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"Russian SPRUT 125mm towed antitank gun?" Topic

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Jozis Tin Man02 Oct 2017 7:39 a.m. PST

Information is thin on this, I see references to its use in the Ukraine. As best I can tell, the newest version is basically a 125mm smooth bore gun from a T72. It seems to be very useful and while not as defective against tanks could make short work of everything else like Strykers and Bradleys. Plus each shell costs about $1,000 USD as opposed to $20,000 USD + for a single ATGM. Crew training is cheaper too and you can do more live fire.

Any idea how these are organized in a brigade tactical group? Barring any real data, for my Krasnovians I will group them into 3-4 gun Platoons in a mixed gun/ATGM' company at brigade level.


Lion in the Stars02 Oct 2017 11:05 a.m. PST

According to ye olde FM100-2-3, those monsters show up in the Antitank Battalion of a Motor Rifle Division. There are 12x guns there, plus 9x RPG7s (probably for use when the guns are limbered).

So you might get a quartet of those guns assigned to the Motor Rifle Regiment, but the MRR's AT platoon has 9x AT3 or AT5, plus another 9x RPG7s (3 platoons of 3).

The big guns use MT-LBs for towing.

jekinder602 Oct 2017 11:07 a.m. PST

6 gun battery plus the missile battery in the Brigade anti-tank battalion. 2 six gun batteries plus a missile battery at the division level.

Jozis Tin Man02 Oct 2017 4:07 p.m. PST

Thanks guys. Given the Brigade Tactical Group structure, sounds like it would not be un-reasonable to have a battery supporting 4 or 5 maneuver companies

See this article for what has been driving my thinking:
PDF link

jekinder6, looks like what you are reporting lines up with the 2016 Armor Magazine article.

The Russians seem to really have bought in to pushing support assets down to the lowest reasonable level and making every BTG self sufficient. It is so different from the 1980's where a division would attack on a 4km frontage, in the Ukraine, a Brigade can cover 40km.

Now another question, thoughts on tactical utility in the defense? I would think it would be pretty high, especially when paired with ATGM's. Let the missiles shoot the M1's and the gun rapidly eliminate the Bradleys and Strykers.

Also, I would think gun shells would be less vulnerable to counter measures and active protection systems, but I am no expert. Thoughts?

Tgunner24 Oct 2017 6:25 p.m. PST

What´s old is new again? Back in the day the US had its tank destroyer corps. They started with self-propelled guns and for a while went to towed guns. The towed guns, 75mm M5, were pretty hit/miss when it came to effectiveness. The towed gun just couldn't keep up with the action and took far worse losses than the self-propelled guns. Since then nearly everyone has moved away from towed guns.

So my question is this: are these guns really any better and more mobile than the ones in the past?

Lion in the Stars25 Oct 2017 7:04 p.m. PST

Well, I'd definitely say that they are definitely better than the old towed guns in terms of firepower.

But I doubt that they are any more mobile, it's a heavy gun. I mean, if you need to have a MTLB to move the towed gun, you might as well just stick some armor on the tracked prime mover and make a tank out of it. It's not like the SPRUT doesn't already have most of a tank's firecontrol system…

(I usually harp on the US post-WW2 "Tank Destroyer Corps" being the attack helicopter battalions)

Jozis Tin Man28 Oct 2017 4:53 a.m. PST

I think they are not better, just much, much cheaper to operate and maintain. I think they have mounted the SPRUT on some sort of chassis, cannot remember off of the top of my head, for use as a tracked Tank Destroyer.

I think for defensive operations they would be useful and for the siege operations that the Russians seem to like for their "hybrid" warfare.

Not sure how they would fair in the decisive action environment, we shall see when I get them painted up.

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