The 2S31 Vena is a 120mm self-propelled mortar system manufactured by Russia-based OAO Motovilikhinskiye zavody. Image courtesy of Nockson.
The 2S31 Vena is a multipurpose, amphibious self-propelled tracked artillery system, developed by OAO Motovilikhinskiye zavody for export markets as well as for the Russian Armed Forces.
The self-propelled gun provides direct fire support for the mechanised infantry divisions.
The 2S31 Vena was developed in 1996. It is the latest in the Nona family of self-propelled tracked artillery systems. The system is designed to meet the requirements of the army, navy and marine corps.
2S31 Vena design features
The Vena is a development over the 120mm Nona gun with a longer firing range. The armoured artillery mount is based on the BMP-3 IFV tracked chassis supplied by the Kurgan Machine Construction Plant.
The layout houses the engine at the rear, a combat section in the centre and driving compartment in front of the hull. The vehicle can accommodate a driver, commander, gunner and a loader.
Vena has a length of 7.4m with gun forward and width of 3.15m. The combat weight of the vehicle is 19.5t. The vehicle’s maximum on-road speed is 80km/h.
Armaments of the Russian artillery system
The 2S31 Vena is armed with a 2A80 120mm rifled gun. The gun can fire all types of Russian and foreign 120mm mortar shells as well as Nato standard mortar mines. It has a maximum rate of fire of 8 to 10 rounds a minute.
The gun can be elevated from a -4º to +80º angle. The ammunition includes high-explosive anti-tank projectiles, HE-fragmentation mortar bombs, Kitolov-2 guided projectiles, smoke bombs and mines.
The gun delivers powerful closely-grouped high-explosive fire on a target with significant destruction impact in comparison with 152mm and 155mm artillery.
The gun can achieve a maximum firing range of 13km with high-explosive plastic (HEP) projectile and 7.2km with high-explosive bomb.
The vehicle is also fitted with a 7.62mm remotely-controlled machine gun mounted over the turret. The gun can fire at a rate of 500 to 600 rounds a minute. It provides protection against ground and aerial targets.
Observation and fire control of the 120mm self-propelled gun
The armoured turret and hull of the 2S31 Vena can protect the crew from small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Image courtesy of Nockson.
The gunner is provided with a periscope sight and a dedicated sight for straight aimed fire. The commander has observation devices and autonomic target designation system.
The commander’s turret with 90º traverse provides excellent forward observation. The vehicle has infrared night vision equipment for operations at night.
The main gun is equipped with an automatic fire control system based on onboard digital computer. The electro-optical reconnaissance and target designation system ensures accurate firing at any time in any weather conditions. The fire control system also includes navigation and topographic positioning systems.
Self-protection, engine and mobility of the multipurpose 2S31 Vena
The all-welded aluminium armour construction provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. The vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
The survivability is further enhanced with smoke grenade launchers mounted on the front armour of the turret.
Vena is powered by the UTD-29 V-type 12-cylinder liquid cooled diesel engine coupled to a hydro-mechanic transmission. The engine delivers a maximum power of 500hp.
The combat proven BMP-3 chassis provides outstanding cross country mobility. The individual hydro-pneumatic suspension on either side consists of six dual rubber-tyred road wheels with the idler in front, drive sprocket at the rear and three track-return rollers.
The fully amphibious vehicle is propelled in water by two water-jets mounted on either side of the hull at the rear. Before entering in to the water, the driver needs to raise the trim vane at the front and switch on the bilge pumps without moving from his seat.
The vehicle can swim in water with a speed of 10km/h. The 2S31 Vena is airportable by military transport aircraft and can be grounded through parachute landing.
The vehicle can negotiate a slope of 60º, high vertical steps of 0.8m and 2.5m wide ditches.