New Sovietskiy 2S268 Self Propelled Artillery:
Like with other combat vehicle designs, the Soviet military initially depended on refitted old 152-mm 2S19 Self Propelled Guns for gun type artillery. Like other refitted designs, the vehicles had many problems and generally were no well liked by their crews. It was until the introduction of new tank designs in the second half of the Twenty-First century that the army was able to get a new mobile artillery design. It was not until 2060 that funds were provided for the development of a new design. According to official Soviet sources, the new design was being developed as a supplement to the old mobile artillery but most realized from the beginning as a replacement design.
The budget for the design was far lower than most designs so costs had to be cut wherever possible. Most of the development budget went into the design of the new electro-thermal cannon which had a far longer range than previous Soviet artillery. One of the biggest cost saving measures was to use the T-255 Main Battle Tank Chassis as the basis for the design. It was already developed and using a tank chassis as the basis for artillery systems is relatively common. The old 2S19 Self-Propelled Gun is based on the T-80 Main Battle Tank with components from the even older T-72 tank. Some of the features, such as the troop compartment, were very useful to give additional storage for rounds.
The first prototype was completed in 2064 with problems with the electro-thermal cannon keeping the design from full production until 2067. The design was first shown officially in 2068 when shown in a Soviet military parade. It was hailed in the Soviet media as the most advanced artillery system in the world. Even though this is simply propaganda, it was far more effective and dangerous than previous designs and greatly increased Soviet capabilities. It was also far better armored than the Galahad mobile artillery manufactured by the United States although the Soviet design was a fair amount slower.
The new Soviet artillery system immediately began replacing the old 2S19 self-propelled artillery. A few of the old artillery pieces were sold to other nations who were also allies but like many other obsolete designs, most were put in storage. Most were in very poor material condition and would not have been very useful in any modern battlefield. The 2S268 was in service in large numbers when the Rifts destroyed most of the Soviet Union along with most of the world. Gun type artillery had been overshadowed in many cases by missile type artillery but most nations still used large numbers of mobile gun artillery. While most of the Soviet artillery were destroyed, some survived and the New Sovietsky operates a number of these pieces. They have used them to great effect against both monsters and attacking warlords. Luckily, it appears that none of the warlords recovered these artillery pieces to be truly effective and they don't seem to know how to use them effectively. The Warlords have used a few of the recovered mobile artillery as simply tanks.
As previously listed, the basic chassis is that of the T-255 Main Battle tank. The engine from the tank is retained and has a top speed of around 105 kph on roads. At first the design was governed with a reduced top speed of 80 kph but it was later removed from all of the mobile artillery pieces. There were some concerns with being top heavy but this was mostly solved with additional weight in the bottom. The armor scheme was retained from the tank and the abuse that the 2S268 can withstand is equal to most tanks. Electronics are quite different than those carried on the T-255 tank. Electronics are basically equal to those carried on most robot vehicles and many special systems for tanks are not carried.
The center of the 2S268 is the heavy electro-thermal cannon. The 152-mm artillery design has a range of around 60 km with rocket assisted rounds and around 36 km with standard projectiles. The cannon has a special automated reloading system to reduce crew requirements. There was strong consideration to mount a shorter range version of the artillery as the main gun for the T-255 but this was never proceeded with. The mobile artillery mounts a rail gun or pulse laser for defense against attacking aircraft and against troops. Early models carried the rail gun but was replaced by a pulse laser in later models. The pulse laser has the advantage of unlimited payload and is based on the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle. Unlike the T-255 tank, an automatic grenade launcher was not fitted instead of a rail gun or pulse laser. The side mounted medium range missile launchers from the T-255 are not carried but the 2S268 does carry two turret mounted mini-missile launchers for close range defense.
Model Type: 2S268
Vehicle Type: Self Propelled Howitzer (Tracked)
Crew: Four (Driver, Gunner, Loader, and Commander).
Troop Carrying Capacity: Instead of additional artillery rounds, four soldiers in full gear (No cyborgs) can be carried but is very rare.
M.D.C. by Location:
| Tractor Treads (2):||100 each|
|152 mm Electro-Thermal Gun:||150|
|Cupola on Turret:||80|
| 10 mm Commander Heavy Rail-Gun (Cupola - Early Models):||50|
| Commander Pulse Laser Mount (Cupola - Later Models):||40|
|Mini-Missile Launchers (2, sides of turret):||30 each|
|Multi-Option Jammers (2):||25|
| Headlights (2):||10 each|
|Rear Troop / Cargo Door||100|
| Main Body:||550|
 Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
 These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
 If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable.
Ground: Maximum speed on land is 65.2 mph (105 kph) on roads and 49.7 mph (80 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Water Capabilities: Uses tracks to propel tank over the surface of the water but is not designed for deep water use. Using the tracks, the 2S268 can travel on the surface of water at 11.2 mph (18 kph/9.7 knots).
Maximum Effective Range: Effectively unlimited (Nuclear Fusion power supply with 5 year duration) Armored Vehicle carries about two weeks worth of supplies emergency rations onboard.
Height: 10.6 feet (3.25 meters) to top of commander's cupola.
Width: 12.0 feet (3.65 meters)
Length: 28.9 feet (8.80 meters) not including gun barrel and 43.5 feet (13.25 meters) with barrel forward
Weight: 75.6 tons (68.6 metric tons).
Power Source: Nuclear fusion reactor; Must be refueled every five years, otherwise effectively unlimited.
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Three carbines and one hand-held missile launcher with four loads each are stored in a compartment in the crew compartment. In cargo compartment, up to 1000 lbs (453.6 kg) can be carried instead of troops or ammunition.
