Units in Russia’s Eastern Military District (EMD) have conducted firing drills with the 2S5 GIATSINT (HYACINTH) 152mm howitzer that were coordinated by ORLAN-10 UAS for the first time, according to a 21 March announcement from the district’s press service. The artillery crews also practiced with the aid of the RPMK-1 1V44 SMILE complex, which deploys probes to an altitude of 40km to analyse humidity, temperature and wind direction, a second report explains.

The ORLAN-10s were used to conduct reconnaissance for several hours, the first report explains, before the 2S5 self-propelled howitzer was used to engage them using real-time coordinates. The report adds the gunners were able to engage – and hit – all their targets in a single barrage.

The second report details the use of the RPMK-1 and explains that it was used to gather meteorological data at various points throughout the atmosphere, which was then used to correct and improve the fire missions of the long-range artillery, which included the 2S5 and the 2S7M MALKA, with its 203mm ordnance. This information was used to inform the first rounds that were fired as part of the mission.

This is not the first time that Russia has practiced the use of ORLAN-10 to improve the accuracy of its Soviet-era systems. Experiments have been conducted in Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Ukrainian forces, which demonstrated that ammunition consumption could be reduced by as much as 70% whilst guaranteeing the destruction of valuable targets. However, demonstration of this capability in the EMD indicates that Russia is able to improve the lethality of what is traditionally the worst-equipped of all its forces.

Miles Quartermain in London for MON

The 2S5 shown is far from the most capable of howitzers in Russian service, however any increase in its accuracy that can be gained without guided munitions will extend its useful service life. (Source: Russian MoD)

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