Uraltransmash has provided a batch of modernised 203mm 2S7M Malka self-propelled heavy howitzer to the Russian Army as part of a larger order. The 2S7M Malka is a modernised version of the 1980s-vintage 2S7 Pion. The company replaced Ukrainian components in modernising 2S7M self-propelled guns for Russia. The overhauled Malkas feature a replacement gearbox, ‘new distribution mechanisms’ and power supply units, updated observation devices plus intercom equipment and a radio station. This process involved substituting some of the Ukrainian-produced components, such as the gearbox and engine, with new components manufactured in Russia. The upgraded Malka is linked to the modernised 1V12M command vehicle, which uses a GLONASS navigation unit.
The 2S7 Pion (“peony”) or Malka is a Soviet self-propelled 203mm heavy artillery. “2S7” is its GRAU designation. It was identified for the first time in 1975 in the Soviet Army and so was called M-1975 by NATO, whereas its official designation is SO-203 (2S7). Its design is based on a T-80 chassiscarrying an externally mounted 2A44 203 mm gun on the hull rear. The 2S7 carries a crew of fourteen; seven are carried by the Pion and seven are with an auxiliary vehicle. The system carries four rounds of ammunition; four more rounds are carried by the support vehicle. Due to the long range, the crew can fire one or two rounds and leave position before the first round hits the enemy position over 40 km away.
It takes the crew of seven men 5–6 minutes to come into action and 3–5 minutes to come out of action. It carries four 203 mm projectiles for immediate use. It is capable of firing nuclear ammunition. The gun has a range of 37,500 m, but this can be extended to 55,500 m by using RAPs (Rocket Assisted Projectiles). The Pion has been the most powerful conventional artillery piece since entering service in 1983. One interesting feature of the Pion is the firing alarm. Because the blast of the weapon firing is so powerful—it can physically incapacitate an unprepared soldier or crew member near it from concussive force—the Pion is equipped with an audible firing alarm that emits a series of short warning tones for approximately five seconds prior to the charge being fired.
Uraltransmash is a company based in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Currently it is a subsidiary of Uralvagonzavod. The Ural Plant of Transport Engineering is one of the oldest enterprises in the Ural: its history is more than two hundred years old. The foundation of the enterprise was laid by a gold-mining factory founded in 1817 in Yekaterinburg. Thirty years later, a machine-building plant was built in its place, making steam engines, boilers, locomotives, equipment for the mining industry. Since then, the plant has developed or modernized about forty types of military equipment. The company has a design bureau that has created a number of new military products. In 1989, Uraltransmash produced its first self-propelled howitzer, the 2S19 Msta. Modifications of the Msta-S are still being supplied to the Russian army. Uraltransmash also produces oil drilling rigs and some other civil products.