Russia’s Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) will upgrade 2S7M Malka 203 mm self-propelled guns (SPGs) to a 2S7SM configuration for the Russian armed forces, a UVZ source told Jane's .
“UVZ’s JSC Ural Transport Machine-Building Plant [Uraltransmash] has already started work on the modernisation of the 2S7M,” the source said. “The upgrade will result in the replacement of the vehicle’s drivetrain, intercom, observation system, and control units.”
Russian armed forces are now reactivating 2S7M platforms to begin the upgrade. “The reactivated SPGs feature an increased rate of fire – 3 rounds per minute compared with the 2.5 rounds per minute of the basic system – and updated electronics. The recent upgrade will be focused on chassis and communications: in particular, the R-173 radio and 1V116 intercom will be replaced by modern digital subsystems,” the source said.
The upgraded Malka will receive a new gearbox, new transmission, and new power supply subsystems. “The Malka’s data-receiving and processing subsystems will be upgraded also,” added the source. The SPG’s modernisation is slated to finish in 2019.
“The updated artillery system will be designated 2S7SM,” the source said. The basic 2S7M has a combat weight of 46.5 tonnes and a crew of six, carrying an ammunition load of eight 203 mm projectiles. The SPG is powered by an 840-hp V-84B diesel engine, producing a road speed of up to 50 km/h.
The 2S7SM will retain the 2A44 203 mm/L55.3 howitzer that fires 3VOF34 and 3VOF42 high-explosive fragmentation (HE-Frag) munitions and 3VOF35 HE-Frag rocket-assisted projectiles, and has a range of fire reaching 37.4 km, 25.4 km, and 47.5 km respectively.
Meanwhile, the Russian defence industry is working to restore its ability to manufacture 203 mm projectiles, and has Tecmash Concern ready to design the new munitions. A Tecmash source told Jane’s, “If the military drafts [its] requirements [for] these shells, we will start their development.
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