On December 9, the Russian Defense Ministry published a video showing teams of Msta-SM2 self-propelled 152 mm howitzers employing the “roving guns” tactic to hit Ukrainian personnel and equipment in the special military operation zone.
“The tactic of roving guns enables artillery squads to conduct a counter-fire maneuver after accomplishing a firing mission and leave the site as soon as possible for another fire emplacement where they can direct the gun and wipe out a new enemy target after getting target acquisition data from reconnaissance units and drone teams,” the ministry said in a commentary to the video.
The Msta-SM2, the latest version of the original Msta-S, has a maximum firing range of 29 kilometers. It can also fire the laser-guided 2K25 Krasnopol round, which has a range of 20-25 kilometers. The modernized howitzer, which is equipped with an automatic fire control system and a digital navigation system, can fire up to ten rounds per minute.
The tracked chassis of the Msta-SM2 uses many components of the T-72 and T-80 battle tanks. It is powered by a rear-mounted V-84A diesel engine, developing 840 hp.
Around 760 Mata-S and SM2 howitzers are reportedly in active service with the Russian military, more than 200 others are kept in storage. Russian defense manufacturer Uraltransmash is currently mass producing the Msta-SM2.
The United States and its NATO allies have supplied Ukraine with around 350 howitzers and dozens of counter-battery radars since the start of the Russian special military operation. Despite of this massive support, Kiev forces are still struggling in the face of Russian artillery.