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Russia: trials of three airborne artillery weapons to begin in 2019.

| 2019

Three latest artillery pieces for the Airborne Forces are ready for trials in 2019. They are 120mm self-propelled Lotos gun, artillery fire control vehicle Zavet-D and Drok mortar. They are likely to be accepted into service in 2020, the Army Standard weekly writes.

Russia trials of three airborne artillery weapons to begin in 2019
120mm self-propelled artillery 2S42 Lotos (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

Besides the already operational BMD-4M airborne fighting vehicle and Rakushka BTR-MDM armored personnel carrier, the airborne and air assault units will soon receive new artillery weapons. It has recently become known that Lotos 2S42 and portable/vehicle-borne Drok 2S41 on Typhoon-VDV vehicle will begin final trials in 2019. Modern Zavet-D artillery fire control vehicle is also prepared for the Airborne Forces.

120mm Lotos can fire up to eight various munitions per minute at a distance of 13 km. It is over four kilometers longer than currently operational Nona-S can do. The gun has a fuel range of 500 km at a speed of 40 km/h on dirt road and 70 km/h on tar road. The deployment time into combat position and back is 30 seconds. The vertical inclination angle of the Lotos gun is 80 degrees.

The Lotos is to replace 120mm Nona-S 2S9, 2S9-1 Sviristelka and Nona-SM 2S9-1M self-propelled guns in the Airborne Forces. Lotos is distinguished by a satellite-navigation automatic control and fire adjustment system. It will help artillery men automatically receive and transmit target data. The equipment of the new gun fully meets requirements to modern general combat and is interfaced with automatic controls of airborne firepower.

Airborne Lotos will combine the advantages of several artillery guns and aim the weapon 360 degrees by the azimuth and fire at elevation angles of -4 to +80 degrees. It can fire from closed positions as an ordinary howitzer and destroy targets by curved fire as a mortar. If necessary, it can fire directly as a cannon.

Various shells and mines can be used. Open sources said Lotos would fire prospective artillery shells with increased power. 120mm munitions will have destruction characteristics of standard 152mm guns. Lotos gun can fire 120mm shells produced in various countries. The caliber is popular in the world and will not leave the Russian gun unarmed in combat on adversary territory.

The Drok is a self-propelled (man-portable/vehicle-borne) mortar on Typhoon-VDV armored vehicle with high firepower and shooting range. The new mobile airborne artillery weapon can fire ordinary and higher range and power mines directly from the combat compartment of the vehicle. It is also possible to take off the mortar and fire from the ground.

Typhoon-VDV K-4386 armored vehicle has improved maneuvering characteristics and reliable armor. Its 350HP engine accelerates the 14-ton vehicle to 100 km/h and has a fuel distance of 1200 km. Drok fires to a distance of six kilometers and the minimal target destruction distance is 100 meters. The rate of fire is 12 shots per minute and the round of munitions comprises 40 mines. The vehicle is armed with a machinegun installed in remotely controlled combat module to destroy infantry. The vehicle can also carry electronic warfare equipment. The Drok offers a mobile alternative to existing 82mm-caliber portable or towed mortars. The new weapon will be tested at several ranges of the Russian Defense Ministry.

This year, the paratroopers will receive Zavet-D artillery fire control vehicle for test operation. It will replace Reostat mobile reconnaissance and fire control units. Zavet-D was created on the basis of airdropped Rakushka BTR-MDM. It has the same maneuvering characteristics and can overcome water obstacles.

The vehicle has been designed for the Airborne Forces since 2016. It is equipped with advanced high-tech devices. They detect and identify targets, including camouflaged ones. Some experts believe Zavet-D will interact with various drones, the Army Standard said.


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