|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
SO-152 (СО-152) is a Soviet 152.4 mm self-propelled artillery developed in 1968. It was a response to the American 155 mm M109. The development started in 1967 according to the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of USSR from July 4, 1967. In 1968 the SO-152 was completed and in 1971 entered service. Its GRAU designation is 2S3 (2С3). The fighting vehicle also received the additional designation Akatsiya (Акация), which is Russian for acacia.
Designated M1973 by the US Army, theAkatsiya is armed with a 152.4 mm howitzer based on the Soviet 152.4 mm D-20 howitzer and is sometimes confused with the M109 self-propelled artillery. The artillery system was developed at the design bureau No. 9 of Kalinin Machine-Building Plant in Sverdlovsk. The factory designation of the howitzer is D-22 and the GRAU designation, 2A33. The chassis was developed by Uraltransmash.
Driver's and engine-transmission compartments are located in a front part of a hull, fighting compartment with rotatory turret – in middle and rear parts of the hull. The armour is welded rolled steel. Howitzer is equipped with R-123 radio set, R-124 intercom, automatic NBC system with filtration unit and fire-fighting equipment. The V-59 12-cylinder four-stroke water-cooled diesel engine connects with a mechanical twin gear transmission, a gear box is in one block with a planetary steering gear. The 2S3 has self-entrenching equipment which allows to prepare a trench within 20–40 min.
The crew consists of 4–6 men: a driver, a gunner, a loader, a commander, and two ammunition bearers, which are positioned to the rear of the vehicle feeding rounds through two hatches in the hull rear when in masked firing position.
The 2S3 became a well-known self-propelled artillery after combat operations in Afghanistan where it proved to be an effective and reliable artillery system. 2S3s were used quite successfully during two Chechen wars and military conflicts on the territory of former USSR. Here is a short list of the conflicts in which it has been used:
For fans of modern Soviet armor or those who like big guns, this one is a no-brainer. It is well detailed, well molded and should provide no surprises. Best of all, it will give you a very impressive model when done.
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