A self propeller mortar based on the Gvozdika
The 2S34 "Chosta" or "Hosta" is a 120mm self-propelled mortar carrier, first revealed at the TVM-2014 Moscow Defense exhibition by August 2014. Based on the 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm self-propelled howitzer the turret swapped it for the 120mm 2A80 mortar gun 2A80-1. Made by Motovilikha Plants Corporation (Perm) responsible for the 2S9 and 2S31 it was only made in very limited numbers, circa 30 by February 2014 in the 21st Mechanized Brigade in Totskoye and as of February 2023, was deployed in Ukraine.
DevelopmentThe 2S34 "Chosta" is an evolution of the 120mm 2A80 already tested on the produced 2S31 Vena in turn an an evolution of the 2S9 Nona-S. The centerpiece, the new mortar, is fitted with a redesigned muzzle brake and coupled to an automatic loading system for rapid fire of 120mm mortar rounds at very long ranges due to the barrel's lenght. It was developed in line with changing battlefield requirements and the Russian Army approved an order in 2011 with first production batch delivered for testings in 2012, official service acceptance in 2014.
Interior, view from the rear hatch door
The general configuration is the same as on the 2Q1: Engine on the front right, driver on the front left, then the fighting compartment with a roomy turret hosting the Commander seated on the left, and loader on the right. The commander has a cupola capable of a full 360º but single-piece hatch cover, forward opening. The loader has a very simple one piece hatch, same. Access to the vehicle for the crew can be either from the hull and turret, driver's hartch for the latter, or through the single door with center firing port at the back. There is also an ammunition resupply hatch, right side of the turret and a small escape hatch in the chassis floor. The rear-seated turret had no overhang, ending close to the hull's back plate. The lights systems are the same as the 2S1. The driver has a single infrared night vision block, and there is also an IR light mounted at the commander's hatch. The same turret side storage bins are kept as well as the hull's internal ammunition lockers, modified for the mortar rounds.
ProtectionThe 2S34 "Chosta" keeps the same low-profile as the original 2S1 and its all-welded steel armor plus fully enclosed turret. The latter had a well-sloped front, sides. Armoure thickness is moderate, designed to stop on the frontal arc 20 mm autocannons and 14 mm heavy machine guns AP rounds, and small arms fire or shrapnel everywhere else. As usual in this class and like for the 2S1, there is also all the usual option in the category: NBC collective protection with full sealing, automatic fire extinguishers, and two banks of three electric, automatic smoke projectors, plus internal spall liner. Albeit a frontline vehicle, it is not intended to act alone, being an easy prey for any MBT.
Powerplant and mobilityThe 2S34 "Chosta" had the same engine, perhaps upgraded, as the 2S1 (YaMZ-238N), a diesel/multifuel V-8 water-cooled 4-stroke unit rated for 300 hp or 220 kW. It is coupled to a manual transmission, geared with 5 forward, 1 reverse. The engine is located at the front-right of the hull, the driver immediately at its the front left. This left the whole after section free for the fighting compartment and turret. Suspension system is the same as the 2S1 with seven road stamped, ruberrized wheels and drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear. Like old Soviet tanks, there are no track-return rollers, avoiding complications, cost and simplifying maintenance as thse roadwheels are shared by a large numbers of armoured vehicles in the Soviet inventory. As are the tracks, which are not padded either.
As for performances, the 2S34 is credited of the same 60 km/h on flat, c40 pkh and less off-road, and a maximum cruising range of 500 km. It could negociate sloped up to 60%, Side slope up to 30%, climb a vertical step of 0.6 m and gap a trench 2.4 m wide. It can be airlifted by An-12, Il-76 or C-130 transport aircraft, just was the 2S1. It is a bit heavy but can cross rivers without preparation due to barely enough buoyancy, having some propulsion through the tracks. With 20 min. preparation, the bilge pump is switched on, trim vane erected (when present), shrouds fitted above the drive sprocket/front road wheels, water deflectors (rear track covers), lowered. It is no way made for true amphibious operations and most photos shows the 2S3 without its trim vane.
Armament: The 2A80 Mortar
2A80 combined Gun-MortarThe 2A80 is supplied automatically by an ammunition magazine at the rear of the vehicle, holding up to 40 rounds of mortar ammunition. There is presumably a fireproof bulkhad separating it from the crew. The 2A80-1 is coupled with a specially developed fire control system said to improve accuracy while the rate-of-fire is maintained high in cyclic order by the loader. But it is capable of firing all types of 120mm mortar rounds HEAT, HE-FRAG, smoke, between 500 m up to a maximum range of 14 km at +80º elevation. The 2A80-1 is even capable of firing fire-guided munitions like the 3VOF112 "Kitolov-2" shell to deal agains tanks, laser-guided. It seems it's also compatible with 120mm NATO rounds.
Defensive armamentThere is a roof-mounted 7.62mm PKTM machine gun manned by the commander. The two banks of three 81 mm electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers mounted on either side of turret could also be used to fire anti-personal grenades. There are also personal weapons for the crew of three.
|7,57 x 2,85 x 2,83m
|Total weight, battle ready
|4: Driver, Cdr, gunner, loader
|YaMZ-238N diesel, 300 hp (200 kw)
|60 kph/8 kph
|Range (on flat)
|120mm 2A80-1 mortar gun, 7,62mm PKTM LMG
|8-20 mm sloped RHA
Captured 2S4 that was showcased in Prague in 2022
With only 30 procured being the most common figure (Russian official figure 2023: 50), the 2S34 is really a very minor variant of the 2S1 Gvodzika and its 10,000 made. They are, according to wikipedia, grouped in to a single brigade, the 21st (Mechanized) in Totskoye. This vehicle compared to the 2S1 is reduced in range but twice as fast. The gun-mortar combo with autoloader and large choice of ammunition makes it a far more versatile vehicle, and it's possible in the future, storage 2S1 could be upgraded to this standard. As of now, the 2S3 Hosta has been officially deployed in Ukraine. According to Oryx, three were lost, including two captured by the Ukrainians.
On reco monkey
Captured 2S4 in Ukraine - Yahoo news
Self-propelled guns 2S34 "Khosta" participate in the Special Operation
2S34 Hosta as presented in 2014
2S4 captured in Ukraine recently.
At Oboronexpo 2014
At Army 2016 demo
At the 2022 07 18 "Ukraine, Shield of Europe" Exhibition;
Same, displayed in Prague
Modern MBTs posters
Denel Bagder (2018)
Type 16 MCV (2016)
Gepard 1A2 last rounds 2011
Main Battle Tanks