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Russian Army 2S7 Pion Spotted in Ukraine
The 2S7 Pion ("peony") or Malka is a Soviet self-propelled gun. "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 (the 2S4 Tyulpan also received the M-1975 designation), whereas its official designation is SO-203 (2S7). Its design is based on a T-80 chassis carrying an externally mounted 2A44 203 mm gun on the hull rear. 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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S7_Pion