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D./Weight (tons):
Speed (km/h):
  • 1 x 152mm GUN (46 rounds)
    • Rate of fire: 3.5 rds/min
    • Max. Range of fire: 17.3 km
  • 1 x 7.62mm m/gun
Range (km):
2S3M 152-mm AKATSIA SP Howitzer The all-welded steel hull of the 2S3 is divided into three compartments; driver's at the front on the left, engine to the right of the driver and the turret at the rear. On the forward part of the glacis is a splash board to stop water rushing up the glacis plate when the vehicle is fording a stream. The air-inlet and air-outlet louvers are on the top of the hull with the exhaust outlet on the right side of the hull, just above the track guard. The large all-welded turret has a sloped front and well-sloped sides with a vision block in each side. The commander is seated on the left of the turret with the gunner forward and below him and the loader on the right. The commander has a cupola which can be traversed through a full 360 and a single piece hatch cover that opens to the rear. Mounted on the forward part of the hatch is a 7.62-mm machine gun which can be aimed and fired from inside the turret. There is an OU-3K infra-red/white searchlight mounted to the left of the machine gun. In the rear half of the hull is a total of 33 projectiles complete with fuses which are stowed in three horizontal layers. On the 2S3M/2S3M1 is a projectile carousel which holds an additional 12 projectiles in the vertical position. Stowed below the projectiles are 16 charges in two layers of eight with an additional eight being stowed near the loader's position and the remainder being stowed in brackets in the vehicle. An ammunition resupply hatch is provided in the right side of the turret and there is an oval hatch at the rear of the hull which opens downwards. Wherever possible, ammunition would be used from outside the 2S3 with the onboard ammunition supply being retained ready for immediate use. The two ammunition crew-members are in a 6 x 6 truck and on arriving at the fire position one of these plugs into the external connector of the 2S3's intercom system at the rear and listens into the firing commands. The prepared projectiles (complete with set fuse) and charge are then passed through the openings in the rear of the vehicle. The later 2S3M/2S3M1 has a single opening. Main armament Is a 152-mm weapon, designated the 2A33, which is based on the towed 152-mm D-20 gun/howitzer but with a bore evacuator added behind the muzzle brake. The barrel has a double-baffle muzzle brake, fume extractor and a gun barrel traveling lock. The normal projectile fired by the 2S3 is the HE-FRAG OF-540, which is fitted with an RGM-2 fuse, weighs 43.5 kg, contains 5.76 kg of TNT, and has a maximum muzzle velocity of 655 m/s and maximum range of 18500 m. Other types of projectiles fired include chemical, HEAT-FS (also referred to as HEAT-SS, with latter standing for spin stabilized), HE/RAP (high explosive rocket assisted projectile) with a range of 24000 m, AP-T, illuminating, smoke, 0.2 kT tactical nuclear, incendiary, flechette, scatterable mines (anti-tank and anti-personnel) and semi-active laser. The gun has an elevation of +60, a depression of -3 and turret traverse is a full 360. The 2S3 has infra-red night vision equipment and an NBC system. It has no amphibious capability and normally carries an unditching beam at the rear of the hull.

VARIANTS: Late production versions of the 2S3 are designated the 2S3M and 2S3M1. The 2S3M and 2S3M1 have an ammunition load of 40 projectiles and charges and also a loading carousel which facilitates loading and therefore increases the rate of fire. These versions can be distinguished from the rear as they have two small stowage compartment covers positioned to the right and left of the hull rear as opposed to a larger oval cover in the center. The 2S3M1 is, in addition, equipped with a data terminal which automatically displays the fire command transmitted to the battery officer's upgraded 1V13M command vehicle.

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