About the War of Two Artillery Schools

NEW – August 3, 2022

For the first time after the Korean War, our domestic artillery faced Western artillery (yes, Ukrainians are shooting, but the instructors and sometimes the gun commanders are foreigners, and the guns themselves are NATO). Two artillery schools are at war with each other: Russian and Western.

Western artillery systems surprised us unpleasantly with their range, accuracy, and variety of modern ammunition. In addition, our bloggers and analysts often forget to mention the mobility factor, and now the M777 is airmobile and occupies a niche in the American army similar to our D-30.

All these factors clearly proceed from the American military doctrine, in which strategic mobility is important, they say, today we are in Syria, and tomorrow in Donbass, but this is not the main mobility — the transfer of such artillery systems in the theatre of operations is convenient and simple.

It is impossible to create a quantitative advantage in artillery on a certain front line, even with Western (Ukrainian) logistics, so the emphasis is on technical superiority.

In our concept of possible confrontation with the West, we were preparing for war by creating as many guns as possible.

We did not unnecessarily complicate matters by applying new technologies of artillery firing, we simply churned out and churned out guns, accumulating ammunition. In the end, this approach paid off. We have more guns than the enemy. We would still have the means of artillery reconnaissance and laser targeting — in general, then “the whole world is in ruins”. Nevertheless, we, not possessing new shooting technologies, take the density of fire, and over long periods of time.

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Both we and NATO members today in many aspects verify the validity of our doctrines in practice. What is more important: the mobility and modularity of HIMARS or the number of “Smerch” and “Uragan”? Can ten old D-20 artillery systems (“Stalin’s Sledgehammer”) surpass two M777? What is more important: the nominal characteristics of the “Koalitsiya” or the number of divisions with real MSTA-S?

Is the boss right who opened the warehouses with a supply of D-20 guns and 152 mm shells? Is it right that using old guns we successfully operate with them instead of waiting for upgrades and new weapons? But it does work!

Today, soldiers are fighting with what they really have, relying on skills and tactics, using the strengths of existing weapons.

A quick solution is just that. But tomorrow the battle of the minds of strategists, designers, economists will begin in search of the best tactical and technical solutions available in mass production. The enemy realised that qualitative superiority is losing out to quantitative. What lessons will we learn and what decisions will we make?

We need to open a couple more factories for the production of “Rapir” and D-30, MSTA? Or stir up the intellectual environment of the military-industrial complex? I think it’s worth inventing and testing new systems. In the future, this will give us an advantage.

Aleksandr Sladkov

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