Before the success of the French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzer on the Ukrainian battlefield, Russia is likely to soon bring the wheeled versions of Koalitsiya-SV and Msta-S into battle.
Currently, the Russian Army does not have a need for a self-propelled gun mounted on a truck chassis like the CAESAR type, but they still manufacture it for export.
In the service of the Russian artillery force, their self-propelled artillery types are mounted on a tracked armored vehicle chassis, with or without a turret configuration. Some typical representatives are 2S7 Pion, 2S3 Akatsiya, 2S19 Msta-S and the latest is 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV.
Thanks to its large territory and flat steppe terrain, Russia’s self-propelled artillery can maneuver smoothly. In addition, when necessary, they are also very quickly present in hot spots thanks to the air bridge with the remarkable capacity of the Russian Air Force.
Therefore, the Russian defense industry is actually standing out of the trend of self-propelled guns without turrets mounted on cross-country truck frames to reduce combat weight and easily transport to all battlefields.
But it seems that seeing that the market share of weapons is being occupied by rivals from Europe, Israel or even China, Russia’s design thinking must also change. They were ready to participate in the race to win export contracts.
At the end of 2017, Russia officially introduced the wheeled version of the advanced tracked self-propelled gun 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV with the designation Koalitsiya-SV-KSh. It is mounted on a KamAZ 6560 8×8 truck chassis.
However, this variant is still considered quite cumbersome. It actually carried the entire turret of the tracked variant on a wheeled chassis only. The overall weight of the system has therefore not been improved much.
Perhaps realizing this drawback, Russia recently introduced the idea of the wheeled version of the 2S19 Msta-S named 2S43 Malva. This design has reduced a lot of extra components, making the weapon look like modern wheeled self-propelled guns.
It is not clear when the actual prototype of the 2S43 Malva will be ready, but perhaps Russia will soon perfect it to put it on the battlefield when witnessing the high efficiency of the French-made CAESAR.
If successfully demonstrated combat capability, self-propelled artillery versions using the Russian wheeled cross-country vehicle chassis may be mass-produced to equip the country’s army.
Compared with traditional tracked self-propelled guns, this weapon has the great advantage of being much lighter, allowing it to be brought to the battlefield by medium transport aircraft instead of heavy.
Not only that, the technical guarantee for self-propelled artillery using a wheeled cross-country truck chassis is also much simpler than that of a tracked vehicle.
In addition, the performance on the field is also an important requirement if Russia wants to find export contracts with great value in the future.
The war in Ukraine, according to many military experts, will last for several years, so there is enough time for Russian defense industrial complexes to perfect their weapons.