle tanks and self-propelled artillery. The advent of the missile age also helped to expand the lethal reach of Soviet military hardware and its weapons were shipped off to any pro-Soviet regime. The 2S1 self-propelled howitzer was one such implement that utilized proven mechanical components with a powerful main gun. Its howitzer nature ensured that it would have been used in support of Soviet troop and armor actions should the Cold War in Europe had ever turned "hot".

The 2S1 borrows much of its design from the MT-LB multi-role tracked vehicle. The hull is rather long and featureless, making room for the flat, all-welded turret emplacement to which a 122mm, double-baffled main gun is fitted. This provides the 2S1 with a low profile and squat appearance, making her easy to conceal and more difficult to identify. The glacis plate is well sloped towards the turret roof for optimal ballistics protection. The multi-faceted turret is fully powered and holds three of the four crew - the commander, loader and gunner while the driver mains a forward left-hull position. The turret can traverse a full 360 degrees and provides for an elevation range of +70 to -3 degrees. A fume extractor is clearly identified along the gun barrel. The engine is fitted to the front of the hull. The running tack systems are fitted to each hull side and sport seven road wheels and feature and adjustable suspension system. The drive sprocket is at the front with the track idler at the rear. No track return rollers are present. Beyond the main gun fitting, there are no other secondary weapon systems available to the crew. Armor protection is 20mm at its thickest.

One of the key qualities of the 2S1 design is its fully amphibious nature, allowing it to traverse water sources with little preparation on the part of the crew. While no dedicated propulsion jet is fitted, the 2S1 is propelled through water by the motion of its own track systems.

Due to its Cold War origins, the 2S1's fighting compartment is fully protected from Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) weapons. Infra-red night vision is standard for the driver and commander positions. Optional track widths allow the 2S1 to traverse various soft-ground terrains as needed.

The engine is fitted to a separated compartment at the front right of the hull and consists of a YaMZ-238N diesel-fueled engine delivering approximately 300 horsepower. This supplies the 2S1 with a top road speed of 37 miles per hour and an operational range nearing 310 miles.

A trained crew can fire off up to a maximum of five projectiles per minute while two projectiles per minute is the standard sustained rate. The 122mm gun of the 2S1 can reach targets out to 15 kilometers on standard projectiles and up to 22 kilometers when utilizing special rocket-assisted munitions. The main gun is cleared to fire a variety of conventional munitions including High-Explosive (HE), Armor-Piercing High-Explosive (APHE) and flechette (steel arrow dispensing) rounds. The 2S1 can also fire chemical based warheads. Up to 40 x 122mm projectiles can be stored aboard the 2S1 interior.

The 2S1 was further developed into other useful battlefield roles for the Red Army and its other operators. This included such types as a mine clearer and chemical reconnaissance vehicle. Other nations have taken the 2S1 design steps further to produce more custom-minded battlefield solutions such as those supporting guided anti-tank missiles or utilizing commonality of parts with other chassis systems.

In Red Army service, the 2S1 was formally replaced by the 2S9 and 2S19 series of self-propelled guns. The phase out process of existing 2S1s began in 2007. Other former operators of the type included the Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Yugoslavia - these either being placed in reserve status or passed on to successor states. In the case of East German 2S1s, they were phased out of service in 1990 following the reunification of the country from its East and West post-World War 2 components.

The largest operators of the 2S1 (beyond the Soviet Union) became Ukraine, Bulgaria, Belarus, Poland and India - each utilizing hundreds of the type in their respective services. At least 70 2S1s served with the Finnish Army under the designation of "122 PsH 74".


1 x 122mm 2A18 main gun barrel.

40 x 122mm projectiles.

Variants / Models

• 2S1 "Gvozdika" (Carnation) - Base Series Designation.
• M1974 - Western Designation of the 2S1 Series
• SAU-122 - Alternative Soviet/Russian Designation
• UR-77 "Meteorit" - Mine-Clearer
• M1979 - Mine-Clearing Vehicle
• RKhM "Kashalot" (ATV M1979/4) - Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle
• RKhM-K - Command Variant of the RKhM
• 2S34 "Chosta" - Modernized 2S1; fitting 120mm 2S80 series main gun with guided munitions support; revised fire control system.
• 2A1M "Gozdzik" - Polish Variant; improved amphibious capabilities
• 2S1T "Gozdzik" - Polish Variant; fitted with TOPAZ digital fire control system.
• Rak - Polish 120mm Mortar Carrier
• LPG - Polish Armored Personnel Carrier based on the chassis of the 2S1.
• Model 89 - Romanian Designation of 2S1; revised hull design.
• Raad-1 "Thunder" - Iranian Variant
• BMP-23 - Bulgarian Variant; infantry fighting vehicle type; fitted with 23mm autocannon and support for guided anti-tank missiles in special two-man turret.
• BMP-23D - Bulgarian Variant; fitted with smoke grenade dischargers; support for 9K111 guided missiles.
• BRM-23 - Bulgarian Variant; Reconnaissance Version
• BMP-30 - Bulgarian Variant; BMP-2 style turret; limited production.
• Abu Fatma - Sudanese license-production variant
• 122 PsH 74 - Finnish Designation
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