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203mm shells for 2A44 howitzer

Ammunition for the 2S7 Pion self-propelled howitzer


203mm Soviet artillery shells

Rear view of 203mm shell during the 2015 Ukraine conflict. 203mm with transport casing (left), 203mm shell (center) and 240mm mortar shell (right).
Source: Unknown author - © copyright lies with original owner

Soviet Union
Artillery ammunition
Entered service
In service
Mid 1960's - mid 1970's
Conventional shells
Mid-1970's - 1977
Kleshchevina nuclear shell
Soviet Union - Barrikady arsenal
Conventional shells
Soviet Union - VNIITF
Kleshchevina nuclear shell
Mid 1970's - present
Soviet Union



For the 2S7 Pion self-propelled howitzer a special range of ammunition was developed. The 2S7 features the massive 2A44 howitzer with a length of 56 calibers.

The 2A44 howitzer has a similar 203mm bore diameter as the earlier B-4 towed howitzer, and during production of the ordnance the Barrikady plant even used some machinery that was once used to produce the B-4. Despite this the World War 2 era and modern range of 203mm ammunition is not interchangeable. The new shells are larger and able to withstand far higher pressures.

Both conventional and nuclear shells were developed for the 2S7. The charges are of the separate kind and are bagged. For transporting ammunition a handcart is used. The 2S7 features a mechanized loading tray for assisted loading of shells and charges.

List of projectile types

HE-Frag projectile used in 3VOF34 long range and 3VOF42 short range round. Nicknamed "Albatross".
HE-Frag projectile used in 3VOF35 rocket assisted round. Nicknamed "Burevestnik-2", which translates to "petrel".
Cluster munition shell used in 3VO15 long range and 3VO16 short range round.
3G3 Galyan
Concrete piercing shell used in 2VG11 round. Designed to strike hardened targets, such as command bunkers, runways and hardened aircraft shelters for frontline aviation.
3BV2 Kleshchevina
Nuclear shell, introduced in 1977. Derived from 3BV3 designed for 152mm guns. Plutonium based weapon with yield of about 0.5 to 1 Kt. Could be fired from the towed B-4M and 2S7 Pion.
Nuclear shell. Improved design over Kleshchevina, with similar yield. Actual improvement unknown, but guessed to be shaped more like 3OF43 for improved accuracy and range, but loosing compatibility with B-4M.
Nuclear shell, developed but reportedly never adopted. Unknown whether development was ever concluded. The name suggests that this nuclear shell was designed to strike hardened targets instead of troops in the open.


Related articles

2S7 Pion

The 2S7 Pion and the improved 2S7M Malka are the only weapon systems using this range of ammunition.