|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Wars||Soviet–Afghan War |
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
War in Donbass
|Length||10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)|
|Width||3.38 m (11 ft 1 in)|
|Height||3 m (9 ft 10 in)|
|Effective firing range||37.5-55km|
|203 mm 2A44 gun|
|Engine||V-46-I V12 turbocharged diesel|
|Road: 650 km (400 mi)|
|Maximum speed||50 km/h (31 mph)|
It was identified for the first time in 1975 in the Soviet Army and so was called M-1975 by NATO (the 2S4 Tyulpan also received the M-1975 designation), whereas its official designation is SO-203 (2S7). Its design is based on a T-80 chassis[verification needed] carrying an externally mounted 2A44 203 mm gun on the hull rear.
It takes the crew of seven men 5–6 minutes to come into action and 3–5 minutes to come out of action. It carries four 203 mm projectiles for immediate use. It is capable of firing nuclear ammunition. The gun has a range of 37,500 m, but this can be extended to 55,500 m by using RAPs (Rocket Assisted Projectiles). The Pion has been the most powerful conventional artillery piece since entering service in 1983. One interesting feature of the Pion is the firing alarm. Because the blast of the weapon firing is so powerful—it can physically incapacitate an unprepared soldier or crew member near it from concussive force—the Pion is equipped with an audible firing alarm that emits a series of short warning tones for approximately five seconds prior to the charge being fired.
The 2S7 carries a crew of fourteen; seven are carried by the Pion and seven are with an auxiliary vehicle. The system carries four rounds of ammunition; four more rounds are carried by the support vehicle. Due to the long range, the crew can fire one or two rounds and leave position before the first round hits the enemy position over 40 km away. This makes the 2S7 less susceptible to counter-battery fire, from an enemy with a counter-battery radar such as ARTHUR.
Operational / Combat history
- The 2S7 was first used in combat by the Soviet Union in Soviet–Afghan War (1979-1989)
- Russian forces used it in the First and Second Chechen Wars (First war: 1994-1996, Second war: 1999-2009)
- The Georgian Army used 2S7s in the Russo-Georgian War in 2008 (7 aug.–16 aug. 2008), six of which were captured by Russian forces
- 2S7s were brought back into service by the Ukrainian army during the War in Donbass in late 2014, and were used in combat just outside the 'buffer' zone stipulated by the Minsk Protocol, as they had long enough range to still provide artillery support.
- The Russian armed forces are reinforcing their artillery forces, reactivating 2S7M Malka 203 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and 2S4 Tyulpan 240 mm self-propelled mortars. The upgraded 2S7M SPH is linked to the modernised 1V12M command vehicle, which uses a GLONASS navigation unit.
- 2S7 Pion
- BTM-4 Trench Digger
Although no figures have been released, it is estimated that well over 1,000 have been built.
- Angola – 12; (Acquired in 2000 from the Czech Republic)
- Azerbaijan – 12; (3 acquired in 2008 and 9 acquired in 2009)
- Belarus – 36 in reserve.
- North Korea – unknown
- Russia – 60 2S7M in active service. Currently under modernization with new running gear and electronics.
- Slovakia – 3; (1 used for testing, 2 military museum)
- Ukraine – 99, brought from reserve and restored to active service due to the War in Donbass.
- Uzbekistan – 48
- Czechoslovakia – 12 vehicles operated by 17th Large Caliber Artillery Division in Žamberk, 1984–1994. One machine is kept in Military museum Lešany.
- Poland – 8 guns. Military designation "Piwonia". Entered service in 1985 and withdrawn in 2006. Served first in the 5th Artillery Brigade in Głogów then with the 23rd Silesian Artillery Brigade in Bolesławiec.
- Soviet Union – Passed on to successor states.
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