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2S42 120mm Lotos

The prospective Lotos mortar when replacing the artillery of the Airborne Forces artillery units will replace the Nona 120 mm caliber mortar. Both weapons systems will be capable of transporting military transport aircraft by aircraft and parachuting. The project "Lotos" is the development and replacement of the project "Zauralets" in which it was supposed to create a new self-propelled artillery gun for the airborne forces. The main weapon of the Lotus will be a 120 mm caliber gun, while its artillery shot will be seriously upgraded, which in its power is slightly less than a shot from a 152 mm caliber.

Prior to the Lotos project, domestic designers were developing an airborne installation for Zauralets-D. The domestic defense industry began to create a promising SAO with the code "Zauralets-D", which involved the development of a universal combat module suitable for mounting on wheeled and tracked chassis. It could be equipped with an instrument of 120 or 152 mm caliber. In accordance with the peculiarities of future operation, the self-propelled gun was supposed to differ in small size and weight, determined taking into account the capabilities of military transport aviation. In the early summer of 2016, domestic media reported on the abandonment of the project Zauralets-D in favor of the new development. The objectives of the new project remained the same, however, the customer partially changed the existing terms of reference.

Talking about the current work on the "Lotus", the head of the Central Research Institute Tochmash noted that the new self-propelled gun has a lot of differences from the previous one. A new chassis, another turret, a modified fire control system, etc. are proposed. The most important feature of the project "Lotos" is a munition with great modernization potential.

In November 2016r, the management of the developer organization revealed the current plans and the approved project schedule. Then it was claimed that the prototype of the new self-propelled gun would be sent for testing in 2019, and mass production would start in 2020. Thus, over the past months, the designers of the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering had been able to prepare the necessary documentation, meeting the schedule of work. Despite the complexity of the new project, the dates for the start of its next stages remain the same and are not adjusted.

At the International Military Technical Forum "Army-2017" the Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation at its stand, among other things, demonstrated the model of a prospective 120-mm self-propelled artillery unit 2S42 for the Air- landing troops, created for the R&D Lotos, with the leading role of JSC Central Scientific Research Institute of Precision Engineering (JSC TsNIITOCHMASH).

The proposed version of the CAO 2S42 "Lotos" is proposed to be built on the basis of a modified landing gear for the BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle. Tracked vehicles based on serial units should receive an elongated body and an additional pair of road wheels in the undercarriage. Such processing allows to obtain additional internal volumes necessary for the installation of a new combat compartment with a full-circle turret.

Apparently, the hull, based on existing units, will retain basic parameters, such as the level of body armor. The layout of the internal volumes should also remain the same: the front compartment will accommodate the control compartment, behind which the combat compartment should be placed. Feed is intended for installation of the engine, transmission and other units. The diesel engine and tracked undercarriage with seven track rollers on each side will have to provide high mobility on roads and on rough terrain, as well as allow the car to float.

On the chase of the roof is proposed to mount a new turret of sufficient size. As the model showed, an armor cap of a relatively simple form, formed by several large flat panels, was created as part of the Lotos project. The frontal part of the tower is assembled from inclined parts, and the fighting compartment is closed from above by a horizontal roof. The fore is equipped with a rectangular embrasure, covered with a cylindrical mask of small width. On the outer surface of the turret, both on the roof and on the stern, there are additional covers of various devices.

The self-propelled gun 2S42 will be able to hit targets at ranges from 1 to 13 km. The types of targets hit are not specified, but it can be assumed that various types of projectiles will allow fighting with manpower or unprotected equipment, as well as with armored vehicles or enemy fortifications. The crew of 2S42 "Lotos" consists of four people. As shown by the mock-up shown earlier, two crew members will be placed in front of the hull: one seat (driver) is located on the longitudinal axis, the second - to the left and behind of it. Two other crew members should be in the turret and, apparently, responsible for the operation of all existing weapons. The availability of automation equipment for the crew compartment greatly simplifies their work.

Based on the chassis of a serial armored vehicle, the self-propelled artillery guns will differ in increased dimensions, first of all in length. The combat weight of the armored vehicle is set at 18 tons. The dimensions and the mass of the self-propelled gun correspond to the capabilities of the existing military transport aircraft. This will allow to transport the armored vehicle through the air or to organize the parachute landing. Thanks to such capabilities, the Airborne Forces units will be able to have sufficient firepower in different conditions and situations.

The 2S42 system is designed to replace 120mm self-propelled mortar guns of the airborne troops 2S9 Nona-S, 2S9-1 Sviristelka, 2S9-1M Nona-SM. In 2016 Dmitry Semizorov, general director of JSC "TsNIITOCHMASH", in his interviews, stated that the first prototype of the CAO for Lotus "R&D" would be built in 2017, with the completion of the State testing of the system in 2019 and the transfer to mass production in 2020.

As one can judge, SAO 2S42 uses an extended seven-ton chassis on the basis of BMD-4M and will be equipped with a highly automated turret fighting compartment with a 120-mm gun. The start of the R&D on the SAO 2S42 Lotos with 120mm caliber for the Airborne Forces of Russia was started in 2016 in place of the previously created TsNIITOCHMASh for the Airborne Advanced Self-Propelled Artillery Unit 2S36 with a 152 mm howitzer 2A89 "Zauralets-D". Work on the ROC "Zauralets-D" was suspended after the completion in 2015 of the preliminary testing phase of the prototype SAU 2C36.

A model of a 120-mm self-propelled artillery unit 2S42 for the Airborne Forces, created for the Lotus R & D, with the leading role of JSC Central Scientific Research Institute of Precision Engineering (JSC TSNIITOCHMASH), at the stand of the Main Missile and Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Federation in the exposition of the International Military Technical Forum "Army-2017".

Prospective artillery system "Lotos" and fire control vehicle "Zavet-D" will be tested in 2019, after which they will be put into service of the Airborne Forces, the Russian Defense Ministry said on 17 December 2018. "In 2019, before adopting the Airborne Forces, the final state tests will be suitable ... 120mm self-propelled artillery gun 2S42 Lotos and the Zavet-D artillery fire control vehicle," the report said.

The project "Lotos" is the development and replacement of the project "Zauralets" in which it was supposed to create a new self-propelled artillery gun for the Airborne Forces with the aim of increasing the fire and maneuvering capabilities of the amphibious units. The main weapon of the "Lotus" will be a 120 mm caliber gun. At present, a prototype of the CJSC Lotos is assembled and debugged at the production facilities of TsNIITOCHMASH JSC, the companys press service reported 02 January 2019. also fighting and driving performance.

The car can be transported by military transport aircraft and parachuted. Earlier in the Russian military, it was noted that the promising Lotos weapon, when commissioned, will replace the 120 mm Nona gun in the artillery units of the Airborne Forces. In September 2017, Dmitry Semizorov, then General Director of TsNIITOCHMASH, told TASS that the Lotos self-propelled artillery gun would pass state tests in 2019, and immediately with the new Zavet-D control vehicle. According to him, the military set the task to start mass production of a new weapon in 2020.





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