first published on April 23, 2018 by Josh
The Russian Ministry of Defense and Syrian Arab Army have recently released a five and a half minute video showcasing the devastating effects of the Krasnopol Artillery Weapon system against Rebel forces and the Islamic State inside of Syria. Inside of the video, round after round can be seen impacting rebel and Islamic State targets of opportunity and absolutely crushing them with pin-point precision accuracy. Use of this weapon system has seen a dramatic uptick in combat usage since Russian forces on the ground have began committing more and more of their forces to assist Regime forces in their continuing fight against extremist rebels, the Islamic State, and the Free Syrian Army.
The Krasnopol laser-guided artillery project first began under the supervision of A.G. Shipunov in the early 1970s. Over the next 16 years, the weapon would continue to be developed and tested until it was finally adopted by the Soviet Union’s military in 1986 under the designation 30F39. Days after the adoption of the weapon system, mass production began in Izhmash and Izhmeh factories to ensure that there would be a sufficient number of rounds for the Soviet military to use in the event the Cold War became an actual military conflict. Since it’s adoption, the round has been a staple in the Russian armory, and has since been developed from a simple 152mm round, downsized to a miniature version which can be fired out of a 120mm cannon as well.
The Krasnopol system consists of the guided shell, a 1D22, 1D20, or 1D15 laser target designator, and the 1A35 shot synchronization system. The LTD itself has a range of about 3.1 miles, and the projectile has a range of 12 miles with a target seeker radius of roughly .62 miles. The projectile is divided into two sections, the target seeker guidance module, and the warhead in the rear compartment. The guidance module is stored as a single component in a sealed container at the front of the round, and the warhead is stored in the rear section allowing the over-sized projectile to be loaded and transported inside of the original containers of the self-propelled howitzer systems they are fired from without modification.
In order for the round to be fired with maximum effectiveness, a forward observer is required at all times. The observers job is to determine the target location with map coordinates or a bearing from their own position, and to ensure that the laser target designation device remains on target at all times throughout the fire mission process. Next, a self-propelled howitzer system is aimed towards the target, and one of the Krasnopol rounds is fired in the direction of the target, where the round then homes towards target illuminated by the laser target designation system and the forward observer. The combination of these two things allows the round to be incredibly accurate at finding its target with no issues.
Here is the video of the round being used against targets of opportunity in Syria as it was released by the Russian Ministry of Defense.