Russian media said that the country’s Malva self-propelled howitzer is the appropriate answer to the Caesar self-propelled howitzer.

French-made weapons are “storming” on the world arms market in the past two years. Malva is a modern Russian wheeled self-propelled howitzer. According to Tass, state trials of the 152mm 2S43 Malva self-propelled howitzer have been completed.

The first image of the Malva self-propelled howitzer appeared in October 2019. In 2020, the Malva self-propelled artillery system was officially introduced for the first time by the Central Research Institute of Burevestnik. Self-propelled howitzers are becoming a trend in artillery battles. When traveling on the road, the wheeled version will have a great advantage in mobility compared to the tracked vehicle. The wheeled chassis also reduces installation costs and prolongs the life of the weapon.

The Malva wheeled self-propelled gun is equipped with a 152mm 2A64 howitzer, similar to that installed on the Msta-S tracked self-propelled howitzer. Malva is designed to destroy a wide range of targets – from enemy personnel and infantry equipment in the front lines to tactical nuclear weapons in the rear, at distances of up to 24km. The vehicle is said to be able to carry 30 shells of various kinds.

The artillery system is built on the chassis of the BAZ-6910 truck. Its weight is 21 tons, payload is 19.41 tons. The vehicle is equipped with a 470 hp engine that provides a top speed of up to 80 km/h, the maximum range is 1000 km. At the rear of the 2C43 there is a heavy stop that drops down during firing. The significant reduction in weight was achieved by abandoning the turret and armor at the installation site of the gun, allowing the “Malva” to be transported by military transport aircraft like the Il-76.

Most likely in the future, the 2S43 Malva is a replacement for the 2A65 Msta-B and 2S1 Gvozdika tracked self-propelled howitzers. According to General Andrey Serdyukov, Commander of the Airborne Forces of the Russian Federation, if the decision to equip units with the Malva self-propelled howitzer is approved soon, the new weapon will be assigned to a specialized artillery brigade.

Analysts say that Russian weapons in general and Malva self-propelled howitzers in particular are very powerful in terms of firepower when giving great destructive power. In modern combat, weapons can only be considered effective when combining the power of fire with advanced electronic systems that help achieve high accuracy each shot.

However, the electronic fire control system equipping armored and motorized artillery has never been Russia’s strength compared to the West. So it is too early to say that the Russian Malva self-propelled howitzer can achieve the same performance as the French-made Caesar self-propelled howitzer. To evaluate an effective weapon, it must be based on actual combat performance, which Caesar howitzer has done very well in recent times. Meanwhile, Russia’s Malva is still in the testing phase, has not been mass-produced for official service.

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