The 2S1 Gvozdika (Russian: “Carnation”) is a Soviet self-propelled howitzer based on the MT-LBu multi-purpose chassis, mounting a 122 mm 2A18 howitzer. “2S1” is its GRAU designation. An alternative Russian designation is SAU-122 but in the Russian Army it is commonly known as Gvozdika. One of the key qualities of the 2S1 design is its fully amphibious nature, allowing it to traverse water sources with little preparation on the part of the crew. While no dedicated propulsion jet is fitted, the 2S1 is propelled through water by the motion of its own track systems. A variety of track widths are available to allow the 2S1 to operate in snow or swamp conditions. It is NBC protected and has infrared night-vision capability.
The 2S1 has seven road wheels on each side; the running gear can be fitted with different widths of track to match terrain. The interior is separated into a driver’s compartment on the left, an engine compartment on the right and a fighting compartment to the rear. Within the fighting compartment the commander sits on the left, the loader on the right and the gunner to the front. The all-welded turret is located above the fighting compartment. The 2S1 utilizes a 122 mm howitzer based on the towed D-30 howitzer. The gun is equipped with a power rammer, a double-baffle muzzle brake and a fume extractor. It is capable of firing HE (high explosive), leaflet, HE/RAP, armor-piercing HE, flechette and chemical rounds.
While this vehicle may look like a tank, its armor is too light to survive direct combat. So armies tactically position artillery vehicles like the Gvozdika far from the battle, then fire its long-range howitzer at the target. The Gvozika was know for its ‘shoot and scoot’ ability. Unlike towed artillery, an army can move a 2S1 quickly into position, fire a few rounds, and then scoot to another position.
Combat history of the Gvozdika include Chechnya, first and second Gulf War, Yugoslav and Kosovo Wars, 2008 South Ossetia War, 2011 Libyan civil war and Syrian Civil war.