Russian soldiers reportedly “blown up” the barrel of its upgraded 2S7M Malka 203mm self-propelled gun during the large-scale offensive in Donbas, Ukraine.
Russia is already facing ammunition shortages due to the high intensity of the fighting in eastern Ukraine and the wear and tear of their guns, most of which were manufactured back in the last century.
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said that Russian artillery systems are blowing up because Russians are wearing out their artillery pieces—and not repairing them.
“Here’s what happens when you don’t do maintenance,” Hertling tweeted. “You can bet there were associated casualties.”
The 2S7M Malka is an upgraded version of a Soviet self-propelled 203mm heavy artillery, known popularly as the “Soviet atomic cannon”. It is the largest tracked self-propelled gun in the Russian inventory.
The 2S7M Malka is equipped with R-173 communications equipment and can carry a total of eight 203 mm projectiles and charges. In addition, the rate of fire is increased from 1.5 to 2.5 rds/min, the durability of the system has been improved, and firing data can be transmitted directly to the gun. The gun can fire the Kleshchevina nuclear shell.
According to information published by the Military Balance 2021, the Russian armed forces have a total of 60 modernized version 2S7M Malka self-propelled guns.
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