Russian 152mm Malva SPH is ready, but its production is in doubt
The Russian 152mm wheeled howitzer, known as the 2S43 Malva, has successfully completed its final testing stages under the scrutiny of the Russian Armed Forces.
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The state-owned Russian manufacturer Rostec, the brain behind the 2S43 “Malva”, has confirmed the successful completion of these tests. However, it’s crucial to understand that while the Russian Armed Forces’ approval is a significant milestone, it does not necessarily indicate an immediate order or mass production of the system.
First announced in 2019 and publicly unveiled in 2020, the 2S43 Malva marks a significant development in the Russian Armed Forces’ artillery arsenal. However, it’s not Russia’s first foray into the realm of wheeled howitzers, a journey that began as early as the 1980s with an endeavor to create a 152mm howitzer on an 8×8 chassis.
Despite initial enthusiasm, this early project faced considerable challenges due to the absence of a suitable truck platform, leading to its discontinuation in 1987. The subsequent 2S35-1 Koalitsiya-SV KSh system, introduced in 2013, sought to carry on this legacy but was hampered by an unwieldy chassis, excessive weight, and insufficient power.
The 2S43 Malva, weighing in at 32 tons, is powered by a robust YaMZ-8424.10 diesel engine boasting 470 hp. It employs a 52 caliber barrel weapon system identical to the gun fitted on the latest 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV SPG. Rostec claims the howitzer can carry 30 grenades and reach a top speed of 80 km/h, with a range of up to 1,000 km on paved roads on a single tank of fuel. Significantly, it can also be airlifted by an Il-76.
The 2020 prototype featured an armored cabin designed to shield occupants from small arms fire and shrapnel. However, Rostec has yet to disclose the exact protection class. It also remains unclear what secondary armament options might be available.
As of now, Rostec has not revealed whether any active or passive protection systems will be incorporated. The successful completion of the Russian Armed Forces’ testing is undoubtedly a triumph for Rostec, but it’s still uncertain whether any significant orders for the system will be forthcoming. Interestingly, no 155 mm caliber version of the 2S43 “Malva” has been announced, suggesting that export potential may not be a priority.
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