Russian arms manufacturer Uraltransmash has delivered upgraded 2S7M Malka self-propelled howitzers to the ministry of defense, state-owned RIA Novosti revealed.

The upgrades included replacing gearboxes, distribution mechanisms, and power supply units of the 203-mm tracked armored cannon, first fielded in the 1980s.

Additional upgrades include an updated gun, surveillance devices, intercom equipment, and radio station, the outlet added, citing the company’s general director Dmitry Semizorov.

“The modernization has improved all the main characteristics, including maneuverability, mobility, and command controllability. The 2S7M Malka self-propelled guns have successfully passed the full cycle of tests before being sent to the customer,” Semizorov added.

Operational in Ukraine

The Russian government ordered the upgrade in 2020 and received the first upgraded batch in December. 

The Malka is the upgraded version of the Pion 203-mm tracked armored cannon, first fielded in 1973.

The Russian Ministry of Defense released an undated video in May purportedly showing the Malka pounding Ukrainian targets. There have also been reports of at least one Malka being taken out by the Ukrainians in the country’s east.

Features

The gun can fire a range of ammunition, including standard and rocket-assisted high explosive fragmentation, concrete-piercing, chemical, and nuclear-tipped projectiles up to 23.3 miles (37.5 kilometers) or 34.5 miles (55.5 kilometers) with rocket-assisted shells.

It can travel up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) per hour and has a cruising range of 650 kilometers (404 miles).

The upgrade has reportedly also improved the gun’s rate of fire from 1.5 to 2.5 rounds per minute.

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