Black Market Cost: 12.5 million credits was the production price originally; Remaining tanks sell for double that (25 million credits). Many of these mobile artillery remain in service with the New Sovietski and a few are in the hands of Russian Warlords.
- 152 mm Electro-Thermal Howitzer: Very powerful and long range
weapon that is capable of 360 degree rotation. The 2S268 cannot fire while
it is moving and must come to a complete stop. The projectile is loaded
into the barrel, behind which there is a “propellant,” which is a dot of
light metal. A powerful electromagnetic force is applied to the metal,
which causes its atoms to “switch” directions. This happens so violently
that the metal turns to plasma, and this expanding gas then drives the
projectile forward. The reload system is fully automated and the rate of
fire can be maintained as long as the system retains ammunition. While
the projectiles has a lot greater range than standard 152 projectiles,
they carry the same size warheads and inflicts about the same damage. Self
Guided projectiles can be used for pinpoint accuracy although G.P.S. Satellite
guided projectiles are no longer useful due to the elimination of the satellites.
Guided projectiles are far more expensive. Both non rocket assisted and
rocket assisted projectiles are available for the weapon system.
Maximum Effective Range: 22.9 miles (19.9 nautical miles / 36.9 km) for standard projectiles, 37.3 miles (32.4 nautical miles / 60.0 km) for rocket propelled rounds.
Mega-Damage: By artillery round type (Go to Battlefield Artillery for Rifts for more information for more information: Use 155-mm artillery. Fragmentation 2D4x10, High Explosive 2D6x10, Armor Piercing 3D6x10, Plasma 4D6x10, and has a vast number of other type of rounds as well).
Rate of Fire: Has a special high speed reloading system that allows for the firing of 6 rounds per melee for 2 melees (30 seconds). Can fire 8 rounds per minute (2 per melee) indefinitely (effectively until its ammunition runs out).
Payload: 60 rounds internally but can be loaded from exterior to retain normal rate of fire. Can carry an additional 40 rounds in troop / cargo compartment.
- Top Weapon Mount (1): The tank has a spindle to mount a weapon
on the top of the turret which is normally controlled by the commander
of the tank. The weapon is designed for use against troops assaulting the
tank and against aircraft. Originally the weapon carried was 10 mm heavy
rail gun but was later replaced by a pulse laser. The mount was designed
so that it can be controlled from within the turret so the commander would
not be exposed to hostile fire.
- 10 millimeter GSR-10 Heavy Railgun: The Soviet military was
unable to make an effective liquid propellant weapon and instead developed,
some say stole, a rail gun design for their existing vehicles. The mount
was designed so that it can be controlled from within the turret.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,920 feet (1,500 meters)
Mega Damage: Single shot does 2D4 and 20 round burst does 1D6x10+10
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
Payload: 1,200 rounds (60 bursts).
- Pulse Laser Mount: Replaces the medium rail-gun in later
models and many older models replace the rail gun as well when refitted.
The Laser fires four shot bursts and is capable of destroying missiles
and inflicting serious damage on aircraft. The weapon is also useful against
armor and infantry. Laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle
with extended range.
Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 MD for four shot burst.
Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (Commander)
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
- 10 millimeter GSR-10 Heavy Railgun: The Soviet military was unable to make an effective liquid propellant weapon and instead developed, some say stole, a rail gun design for their existing vehicles. The mount was designed so that it can be controlled from within the turret.
- Turret Mounted Mini-missile Launcher (2): Mounted on the
sides of the turret are mini missile launchers. These launchers are designed
for rapid fire use to engage heavy tanks and giant robots. These weapons
are designed to be able to destroy enemy vehicles quickly. Smoke warheads
are often carried for special purpose uses. Weapon is mainly controlled
by the vehicle's gunner but the pilot and commander also have controls.
Maximum Effective Range: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile type; Usually armor piercing or fragmentation are carried (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time, or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles.
Payload: Each launcher carries 8 mini-missiles for a total of 16 Mini-missiles.
- Multi-Option “Shtora-8A” Jammers (2): These are multi-purpose
jamming devices designed to stop incoming missiles and confuse an enemy
targeting the 2S268.
Effect: Each firing launches two Chaff rockets, two Flare rockets, and the tank begins emitting a large cloud of smoke, both standard and Anti-Laser Prismatic Aerosol; The Chaff rockets detonate and spread Chaff over the area, the flare rockets floating down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.) The Chaff rockets have a 20% chance of interfering with the course of enemy missiles each (40%, total) that are radar guided so that they miss the tank. The flares have the same percentages, except with IR-guided missiles. The Anti-Laser prismatic aerosol reduces damage by half for any laser beam striking the tank (With the exception of X-ray lasers but not variable frequency lasers; X-Ray lasers suffer no damage modifiers, and variable frequency lasers simply cannot compensate for the variables involved), and adds a +4 difficulty to targeting the tank with a laser guidance system or visually.
Rate of Fire: Usually once every four melee rounds; Effects are not cumulative.
Maximum Effective Range: Around the tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
Payload: Sufficient for twelve firings; One of each type of jamming option from each side of the vehicle.
The tank carries all standard equipment of a robot vehicle plus this special equipment:
- Data-interlink transmitters: For using targeting data from scout vehicles for firing the artillery. Bonus varies on the quality of the data being provided, but all data would allow the tank to fire over obstacles if the scout vehicle is in the right position. The normal effective battlefield range is 20 miles (32 km).
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Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary (LusankyaN@aol.com ).
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.