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Munition Bulletin – Flechette Projectiles

March 13, 2023
122mm Flechette Projectile

Russian projectiles with flechette payloads are being used regularly in Ukraine. Two types are in service: a 122 mm projectile with the GRAU index 3Sh1 and a 152 mm projectile, designated 3Sh2. Both are true ‘Shrapnel’ shells in that, once fired, they incorporate an internal charge to project the payload from the casing, much like a shotgun cartridge.

Both projectiles use the DTM-75 mechanical time fuze, which can be set to function immediately after the projectile clears the barrel, or up to 75 seconds later. On initiation, the fuze flashes back through a central tube to ignite a substantial propellant charge in the base of the casing, ejecting the nose section and ‘firing’ the flechettes forwards into the target area.

The 3Sh1 and carries around 7,000 flechettes, each weighing approximately 0.85 g, while the
3Sh2 carries around 8,500 slightly larger flechettes, each weighing approximately 1.25 g.


122mm Flechette Projectile
122 mm flechette projectile. Those to the left have the nose sections removed to reveal the flechette payload.
A cut-away of a flechette projectile
A cut-away of a flechette projectile showing the central flash tube surrounded by layers of flechettes. At the base is the internal propellant charge.


Flechettes from the 122mm 3Sh1
Flechettes from the 122mm 3Sh1 (left) and 152 mm 3SH2 (right)


Munition Bulletin by Colin King