Artillery / Self-propelled howitzers / 2S7 Pion

2S7 Pion

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Self-propelled howitzer

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    Pion, Peony (nickname)
    M1975 (NATO designation)
    Malka (Russian nickname)
    SO-203 (official Russian designation)

  • DESIGNED
    1967 - 1974

  • DESIGNER
    Kirov factory & Barrikady arsenal

  • PRODUCTION
    1975 - 1985 (2S7)
    1985 - 1990 (2S7M)

  • PRODUCERS
    USSR - Kirov factory

  • QUANTITY
    Over 1.000 produced, production complete.

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very long range for tube artillery
    Fires very powerful shells
    Limited rate of fire
    Crew is exposed in firing position

Introduction

The 2S7 is a late Cold War era self-propelled howitzer of Russian origin. In 1967 a requirement for a large caliber long range self-propelled howitzer was issued and in 1976 the first 2S7 were in active service. The 2S7 has the nickname Pion, which is peony in English. The 2S7 Pion is the most powerful mass produced self-propelled howitzer in existence.

Layout

The 2S7 is based on a highly modified and stretched T-80 chassis. Four crewmembers are seated in the front cabin, the engine is mounted behind it and three crew members are in the rear compartment. The ordnance is mounted at the rear. A giant spade at the rear is lowered to provide stability while firing.

Firepower

The 2S7 is fitted with the massive 56-caliber 203mm 2A44 howitzer. With standard ammunition it has a range of 37.4 km and a rocket-assisted projectile can be fired out to 47.5 km. The rate of fire is 1.5 rounds per minute. Four rounds of ammunition are carried on the 2S7 with the remainder on a support vehicle. The improved 2S7M carries 8 rounds and has a rate of fire of 2.5 rpm. No secondary armament is fitted.

Protection

The steel armor protects the crew against small arms fire and shell splinters when on the move. In the firing position the crew members are exposed since the ordnance is mounted in the open. An NBC system is fitted, but smoke grenade launchers are not.

Mobility

The 2S7 is based on a tracked chassis that provides a reasonably good cross country performance given its size and weight. The 780 hp V-46 diesel engine provides propulsion. Even with this amount of power the 2S7 remains a quite slow vehicle. The improved 2S7M uses the more reliable 840 hp V-84 diesel engine.

Users

The 2S7 Pion was used by many USSR nations. It is estimated that over 1.000 units have been built. Today the 2S7 is relatively uncommon as with the end of the Cold War the need for such a powerful weapon system has faded.

Variants

2S7 Pion

2S7: The 2S7 Pion is a massive tracked self-propelled howitzer. The chassis is based on the T-80 main battle tank. The 2S7 is fitted with a 203mm L/56 2A44 howitzer.
2S7M: The late production variant is designated 2S7M. It was designed under the Malka program. The 2S7M is fitted with a more powerful and reliable engine, is fitted with newer radios, carries 8 rounds of ammunition and has an increased rate of fire of 2.5 rounds per minute.

TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew7 (commander, driver, radio operator, gunner, 2 loaders)
Length13.12 m (overall)
Width3.38 m
Height3.0 m
Ground clearance0.4 m
Weight45.0 t combat load
Ground pressure0.80 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 7 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear
Turn radius?
EngineV-46-I diesel, 780 hp at 2.000 rpm
Power ratio17.3 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed50 km/h on road
Fuel?
Range650 km on road
Wall0.7 m
Trench2.5 m
Gradient40% gradient, 20% slope
Fording1.2 m
ArmorSteel, up to 10 mm
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
SmokeNo
RemarksR-123M radio
Armament203mm L/56 2A44 howitzer
Weapon1203.2mm L/56.2 2A44 howitzer
4 rounds on vehicle
0 to +60 degrees elevation, powered
-15 to +15 degrees traverse, powered, non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-
TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Crew6 (commander, driver, radio operator, gunner, loader)
Length13.12 m (overall)
Width3.38 m
Height3.0 m
Ground clearance0.4 m
Weight46.5 t combat load
Ground pressure0.83 kg/cm2
WheelbaseTracked chassis, 7 roadwheels, drive sprocket front, idler rear
Turn radius?
EngineV-84V diesel, 840 hp at 2.000 rpm
Power ratio18.1 hp/t
Transmission?
Speed50 km/h on road
Fuel?
Range650 km on road
Wall0.7 m
Trench2.5 m
Gradient40% gradient, 20% slope
Fording1.2 m
ArmorSteel, up to 10 mm
NBC equipmentYes
Night visionYes
SmokeNo
RemarksR-173 radio
Armament203mm L/56 2A44 howitzer
Weapon1203.2mm L/56.2 2A44 howitzer
8 rounds on vehicle
0 to +60 degrees elevation, powered
-15 to +15 degrees traverse, powered, non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

203mm Soviet artillery shells

3OF43: HE-Frag projectile used in 3VOF34 long range and 3VOF42 short range round.
3OF44: HE-Frag projectile used in 3VOF35 rocket assisted round.
3O14: Cluster munition shell used in 3VO15 long range and 3VO16 short range round.
3G3 Galyan: Concrete piercing shell used in 2VG11 round.
Kleshchevina: Nuclear shell.

CategoryArtillery round
TypeHE-Frag
Diameter203 mm
Length?
Weight110 kg
Charge43.2 kg in 3VOF34, 25 kg in 3VOF42
WarheadHE-Frag, 17.8 kg explosive
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity960 m/s at muzzle for 3VOF34
Range37.4 km in 3VOF34, 25.4 km in 3VOF42
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-
CategoryArtillery round
TypeHE-Frag
Diameter203 mm
Length?
Weight102 kg
Charge43.2 kg
WarheadHE-Frag, 13.3 kg explosive
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity?
Range47.5 km in 3VOF35
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-50 to +50° Celsius operational temperature range
CategoryArtillery round
TypeCluster munition
Diameter203 mm
Length?
Weight110 kg
Charge43.2 kg in 3VO15, 25 kg in 3VO16
Warhead24x 0.23 kg submunition
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity?
Range30.4 km in 3VO15, 13 km in 3VO16
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-
CategoryArtillery round
TypeConcrete piercing
Diameter203 mm
Length?
WeightOver 100 kg
Charge?
Warhead?
Fuze?
Effects?
Velocity?
Range?
Accuracy?
Tracer-
Remarks-

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