Serbian state-owned defence company Yugoimport has unveiled the Aleksandar MGS-25 (NORA B-52K2), an indigenously developed 155 mm/52-calibre self propelled (SP) artillery system. This cutting-edge artillery weapon of the Serbian defense industry is the most powerful, fully automated fire support artillery weapon in cal. 155 mm with a high level of autonomy. The weapon was made through an integration of a 155 mm weapon module on an 8×8 chassis. The weapon module is controlled from the vehicle cabin and, owing to its characteristics, can be regarded as a 155 mm RCWS. The weapon module is actually a 155 mm barrel assembly (autofretted) manufactured in two versions.
The first version is JBMOU-compliant and comprises a 23-liter chamber, whereas the second one has a 25-liter chamber enabling significantly longer range and higher fire power of the weapon. The most important component of the weapon module is a fully automatic loader with 12 projectiles and propellant charges, featuring the possibility of loading at all elevations and the rate of fire up to 6 rounds per minute. Additional 12 rounds are accommodated on the platform for automatic re-loading, so the combat set comprises a total of 24 rounds without any crew engagement necessary. The system features an automatic line of sight and automated navigation. For stabilization purposes, the weapon is fitted with 4 hydraulic trails enabling fire in both directions which makes this weapon unique in the world.
The Aleksandar MGS-25 (NORA B-52K2) is equipped with a sensor head for direct fire and with muzzle velocity measuring radar. Both systems are directly connected to the AFCS components on the weapon. The crew is comprised of 3 members accommodated in the armoured cabin of the vehicle and are protected during operation and exploitation of the weapon. Owing to the fully automatic system, the time required to shift from travelling to combat position is very short which enables a swift and efficient deployment and retreat from combat. Furthermore, the weapon features MRSI capability for 4 projectiles up to 25 km of range. The weapon can use all types of standard and special 155 mm ammunition manufactured as per NATO standard.
The Aleksandar prototype showcased at the event is based on the Russian-made 8×8 Kamaz-6560 chassis, although it features a locally designed armoured cab and weapon mounted with four hydraulically operated outriggers. The prototype has an overall length of 11.4 m and a height and width of 3.85 m and 2.6 m respectively in transport configuration. With a ground clearance of 385 mm and a track of 2.05 m, it is capable of traversing 1.6 m trenches as well as ford waters up to 1.1 m deep. A 400 hp supercharged diesel engine enables the MGS-25 to achieve a maximum stated road speed of 90 km/h and an operating range of 500 km.