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DSEI 2023: New Slovak artillery system begins firing trials

14th September 2023 - 09:00 GMT | by Christopher F Foss in London


A rear view of the Bia 155mm/52cal 6x6 self-propelled artillery system with stabilisers lowered to the ground. (Photo: author)

Konstrukta Defence of Slovakia has unveiled its latest Bia 155mm/52cal 6x6 self-propelled (SP) artillery system at DSEI 2023 and this has already started its initial firing trials.

The 155mm ordnance has a 23l chamber that meets the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) and when firing an Extended Range Full Bore – Base Bleed (ERFB) projectile a maximum range of over 41km is claimed which can be extended to 50km using a Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP).

The system is based on a proven Tatra 6x6 cross-country chassis which gives a high level of mobility with the crew of at least three seated in the protected cab the at the front.

Mounted at the rear is a turret provided with 20 rounds of 155mm projectiles and associated modular charges; this is aimed, loaded and fired by the crew seated in the cab. As artillery projectiles are getting longer the ammunition handing system has been designed to take rounds with a total length of up to 1,000mm.

Before carrying out a fire mission two hydraulically operated stabilisers are lowered either side at the rear.

Turret traverse is 35 degrees left and right with elevation from -3.5 to plus 75 degrees and according to Vladimir Briestensky of Konstrukta 'we can carry out multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) fire missions and have a maximum rate of fire of five rounds a minute'.

To avoid counter-battery fire it would typically fire a burst and then move to another position. If the automatic ammunition handling system fails there is a reversionary manual mode but rate of fire is reduced to two a minute

Bia is fitted with an onboard computerised fire control system (FCS) as well as a muzzle velocity radar and inertial navigation system rather than GPS which can be jammed in wartime.

Although the prime role is carrying out an indirect fire missions, it has a direct fire capability using a sensor head fitted with an embedded TV camera, thermal imager and laser rangefinder.

The power pack consists of a Tatra V8 diesel developing 300kW coupled to an Allison 4500SP automatic transmission which gives a maximum road speed of up to 90km/h and range of up to 600km.

The Bia will be marketed alongside the heavier Zuzana 2 8x8 which also uses a Tatra chassis and has the same ordnance but the Bia's gross vehicle weight of 27t makes it lighter and more deployable.

Shephard's DSEI 2023 coverage is sponsored by:

Christopher F Foss


Christopher F Foss

Christopher F Foss is an internationally recognised authority on armoured fighting vehicles, artillery and other weapon systems, …

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