ATS-59G: Unleashing Unparalleled Russian Firepower with the Fitted 2M-3 AA
The transformation of the ATS-59G into a fire support vehicle appeared in the Russian press, and this combat vehicle was announced to be on the front lines.
The placement of the 2M-3 naval gun turret on the MT-LB light multi-purpose armored vehicle has opened up a new approach for ground forces. And recently Russia continues to combine this weapon with the classic ATS-59G tracked artillery tractor, which causes quite a lot of mixed reviews. The transformation of the ATS-59G into a fire support vehicle appeared in the Russian press, and this combat vehicle was announced to be on the front lines.
It should be noted that the ATS-59G was created in 1959 as an artillery towing vehicle. The first version had only 2 seats, and in 1969 the cabin was enlarged to accommodate 6 people. The ATS-59G began to be decommissioned in the 70s and 80s of the last century due to the gradual withdrawal of towed artillery from the combat component, after which they were actively used in the “public economy”.
The ATS-59G proved to be quite reliable due to its high cross-country ability, as it is for any tracked vehicle. However, this machine is also quite annoying, for example the fuel consumption of the A-650G 300 horsepower engine is 32.8 – 47.5 liters per hour, depending on the weight and availability of the trailer. Even consumption can be up to 152 – 163 liters for 100 km. The ATS-59G has an empty weight of 13.75 tons, a length of 6.3 meters, a width of 2.6 meters and a height of 2.8 meters. The maximum road speed is 40 km/h, or 27 km/h on off-road. The range is about 600 km.
The 2M-3 is a naval gun turret of Soviet origin. It was developed shortly after World War 2 to arm various smaller combat ships, submarines and civilian ships supporting the navy. The 2M-3 entered service with the Soviet Navy in 1952, and is one of the oldest light gunboats in use in the world.
The design is based on the earlier 25mm 84-KM autocannon. The locally controlled open roof mount is rather simple and is fitted with two 110-PM autocannon, with the one positioned above the other. The single operator is seated on the left of the mount, the two guns are located in the middle and the ammunition is stored on the right. Normally the mount is operated hydraulically but manual control is fitted as backup.
The 110-PM autocannon fire the powerful 25x218mm round at a cyclic rate of fire of 450 rpm. The practical rate of fire is 270 to 300 rounds per minute. The 25mm rounds have a range of 2.5 km and may reach altitudes of 1.7 km. Since the weapons are manually aimed they are of limited use against fast moving fighter aircraft.
The appearance of the ATS-59G tracked artillery tractor and the 2M-3 naval gun suggests that they may be used as an anti-aircraft weapon rather than as a front-line combat vehicle. Besides, there are comments that the mobilization of machines that have been discontinued 25 years ago like the ATS-59G shows a shortage, even for a classic armor like the MT-LB in the Russian Army.