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The 2S3 is a tracked 152mm self-propelled howitzer of Soviet origin. It was developed from 1967 onwards and was accepted for Russian service in 1971. The Russian nickname is Akatsiya, which is Russian for the acacia flower. The NATO designation is M1973.

The layout of the 2S3 is traditional with the driver and drive train in the front and the turret in the rear. The crew consists of a commander, driver, gunner and loader. Two additional crewmen are carried in the ammunition carrier as whenever possible shells from an external source are used.

The 2S3 is armed with a 28-caliber 152mm howitzer that is derived from the towed D-20 howitzer. The maximum range 18.5km with standard ammunition. The maximum rate of fire is four rounds per minute. Sustained fire is one round per minute. A total of 46 rounds are carried in the vehicle. A PKT machine gun is mounted on the turret roof for self-defense.

The 2S3 is operated under full armor protection. The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. An NBC system is present but smoke grenade dischargers are not.

The 2S3 has a good cross country mobility due to its tracked chassis, but its speed is rather limited. A 520hp diesel engine provides propulsion. The 2S3 is not amphibious.


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