MOSCOW ($1=58.13 Russian Rubles) — Russian media reports that Russian troops are using the most advanced and most sophisticated Russian self-propelled howitzer 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV or just Koalitsiya-SV [Koalitsiya is Coalition in English] in the war in Ukraine. Officially, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation does not confirm this information but also does not deny it, preferring to remain silent.
The information is difficult to confirm. However, we can assume, using the path of logic, that the deployment of the Koalitsiya SPH is quite possible, considering the exhaustion in recent weeks on both sides of the war, who have preferred for the moment to rely primarily on their artillery ordnance systems and skills.
However, Russian media did not report how many Koalitsiya SPHs were sent to Ukraine. A check of open sources shows that the Russian Federation has so far armed itself with 12 units of this self-propelled howitzer, and more are currently under construction. The quantity of howitzers produced is small because the Koalitsiya SPH entered service only in 2015.
The 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV is intended to replace another Russian [Soviet] self-propelled howitzer currently in use in Ukraine – the 2S19 Msta.
About 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV
Koalitsiya-SV can reach a maximum weight of 55 tons. This self-propelled howitzer can fire two types of caliber ammunition – 152.4 or 155mm. Her secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm X 108 mm remote-controlled Kord machine gun and two bundles of 902B Tucha smoke grenade launchers. It can fire up to 16 rounds in one minute.
Koalitsiya-SV is fully automated and digital. The 2S35 has a unified command and control system that displays all actions. The system can automatically select the appropriate shell type for a given task and the required amount of charge. A digital fire control system receives external data and executes multiple fire missions in different modes, such as Multiple Rounds of Simultaneous Impact. Perhaps because of this, the crew consists of only three people, located in an armored capsule under the two front hatches.
The first prototypes of the howitzer were mounted on a T-90 tank chassis, but after the start of production, the Armata platform was preferred, as a six-wheeled chassis. The maximum speed at which the Koalitsiya-SV moves is 80 km/h, and the power is 1,000 horsepower.
The impact of Koalitsiya-SV in Ukraine
Military experts say the deployment of the Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer by Russian troops will not affect the course of the war, at least for now. But depending on the number of Koalitsiya-SVs used, Russian troops can cover two or three times more land than if they used the older version – the 2S19 Msta.
If Moscow’s claims are true, the Koalitsiya-SV will perform four and five times more firing missions in a period compared to the 2S19 Msta, and the Koalitsiya-SV needs less time to complete a firing mission compared to 2S19 Msta.
Before the start of the war in Ukraine, the Russian military command announced that the 1st Guards Tank Army of the Western Military District would receive a “battalion set” [or 24 SPH]. This means: that one division will be equipped with three batteries, each of which will include two platoons, each of which will have four Koalitsiya SPHs.
It is likely that claims that Russia currently has only 12 units that cannot arm an artillery division are true, and other developed weapons may be thrown into battle, experts say, to fill the gap.