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Russia starts State tests for 2S42 Lotos airborne amphibious 120mm self-propelled artillery system.

| 2023

As reported by, the amphibious 120mm self-propelled howitzer 2S42 Lotos, developed for the Airborne forces, enters the stage of state tests. According to the interim general director of TsNIItochmash Anton Semenyako, the preparation for testing is currently being completed.
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2S42 Lotos 120mm self-propelled mortar system fired 400 rounds during tests (Picture source: Rostec)

Preliminary tests of the 2S42 Lotos were completed in August 2022. The vehicle was tested on land and water, as well as airdropped from various altitudes and at different angles. After that, the developer began to correct the identified shortcomings. In particular, the on-board electronics, the shell loading system and the chassis needed refinement. Last but not least, lessons drawn from the war in Ukraine have been applied.

The Lotos has been created to meet the needs of the Russian Airborne Forces. This artillery system can be used as a mortar or howitzer. The breech-loaded mortar is mounted on a chassis based on the Sprut-SDM-1 airborne (BMD-4M) light tank, with a modified compartment for the 120mm mortar with a high degree of automation for preparing and carrying out firing operations. It weighs 18 tons and its 450 hp 2V-06-2 diesel engine enables it to reach 70 km/h, with a range of at least 500 km. The self-propelled mortar is operated by a crew of four.

It has a rate of fire of 6 to 8 rounds per minute, with a firing range of up to 13km using rifled rounds. The armor-piercing round penetrates a 600-650 mm steel plate at a range of 1,000 m. It is also compatible with the Kitolov-2M laser-guided rounds. These have a maximum range of 10 km and a hit probability of around 80-90%.

The Lotos is fully amphibious. On the water, it is propelled by two waterjets. An Ilyushin Il-76 Candid military transport can carry two of these vehicles that can also be airdropped with the 4-man crew on board, a “formula” that makes these men certainly feel very uncomfortable, to say the least.

The Lotos is intended to replace the 120mm self-propelled artillery and mortar mounts 2S9 Nona that is in service with the Airborne Forces. The Lotos outperforms the Nona in terms of firing range, carried ammunition and protection.

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2S42 Lotos 120mm self-propelled mortar system displayed at Armya defense forum in Kubinka (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Defense News August 2023

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