Krasnopol (weapon system)

The 2K25 Krasnopol[8][9][10] is a Soviet 152/155 mm cannon-launched, fin-stabilized, base bleed-assisted, semi-automatic laser-guided, artillery weapon system. It automatically 'homes' on a point illuminated by a laser designator, typically operated by a ground-based artillery observer. Krasnopol projectiles are fired mainly from Soviet self-propelled howitzers such as the 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S19 Msta-S and intended to engage small ground targets such as tanks, other direct fire weapons, strong-points, or other significant point targets visible to the observer. It can be used against both stationary and moving targets (providing these remain within the observer's field of view).

30F39 Krasnopol guided projectile
TypeGuided artillery shell
Place of originSoviet Union/Russia
Service history
Used bySoviet Army
Russian Army
Syrian Arab Army
WarsSyrian Civil War[1][2]
Second Libyan Civil War[3]
Production history
ManufacturerKBP Instrument Design Bureau
Variants2K25 Krasnopol
2K25M Krasnopol-M
KM-1M Krasnopol-M2
Mass50 kg (110 lb)
Diameter152 mm and 155 mm

Caliber152 mm and 155 mm
Effective firing rangeKrasnopol: 20 km (12 mi)[4]
Krasnopol-M: 30 km (19 mi)[5]
WarheadHigh Explosive
Warhead weightKrasnopol: 6.50 kg (14.33 lb)[6]
Krasnopol-M: 11.00 kg (24.25 lb)[7]

laser guidance

Krasnopol projectiles were used by the Russian military against those who had previously attacked Russian Hmeymim base in Syria with drones.[11]


The weapon system was developed in the Tula-based KBP Instrument Design Bureau under the supervision of A.G. Shipunov. Work on the project was initiated in the 1970s. In February 1986 the Krasnopol system was adopted by the Soviet Army under the designation 30F39, and began mass production in Izhmash and Izhmeh factories.[12] Since 2002, it is augmented by the 120- and 122 mm Kitolov-2 laser-guided system.[13]

A 155 mm variant of the project was also developed to access the commercial markets, which can be fired from howitzers such as the G6 and M109A6. Besides Russia, the Krasnopol is also manufactured by Chinese defence industry conglomerate Norinco.


The 2K25 Krasnopol system[14] consists of the 30F39 guided shell, a 1D22, 1D20, or 1D15 laser target designator (LTD), and the 1A35 shot synchronization system. The laser designation system has a range of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi), while the projectile itself has a range of 20 kilometres (12 mi)[15] and a target seeker radius of 1 kilometre (0.62 mi).[14] The two-part projectile is divided into the following sections: target seeker, guidance module, warhead and rear compartment. The seeker and guidance module are stored as a single component in sealed container, as is the rear section with warhead; this allows the oversized projectile to be loaded and transported inside existing ammunition containers in legacy self-propelled howitzers. The two components are joined immediately prior to firing.

The system functions as follows. The observer determines the target location (e.g. map coordinates or bearing and distance from their own position), ensures that their laser target designator can 'mark' the target and requests or orders a fire mission against the target using Krasnopol. A gun is then aimed at the target location and a guided shell is fired. The firing unit uses their 1A35K command device to send a signal via a communications link confirming the firing of the projectile to the 1A35I observation post device with the observer. The laser target designator is then used to illuminate the target and the in-flight projectile detects the radiant laser energy reflected by the target and the navigation system steers the shell towards the point of greatest incident energy—the designated target with top attack pattern. The iris of the optical seeker head is protected by a cap which is ejected by a mechanical timer upon firing. The guidance module contains an inertial reference system, a power source, various electric motors and controls and four folding canards used to execute command guidance signals. The warhead is a high explosive fragmentation type which can also be used against heavily armored vehicles such as tanks owing to the steep trajectory of the projectile which allows it to defeat the relatively thin roof armor on most vehicles. Behind the warhead is a rear compartment which houses four folding stabilizers. Krasnopol system can also fire a salvo from multiple artillery pieces on one target using a single laser designator.

