Disturbing images emerge from Ukraine: Russia deploys rare artillery

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.19 - 2023 10:57 AM CET

Photo: mil.in.ua
Photo: mil.in.ua
Russia deploys rare artillery.

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Social media is abuzz with reports revealing the appearance of 2S31 Vena self-propelled mortars in Ukraine for the first time since the onset of the Russian invasion.

These mortars are exceedingly rare in Putin's army, raising questions about their deployment in the conflict.

According to tech.wp.pl the 2S31 Vena was featured on Russian television, but its presence on the front lines has also been confirmed by Ukrainian news outlets and intelligence channels.

The 2S31 Vena has a long history of being in the prototype phase. Testing took place from 1995 until 2007, when mass production finally began.

However, it's important to note that these mortars are not being produced in large quantities. They are intended to eventually replace the older 2S9 Nona mortars, which had already been deployed and even captured on video being destroyed by Ukrainian forces.

The primary weapon of the 2S31 Vena is a 120mm mortar. While similar to its older counterpart, the 2S31 Vena features a longer, rifled barrel.

It also allows for the use of more advanced ammunition, giving it a striking range of up to 18 km. The mortar is equipped with an automated fire control system.

The chassis of the 2S31 Vena is based on the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle. It uses tracked propulsion and weighs nearly 20 tons, yet it can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h. Another advantage is its ability to traverse bodies of water.

Is Russia Facing Artillery Shortages?

Ukrainian military portal Militarnyi suggests that the deployment of the 2S31 Vena could either be for propaganda purposes or indicative of the deteriorating state of Russian equipment.

In recent times, the invading army has suffered significant losses in artillery systems. Apart from the destroyed units, it's worth noting that the Ukrainians have managed to capture over 250 enemy artillery systems. The appearance of the 2S31 Vena could be an attempt to offset these losses.

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