Ukraine’s Latest Mobile Howitzer Is A Soviet Anti-Aircraft Gun From The 1940s Bolted To A Modern Czech Cargo Truck

Trending 2 weeks ago

A KS-19 connected a Tatra truck.

Via societal media

Russia’s wider warfare connected Ukraine is, much than anything, an artillery war. More to nan point, it’s an artillery ammunition war. The service pinch nan steadiest proviso of shells for its biggest guns has nan advantage earlier nan first vessel aliases fighting conveyance moreover rolls out.

Which is why it’s a situation that, according to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, “warehouses are empty" and supplies of nan best, NATO-standard 155-millimeter shells are moving low.

And it’s why 1 Ukrainian territorial defense brigade has been bolting 75-year-old howitzers to modern inferior trucks to create a full caller type of mobile artillery. The 1940s-vintage KS-19 guns deficiency nan scope of, say, a caller French-made Caesar wheeled howitzer.

But nan KS-19 fires 100-millimeter shells. So nan 241st Territorial Defense Brigade, truthful acold nan only confirmed front-line personification of self-propelled KS-19s, doesn’t person to compete for ammo pinch brigades whose ain guns occurrence nan astir in-demand 155-millimeter shells.

Bolting aged guns to caller trucks is 1 measurement Ukraine is addressing its artillery ammo situation while it prays for an business occurrence to nonstop mana from Heaven successful nan shape of a cardinal aliases truthful 155-millimeter rounds.

The KS-19 isn’t a bad gun. It’s conscionable an aged one. Entering Soviet work successful 1947, nan 10-ton, towed KS-19 chiefly functioned arsenic an anti-aircraft weapon. But while it was designed to lob high-explosive shells astatine targets successful nan air, up to 5 miles precocious and 13 miles away, there’s nary logic it can’t flip nan same shells astatine targets connected nan ground.

The KS-19’s 35-pound ammunition travels astatine 1,100 yards per second. “Effective against ray armor and different crushed targets,” is really nan U.S. Central Intelligence Agency described nan weapon successful 1969.

The Ukrainian service inherited KS-19s from nan Soviet service erstwhile nan second discontinue Ukraine successful 1991. The KS-19s lingered successful retention until Russia widened its warfare connected Ukraine starting successful February 2022.

It whitethorn person seemed, early on, that nan Ukrainians strictly were utilizing nan aging KS-19s for gunner-training. Then this fall, photos and videos circulated online depicting 2 models of Czech-made Tatra heavy-duty trucks pinch KS-19s bolted to their cargo beds.

Integrating a KS-19 onto a flatbed motortruck solves 1 of nan gun’s awesome flaws: its mobility. An artillery unit usually would tow a KS-19 to a firing position, unhitch it, purpose it, occurrence it past hitch it up again and tow it away. The hitching and unhitching could adhd minutes to nan clip it takes a unit to sprout and scoot—and flight imaginable return fire.

That nan Ukrainians would bolt their KS-19s to Tatra trucks should travel arsenic nary surprise. The eight-wheel Czech motortruck is celebrated successful nan Ukrainian equipped forces. The Ukrainians usage Tatras arsenic nan ground for rocket-launchers arsenic good arsenic for nan new, locally-built 2S22 self-propelled howitzer.

Indeed, nan self-propelled KS-19 successful principle is simply a 2S22 but pinch a 100-millimeter weapon alternatively of a much powerful, farther-firing 155-millimeter gun. Both are manually-loaded. And successful practice, nan crews of some howitzers trust connected mini drones for targeting.

It’s not clear really galore KS-19s nan Ukrainian service has, and really galore it mightiness connect to Tatras to nutrient 100-millimeter self-propelled howitzers. It’s worthy noting, however, that astatine slightest two different KS-19 SPHs person appeared successful work pinch nan 241st Brigade successful conscionable nan past period aliases so.

And if nan old-new mobile guns haven’t already fired successful anger, they should do truthful soon. As precocious arsenic this fall, nan 241st Brigade was connected nan beforehand statement adjacent Bakhmut, wherever Ukrainian brigades very slow person been advancing into territory nan Russians occupied successful nan spring.

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