Russia used a 203mm howitzer that could fire nuclear 3BV2 shells up to 37 kilometers away

MOSCOW, ($1=76.79 Russian Rubles) — The Turkish online portal DefenceTurk.net reports that 17 km from the border with Ukraine, Russia has deployed several divisions of 203mm chain self-propelled howitzer 2S7M Malka. The howitzers are located in the town of Vesyolaya Lopan, which is 8 km from the capital of the Belgorod region.

The news was confirmed both by our sources in the area and by Russian civilians who shot an amateur video of one of the separate military parking lots in the city [between 15 and 25 seconds on the left you can see several 2S7M small howitzers parked on the left]. The user’s tweet says: “Vesyolaya Lopan, Belgorod region, Unloading, today. In 2014, the armed forces of the Russian Federation also unloaded there and went to the Donbass.”

In December 2021, the first upgraded 2S7M Malka self-propelled howitzer, according to Uralvagonzavod, was delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The statement did not disclose the number of upgraded howitzers and noted that this delivery was the first batch of 2S7M Malka self-propelled howitzers to be overhauled.

The modernization was carried out in Uraltransmash. During the modernization the gearbox, the distribution bodies, the power supply, the monitoring device, the guidance system, the intercom equipment, the communication stations were replaced, the CBRN protection system was updated. In addition, it became possible to target a UAV target.

In April 2020, Uralvagonzavod announced its readiness for a large-scale modernization of its first self-propelled howitzer 2S7M Malka and serial modernization of self-propelled howitzers. It seems that the Russian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with Uralvagonzavod for modernization.

Using the 203 mm 20A44 cannon, the 2S7M Malka can fire a variety of munitions, including special munitions with active-jet and nuclear warheads. Such ammunition is the 3BV2 nuclear artillery shells, which were developed specifically for this model of howitzers and have a range of 18 to 30 km [37 km after the renewal of the howitzer].

Large-caliber self-propelled howitzers were once developed as a weapon for a possible tactical nuclear attack. The first model produced was the 2S7 Pion in 1975. This howitzer was upgraded to the 2S7M Malka version in 1986.

The combat weight of 2C7M is 46.5 tons and the crew is 6 people. The R-173 communication equipment is standard and carries 8 rounds. He can be ready to shoot in 7 minutes when you are brought to the field. After the upgrade, the 2S7 Malka can fire more than 2 shots per minute in an effective range of 37 km.

In 2020, the Russian state-owned company Rostek announced that it had begun developing a new artillery shell for this howitzer, but there was still no information on the progress of the artillery engineers.

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