2B1 Oka and 2A3 Kondensator 2P

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The 2A3 Kondensator 2P was a Soviet 406 mm Self-propelled Howitzer. 2A3  is its GRAU  designation.
2A3 originated during the Cold War when the United States created its new tactical doctrine called Pentomic Division which emphasized heavy use of nuclear weapons including nuclear artillery. M-65 was introduced in 1952 and deployed in Germany in 1953. In response Soviet Union started its own program to develop a 406mm self-propelled howitzer capable of firing nuclear projectiles which was codenamed ‘Objekt 271′.
Grabin Design Bureau completed the artillery system in 1955. The ‘Objekt 271′ chassis by Kotlin Design Bureau in Leningrad was completed soon thereafter. The unified system received the military industrial designation 2A3 and was completed in 1956 at the Kirov Works in Leningrad. Total production only amounted to four vehicles.
Western observers got their first look at the new weapon during a 1957 parade on Red Square. Initially observers thought that the weapon was a mockup created for a deterrent effect.
Kondensator had an exceptionally short service life. Following a period of extensive testing the weapons were assigned to the Artillery High Command reserve. There they remained in service until the military reforms of Nikita Khrushchev were enacted. Reforms favored more effective missile systems over the super-heavy artillery and heavy tanks which characterized the Stalinist era.
All four Kondensator howitzers were retired in the mid-1960s. One of the weapons was placed on static display at the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow.
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2B1 Oka is a Soviet 420 mm self-propelled mortar. 2B1 is its GRAU designation. The mammoth 420mm SP Oka mortar system, which was originally intended to fire tactical nuclear rounds.
An experimental model was ready in 1957. Its chassis (Object 273), was designed and built by the Kirov Plant. Its 20 meter barrel allowed it to fire 750 kg rounds up to 45 km. Due to its complexity of loading it had a relatively low rate of fire – 1 round every 5 minutes. Field tests showed various drawbacks of the entire design (the recoil was too strong for many components – it damaged drive sprockets, tore away the gear-box from its mountings, etc). The Oka was built on a T-10 chassis.
Its development continued until 1960, when the idea of such overpowered guns (along with the 2A3), was abandoned in favor of tactical ballistic missiles, such as the 2K6 Luna.
2A3:
Weight – 64000kg
Max speed – 30km/h
Horse power – 750 h.p.
Weight of the HE round – 570kg
Muzzle Velocity – 716m/s
Max Range – 25600m
Rate of fire – 1 round every 5 minutes2B1 OKA:
Weight – 55300kg
Max speed – 30km/h
Weight of the HE round – 750kg (other sources – 650kg)
Max Range – 45000m (other sources – 25000m)
Rate of fire – 1 round every 5 minutes

 

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