Lotos self-propelled artillery system (image: TASS)
Russias latest advanced 2S42 Lotos 120mm self-propelled artillery system mounted on the chassis of the BMD-4 airborne infantry fighting vehicle, will be capable of carrying ammunition load twice that of the 2S9 Nona Gun, its predecessor, Chief Designer Veniamin Schastlivtsev said Wednesday.
"The Nonas ammunition load is 20 rounds while here [on the Lotos] it is actually twice as much," the chief designer told TASS.
The prototype of the new artillery system was unveiled on Wednesday. It will soon undergo preliminary trials.
"We have passed through the assembly stage and the vehicle has left the hangar for the first time. Subsequently, we will be fine-tuning all the systems and preparing for preliminary trials," he said.
"As of now, the gun is fully equipped and is ready for its operation in the manual mode. All the components have passed entry control and have been accepted by the technical control department and the defense representative office. The guns control system software will begin to be tested very soon," Sergei Abramov, Industrial Director of Rostec said.
The 2S42 Lotos air-droppable floating self-propelled artillery gun will replace 2S9 Nona 120mm self-propelled artillery-mortar systems. The new artillery vehicle weighs 18 tonnes, can develop a maximum speed of 70 km/h, operates a 450hp engine and has a cruising range of no less than 500 km.
The artillery system has a crew of four, a rate of fire of six-eight rounds per minute and a firing range of 13 km. The preparation and delivery of fire are maximally automated.
The Lotos is a follow-up and a replacement of the Zauralets project, which was aimed at developing a new self-propelled artillery gun for the Airborne Force to boost the paratroopers firepower and maneuverable capabilities.
The Lotos system will be furnished with a 120 mm gun as its basic armament, while its artillery round will be heavily upgraded to be slightly behind the 152mm shell by its firepower.
Along with the Lotos system, Russia is developing a Zavet-D new artillery fire control vehicle. Both systems will feature the ability to be transported by military transport aircraft and air-dropped by a parachute.