Russia retrieves rare Stalin-era M-46 guns - Defense Express
Invading Russian forces have begun using rare 130mm caliber M-46 cannons, manufactured in the 1950s, in combat against the Ukrainian Defense Forces
Defense Express reports.
It is noted that the proof of this is the photos that appeared in the public domain. "These images do not allow us to determine the probable quantity of M-46 guns the enemy has reactivated. We can only confirm the fact that Russian forces have started to retrieve and use such Soviet artillery systems from storage," stated the report.
M-46 guns were manufactured from 1946 to 1950, featuring a 'non-standard for the Russian ground forces' caliber of 130 millimeters. Russians had 350 guns of this type in storage. "Due to the non-standard caliber, it is entirely logical to question where the Russians could obtain 130mm shells for the M-46. It is equally plausible that the Russians found projectiles for these guns in their own stocks, or Russia had to acquire 130mm ammunition from elsewhere," noted the publication.
Defense Express also does not rule out the possibility that the Russians requested ammunition for the M-46 from North Korea. "Moreover, as stated in The Military Balance 2023, North Korea has both the same towed M-46 guns and three types of 130mm self-propelled artillery units - M-1975, M-1981, and M-1991. However, of course, the Russians could also import ammunition for the M-46," the report states.
The M-46 guns have the following specifications: weight - approximately 7.7 tons, claimed firing range - up to 27 km with a conventional high-explosive fragmentation shell and 37 km when using rocket-assisted projectiles.
The report also suggests two possible reasons for the decision to reactivate the M-46 guns: "a high level of losses from the Ukrainian Armed Forces' counter-battery fire and the claimed firing range of these howitzers."
- On December 10th, ISW reported that Russians were using decoy rockets to deplete the Ukrainian air defense systems.
On January 19, it became known Russia develops a cheap attack drone capable of flying 350 km.
On January 22, ISW reported that the Russian leadership is intensifying relations with North Korea to buy more artillery ammunition from abroad amid a shortage of ammunition in Russia.