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Russia deploys new 2S41 Drok self-propelled mortar in Ukraine.

| Defense News Army 2024

In a video posted on Russian social networks, dated February 29, 2024, the crew of a Russian self-propelled mortar, the 2S41 Drok, can be seen reloading and firing at what appears to be Ukrainian positions, according to the VK post. If verified, this would be the first time the new 2S41 has been observed on the front in Ukraine.
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The new 82 mm self-propelled mortar, the 2S41 Drok (Picture source: Rostec)

The deployment of the brand-new 82 mm self-propelled mortar, the 2S41 Drok, by Russian forces on the Ukrainian battlefield would be a first in the conflict. This weapon system, recently introduced into the Russian military arsenal, represents an advancement in terms of mobility, precision, and firepower, thus offering front-line units an increased ability to respond quickly and effectively to threats.

The 2S41 Drok is designed to bridge the gap between traditional towed mortars and heavier, less mobile artillery systems. Its self-propelled platform allows for rapid relocation on the battlefield, an essential characteristic in the context of modern warfare where speed and reactivity are crucial to exploit gaps in enemy lines or to adapt to the dynamic evolutions of the front. Mobility is complemented by an automated aiming and firing system, which increases the accuracy of shots while reducing the time required for preparation.

Based on the K-4386 Typhoon-VDV armored vehicle, the 2S41 Drok is equipped with an 82 mm breech-loaded mortar, allowing for use in both indirect and direct fire thanks to its turret offering sufficient depression. This flexibility is crucial to adapt to various tactical situations encountered on the battlefield. Close-in protection is provided by a remotely operated weapon station equipped with a 7.62 mm machine gun, allowing the crew to engage targets independently of the mortar turret. Defense against laser threats is enhanced by two banks of six smoke grenade dispensers installed on the roof.

The integration of a modern fire control system distinguishes the 2S41 Drok by its ability to calculate firing data, thus optimizing the accuracy and efficiency of missions. The preparation for firing and many other operations are carried out from the combat compartment, with significant automation to increase operational effectiveness.

The 2S41 can fire conventional 82 mm ammunition as well as new-generation bombs offering increased power and range. An additional 82 mm mortar, equipped with a bipod and baseplate, is stored in the vehicle, thus offering dismounted troops the possibility to use it in the field.

In terms of technical characteristics, the 2S41 Drok has a maximum firing range of 6000 meters, with elevation angles of 45 to 85 degrees and azimuth angles of ±35 degrees. The ammunition allowance includes up to 64 82 mm bombs and 500 7.62 mm cartridges, for a crew of four people. The total vehicle weight is 14,500 kg, with a payload capacity of 2,500 kg, and a maximum speed of at least 100 km/h.

Russia has consistently sought to improve its conventional combat capabilities by integrating advanced technologies into its equipment and operational strategies. The use of this self-propelled mortar on Ukrainian soil could therefore be interpreted as a real-world test of the effectiveness of these technological innovations in contemporary conflicts.

The commissioning of the 2S41 Drok in Ukraine thus illustrates the continuation of military innovation and the ongoing adaptation of the Russian armed forces to the changing nature of modern warfare. What remains to be seen are the battlefield reports that will be made.

Russia deploys new 2S41 Drok self propelled mortar on front in Ukraine 925 002Video footage of the 2S41, which is currently believed to be in Ukraine. (Picture source: Russian social media)

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