2A45 Sprut (Kraken) Towed Anti-Tank (AT) Gun System
The 2A45 series towed anti-tank gun of 1989 followed the T-12 line that appeared during 1955.
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For decades the Russian / Soviet Army had placed a premium on effective artillery pieces for effective armor-defeating measures. This is seen in the "Sprut" ("Kraken") series of Anti-Tank (AT) guns currently in service with Russian forces and several select global customers. The weapon is capable of engaging enemy armor through Armor-Piercing (AP) shells at range while also having a general anti-infantry capability through firing High-Explosive (HE) shells. Design of the Sprut was through the Petrov Design Bureau during the latter half of the 1980s just prior to the fall of the Soviet Empire. Manufacture has been handled out of the Artillery Plant No.9 since 1989, the same ear the Sprut formally entered military service.
As finalized, the gun features a transport weight of 14,300 pounds with a firing weight close to 14,500 pounds. It sports an overall length of 23.3 feet and features a barrel of 125mm caliber (4.9"). The recoil mechanism is hydropneumatic and assists in providing gunnery crews a rate-of-fire of 6 to 8 rounds-per-minute out to ranges reaching 13,300 yards using conventional HE shells. AP shells reach 2,200 yards. Sighting is through an OP4M-48A sighting device. While seated on a two-wheeled towable tripod assembly, an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) is fitted to provide short-distance transport at roughly 9 miles per hour. Otherwise, the system is towed into action using traditional mover vehicles like the MT-LB carrier. The standard operating crew of this gun is seven personnel which are trained to arrange the gun to be readied for fire in two minutes or less.
In one way, the Sprut system is logistically-friendly for the Russian military and its foreign customers as relies on the same ammunition stock already in circulation for the T-64, T-72, T-80 and T-90 Russian Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). The ammunition is also used in the D-81 towed gun family.
To date the Sprut is featured in three distinct forms: the 2A45 "Sprut-A" is the standard towed AT weapon while the 2A45M "Sprut-B" is the self-propelled version of the same gun. The 2S25 "Sprut-SD" is another self-propelled gun system, though more along the lines of portable fire support, and fits the related 125mm 2A75 gun onto the BMD-3 chassis complete with powered turret assembly.
Operators of the Sprut family are seen in Mexico, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), Singapore and Ukraine. Belarus has become a former operator of the line.