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Russian army to receive new artillery systems including 2S43 Malva and Flox 120mm mortar.

| 2021

According to information from the Russian press agency TASS, the Russian armed forces will receive new artillery arms in the coming years, including self-propelled gun 2S43 Malva, Flox 120mm self-propelled mortar system, Magnolia 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar and Drok 82mm wheeled 4x4 mortar carrier vehicle. 
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Russian-made 2S43 Malva during a recent firing test. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The Izvestia daily quoted Defense Ministry sources as saying the arming of artillery brigades of the Ground Forces with wheeled 2S43 Malva guns is being considered.

Last week Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko visited the Smolino test range in the Nizhny Novgorod region to see Ka-52M helicopter gunships and new artillery guns. Magnolia, Flox, Lotos, and Malva guns demonstrated fire. Krivoruchko also saw Drok self-propelled mortar in action.

“The hardware generally meets modern requirements and the troops expect it in the near future. The weapons exceed the existing ones by several tactical and technical characteristics,” Krivoruchko said.

In 2020, CEO of Burevestnik Institute Georgy Zakamennykh told TASS the institute was designing several new arms, which will determine the image of the armed forces in the mid and long term.

“They are 57mm Derivatsia antiaircraft artillery complex, 82mm Drok self-propelled mortar, 120mm Flox gun on the armored undercarriage of KAMAZ and Ural trucks, 120mm Magnolia with an open artillery gun on an automobile undercarriage,” he said adding the hardware was at the final stage of trials.

Zakamennykh said artillery develops to increase the main tactical and technical characteristics: firing range and precision, munitions firepower, tactical mobility, decreased deployment time, and new firing techniques.

Automatic survey and navigation controls are introduced. The arms are integrated into a single information command space. The share of self-propelled guns is on the rise, including wheeled vehicles. Their maneuverability is increasing.

“There is a clear trend to robotize weapons. Remote control algorithms, artificial intelligence elements, protected information exchange are designed and introduced,” he added.

Malva has been designed for several years, however little is known about its characteristics. In 2020, head of the main research department and advanced technologies of the Defense Ministry Major-General Andrey Goncharov said the deployment time of the latest wheeled 2S43 self-propelled gun decreased three times against previous-generation weapons. The time for closing down and abandoning position decreased 20-fold. The upgrade and decreased weight and size increased the mobility and survivability of the vehicle.

The 2S43 Malva is a new Russian truck-mounted 152mm self-propelled howitzer which is based on a BAZ 8x8 heavy high mobility truck chassis. 

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Russian Ministry of Defense has conducted firing tests with the Flox 120mm wheeled self-propelled mortar vehicle. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The Flox is a 120mm mobile self-propelled mortar system based on an armored version of the Ural-4320 6×6 military truck chassis. The gun was designed by Nabrosok R&D. It has a combined semi-automatic rifled cannon that fires all mortar mines and shells. It can fire like a howitzer or a mortar, as well as point-blank. For the first time in Russia Flox received a system to detect laser emission and set up optical disturbances.

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The Drok is an 82mm mobile mortar carrier vehicle specially designed for Russian airborne troops. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The Drok is a self-propelled mortar carrier vehicle that was designed for the Russian Airborne Forces based on Typhoon-VDV 4x4 armored chassis. The vehicle is designed to support airborne assault units.

The Drok is armed with an 82mm breach-loading mortar with manual charging. The crew can fire at targets without leaving the combat compartment. The mortar can fire ordinary and new mines with a longer range and bigger firepower. Drok weighs 14 tons. The crew of the vehicle includes four men.

The mortar of the Drok vehicle has a firing range from 100 to 6,000 m. It has a rate of fire of 12 rounds per minute and the vehicle can carry a total of 40 ammunition. 

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The Magnolia is a 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar carrier based on DT-30PM, a two-section articulated carrier vehicle. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The Magnolia is a 120mm tracked self-propelled mortar system based on the DT-30PM, a two-section articulated carrier with a tracked tractor vehicle at the front and a tracked transport vehicle at the rear linked by a steering mechanism. For the Magnolia artillery system, the first vehicle is used to tow a modified cargo vehicle fitted with a turret armed with a 120 mm mortar. A bank of six 81 mm electrically operated 81 mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted to each side at the front of the turret.

The Magnolia seems to be fitted with the same turret as the Russian-made 2S31 Vena, a 120 mm tracked self-propelled artillery system. The 2S31 Vena is equipped with a three-man turret armed with 2A80 120-mm rifled gun. The turret has a traverse of 360° with an elevation from -4º to up to +80º.

The Magnolia has a maximum firing range of 10 km with a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute. The vehicle carries a total of 80 rounds.

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