The 2S7M Malka, an upgraded version of the 2S7 Pion self-propelled howitzer, is still considered one of the most powerful self-propelled howitzers in the world today.

Developed in the 1980s, 2S7M Malka continues to be updated and actively participates in the Ukrainian battlefield. As of 9 February 2023, at least 6 have been lost in the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. According to reports, the Russian army is currently operating 100 2S7M guns, and 260 in reserve.

The 2S7 Pion is based on a T-80 chassis with a 2A44 203 mm gun mounted on the rear of the hull. It was developed to support offensive operations involving tanks as well as infantry and other mobile vehicles serving the frontline in relation to indirect fire. A 2S7 complex weighing up to 46.5 tons, 10.5m long, 3.38m wide, and 3m high. Its armor protects the crew from light firepower and shell fragments.

The Malka version uses an improved fire control system that increased the rate of fire from 1.5 to 2.5 rounds per minute, and increased the ammunition load to eight projectiles. It also carries 8 shells instead of 4. New gearboxes and electrical systems were fitted, as well as new communication systems.

The 2S7 is powered by a V-46-I V12 turbocharged diesel engine, with 840 horsepower. It can reach a maximum road speed of 50 km/h, a range of 650 km. Its torsion bar suspension is retained from the T-80. 2S7 can cross obstacles 1.2 m high and 2.5 m wide trench.

The main weapon of the 2S7 is a 203 mm 2A44 gun. It is capable of firing nuclear ammunition. The gun has a range of 37.5 km, but this can be extended to 55.5 km by using Rocket Assisted Projectiles.

2S7 was used by the Soviet Union for the first time during the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989). After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian forces used it during the First and Second Chechen War. The Georgian Army used 2S7s in the Russo-Georgian War in 2008, six of which were captured by Russian forces.

Russia’s Rosatom Corporation displayed a simulation of a nuclear munition to Malka at the Army 2022 International Military-Technical Forum. 203mm RD5-1 nuclear ammunition, with an explosive yield of 2,000 tons of TNT. This ammunition is designed specifically for the B-4M artillery system, but is also suitable for other guns of the same caliber, such as the Malka.

Currently, the manufacturer is developing high-precision guided ammunition for the Malka system. As a result, the Malka self-propelled howitzer will become a highly accurate weapon. At a range of several tens of kilometers, only 1 or 2 rounds are needed to hit the enemy’s strategic targets.

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