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120-mm Self-Propelled Artillery Gun

2S31 "Vena"

Vein [English]

2S31 "Vena" Self-Propelled Artillery Gun

Scheme of 2S31 "Vena" Self-Propelled Artillery Gun

Entered service in -
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight
Total weight in combat order ~ 19.5 t
Chassis length 6750 mm
Overall length 7400 mm
Overall width 3150 mm
Armament
Main gun 2A80 120-mm rifled gun
Machine gun 7.62-mm
Traverse range 360 degrees
Elevation range - 4 to + 80 degrees
Maximum rate of fire 8 - 10 min
Combat load
Main gun 70
Machine gun 500
Projectile weight 17.3 kg
Projectile initial speed 560 m/s
Maximum range of fire 7.2 - 13.0 km
Mobility
Engine power 500 hp.
Maximum road speed  70 km/h 
Amphibious, maximum speed on water  10 km/h
Autonomy on roads  600 km 
Maneuverability
Slope 60
Vertical step 0.8 m
Ditch 2.5 m

   The 2S31 "Vena" is one of the latest Russian developed self-propelled artillery unit developed in 1996. It is based on the chassis of BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and is mostly intended for motorized battalions fitted with the BMP-3 vehicles fire support. This artillery unit is offered mostly for export and hasn't entered service with Russian Army yet. 

   Vehicle features rear engine-transmission compartment. Driving compartment is placed at the front part of the hull in the middle of it and combat compartment is placed right behind it. Armored turret with armament is mounted in the combat compartment. Crew consists from 4 crew members including driver, commander, gunner and loader.Pre-production variant of the 2S31 "Vena" 120-mm Artillery Gun

   "Vena's" hull and turret are welded. Vehicle's armor protects crew from firearm bullets, projectiles and mines splinters.

   The 2S31 is fitted with 2A80 120-mm rifled gun. It is a further development of 2A51 Combined Artillery Gun used with 2S9 Self-Propelled Artillery Gun. This gun features semi-automatic lock, recoil absorbers and sector inclination devices. The main "Vena's" 2A80 artillery gun's difference from it's predecessor is longer barrel providing greater range of fire using the same projectiles intended for the 2A51. "Vena's" combined artillery gun is completed with pneumatic load assistant and integral powder smoke blowing equipment. The main gun is inclined from -4 to up to +80 in elevation, furthermore it is completed with a tracker, automatically re-establishing sighting line. In traverse range the main gun is turned with the whole turret.

   "Vena" features modern fire control system. Gunner operates periscope sight and a separate sight for straight aimed fire. Vehicle commander's seat is placed in a separate turret right from the main gun. Commander operates autonomic target designation system and uses his own observation devices. Commander's turret has a traverse range in 90 degrees and provides good front observation. Fire control system also includes navigation and topographic positioning systems.

   The 2S31 Self-Propelled Artillery Gun fires the same projectiles suitable for 120-mm combined artillery guns based on the 2A51. It's OF49 and OF51 High-Explosion Fragmentation projectiles feature rifled. These projectiles are compatible in effectivity with more powerful 152-mm and 155-mm.Artilery unit also fires OF50 Active Reaction High-Explosives Fragmentation and a special cumulative projectile capable of piercing more than 650 mm armor in 1 000 m range. "Vena" can be fed by any 120-mm mines produced in Russia or any other NATO country.Pre-production variant of the "Vena" 120-mm Self-Propelled Artillery Gun

   Vehicle combat load also includes new "Kitolov-2M" laser guided artillery projectile.

   "Vena's" full ammunition load consists from 70 rounds placed in mechanized combat loads. Furthermore it executes fire by loading projectiles from the ground. For this purpose on the right side of vehicle there is projectile hatch with armored lid.

   Additional armament consists from PKT 7.62-mm Machine Gun mounted on commanders turret. It's rate of fire is 500 - 600 rounds per minute and it is intended to defend form ground and air targets.

   2S31 "Vena" is fitted with two blocks 12 of 81-mm smoke grenade launchers mounted on turret's front armor. Smoke grenades can be launched automatically when vehicle is lighted by a laser beam.

   Vehicle is developed on modified BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle Chassis. It is powered by UTD-29 V-type 12-cylinder liquid cooled diesel engine. The UTD-29 reaches maximum power of 500 hp. "Vena" is fitted with hydro-mechanic transmission with power reducer for hydrojet engines.

   The 2S31 features individual hydro-pneumatic suspension with a long bearing rolls step. There are 6 doubled bearing and 3 supporting rolls from the each board. The first two and the last bearing rolls pares are completed with additional hydraulic absorbers. Driving sprockets are rear. Track itself is a small-scale with a rubber-metallic hinge. Tracks are strain by electro-mechanic device from inside of the drivers cabin. Track straining mechanisms are fitted with a strain power indicators.

   Entirely chassis provide good road and cross country performance. It manages 60 slopes, 0.8 m high vertical steps and 2.5 m wide trenches. The 2S31 "Vena" is fully amphibious. It manages water obstacles with 10 km/h speed provided by two hydrojet engines.

   The 2S31 is equipped with modern radio equipment, is fittThe 2S31 "Vena" Self-Propelled Artillery Guned with Nuclear, Biological, Chemical protection system and fire prevention system. "Vena" also features navigation and topographical positioning systems. For operations at night it is completed with infrared night vision devices.

   Artillery unit's combat compartment can be mounted not only on BMP-3 but also on other chassis types including BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carrier's wheeled chassis.

   A very similar characteristics artillery unit was designed in China. It is based on WZ 551 Armored Personnel Carrier. It is most likely that 2A80 Artillery Gun's production technology was transferred to China or it is built there under license. Unfortunately such information was not confirmed. 

Main features

   High fire power compatible with 152-mm, 155-mm projectiles and ability to fire mines. Furthermore 2S31 "Vena" features great capacity combat load. Artillery unit is suitable to engage targets in mountain terrain. Vehicle is fully amphibious.


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