2S4 M-1975 Tyulpan [Tulip Tree]
240-mm self-propelled mortar
The 240-mm self-propelled mortar known to the West as the M-1975 is known as the SM-240 (2S4) by the former Soviet Army, although its more common name is the Tyulpan, or Tulip Tree. The M-1975 consists of a much modified GMZ tracked minelaying vehicle carrying a 240-mm M-240 breech-loading mortar on the hull rear.
Once the Soviet leadership introduced the laser-guided "Smel'chak" [dare-devil] mortar round into Afghanistan, the massive 2S4 self-propelled 240mm mortar proved effective in destroying Mujahideen strongpoints and fortifications located in caves and terrain folds that howitzers could not hit. In June 1985, Senior Lieutenant A. Beletskiy employed his 2S4 battery against a Mujahideen stronghold that artillery could not engage. The stronghold was located near the Pandshir valley and garrisoned by Mujahideen of Ahmed Shah Masood. Lt. Beletskiy used a laser range finder to determine that the distance from the target was 2350 meters. He then fired a conventional HE round spotting round--evidently to establish the PGM footprint. He adjusted his firing data and then fired a ground laser-guided "Smel'chak" round. It hit the target exactly. The 2S4 battery destroyed the Mujahideen stronghold with just twelve rounds.
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