After destruction of the initial target, the LTD operator may request or order another target. If these subsequent targets are close together they should be upwind (from the previous target) to reduce smoke and dust interference with the designator.[14]

Krasnopol is capable of hitting targets moving at speeds up to 36 km/h (22 mph).


  • 2K25 Krasnopol

The original model of the Krasnopol was designed to be used with former Soviet-Bloc artillery systems of 152 mm (6.0 in), such as D-20, 2S3 Akatsiya, 2A65 (Msta-B). Krasnopol carries a 20.5 kilograms (45 lb) high explosive fragmentation warhead. The entire missile weighs 50 kilograms (110 lb). However, its length made it incompatible with the autoloader of the 2S19 152mm Self-Propelled Gun.

  • 2K25M Krasnopol-M

The Krasnopol-M was a miniaturized version of the projectile, developed in the mid-1990s by Shipunov's team at the KBP Design Bureau taking advantage of new electronics technology acquired in the design of the 120 mm Kitolov-2 guided projectile (similar in construction and purpose; this is in essence a smaller model of the Krasnopol to be used with the 2S9 NONA 120 mm mortar and designated 30F69 and a related projectile for 122 mm howitzers designated Kitolov-2M 30F69M) was made with a shorter length to enable it to be used with autoloader-equipped self-propelled guns without having to be disassembled into two parts. It also comes in an alternate 155 millimetres (6.1 in) caliber to allow it to be used with NATO-standard 155 mm howitzers. Besides the reduced total length, the Krasnopol-M also has a different protective cap for the optical seeker.

  • KM-1M Krasnopol-M2

The Krasnopol-M2, a further development based on Krasnopol-M, is a 155mm artillery projectile designed to engage armored targets. It uses a semi-active laser (SAL) guidance system in the terminal phase of its trajectory.[8]

  • GP1: Chinese version of Krasnopol.[16][17]
  • GP6: Chinese version of Krasnopol.


See also


  1. "Russia Now Using Guided Artillery Shells Against Syrian Militants". 20 August 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  2. "Russian military eliminates militants who shelled Hmeymim airbase December 31". TASS. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. Yuri Lyamin; N.R. Jenzen-Jones (10 November 2017). "Chinese GP1 series guided artillery projectiles in Libya". The Hoplite. Armament Research Services. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  4. "2K25". Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  5. "Удар «Краснополем»: на что способен высокоточный артиллерийский боеприпас" (in Russian). RT (TV network). Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  6. Retrieved 4 December 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. "Удар «Краснополем»: на что способен высокоточный артиллерийский боеприпас" (in Russian). RT (TV network). Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  8. Krasnopol-M2 Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  9. International Electronic Countermeasures Handbook. Horizon House. 2004. ISSN 1091-9422.
  10. "Krasnopol, Kitolov Precision Guided Artillery Munition". Defense Update. 26 January 2005. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  11. "Russian MoD: Militant Group That Attacked Base in Syria Liquidated (VIDEOS)". Sputnik. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  12. Юбилей тульского создателя высокоточных артиллерийских боеприпасов [Anniversary of the Tula creator of high-precision artillery munitions] (in Russian). KBP Instrument Design Bureau. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  13. Китолов-2 [Kitolov-2]. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  14. FAS Williams, Walter, Threat Update: Krasnopol--A Laser-Guided Projectile for Tube Artillery Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth
  15. Jane's Ammunition Handbook 1994 (Alexandria: Jane's Information Group Inc., 1993), p. 210. ISBN 0-7106-1167-6.
  16. "Smart ammo: precision-guided munitions for field artillery" (PDF). Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  17. Arnaud Delalande (13 November 2017). "Somebody's Popping Off Laser-Guided Shells in Libya". Was is Boring. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
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