Forward view of 2S31 Vena self-propelled gun/mortar on display.
Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license
The 2S31 Vena is a self-propelled gun/mortar of Russian origin. It was developed as a more capable and more high end alternative to the wheeled 2S23 Nona. The 2S31 was to be more capable in the direct fire role, and more useful as an artillery piece.
The 2S31 is based on the chassis of the BMP-3 mechanized infantry combat vehicle. The driver is located at the front, the turret in the center and the engine and drivetrain art located at the rear. The 2S31 features a high level of automation, advanced fire control system and an active protection system.
The 120mm 2A80 rifled gun/mortar is the main armament. It is longer than the 120mm gun/mortars found on the tracked 2S9 and wheeled 2S23. Although rifled, it can fire 120mm shells designed for smoothbore and rifled barrels. Laser guided shells can also be fired. A total of 70 shells of 120mm ammunition are carried, about twice as many as carried by 2S9 or 2S23. The effective range is highly dependent on type of ammunition. Regular shells can be fired out to 5 or 9 km. Assisted projectiles can be fired up to 13 or 17 km, depending on type. Maximum rate of fire is quoted as 8 to 10 rpm.
The tracked chassis provides the 2S31 with good off road mobility and the ability to keep up with mechanized infantry. The UTD-29 diesel engine provides up to 450 hp. The maximum speed is 70 km/h on roads. The 2S31 is amphibious and propelled in the water via water jet.
The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shells splinters. Since the mortar is breech loaded the 2S31 is operated from under armor protection. The prototypes were fitted with the Shtora-1 active protection system, but this may not be fitted to all units in service. NBC protection and smoke grenade launchers are fitted as well.
The 2S31 Vena is in service with Russian forces, albeit in limited numbers. The 2S31 has been exported to Azerbaijan is still marketed for export.
The 2S31 Vena was developed using lessons learned from earlier gun/mortars such as the wheeled 2S23 Nona.
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