KLIMOVSK /Moscow Region/, June 5. /TASS/. The advanced Lotos self-propelled artillery system for the Airborne Force is being prepared for preliminary trials, Lotos Chief Designer Veniamin Schastlivtsev said on Wednesday.
"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," the chief designer said during the first demonstration of the vehicle’s operation.
The ammunition load of the 120mm artillery system has been increased twofold compared to its predecessor, the 2S9 Nona gun, he said.
"The Nona’s ammunition load is 20 rounds while here [on the Lotos] it is actually twice as much," the chief designer said.
Russia’s Central Research Institute of Precision Machine-Building (TsNIITochMash) unveiled a prototype of the Lotos 120mm self-propelled artillery system for the Airborne Force on Wednesday. The gun’s operation was demonstrated on the Institute’s premises in the Moscow Region.
The defense contractor showed the Lotos artillery system in motion for the first time. The vehicle drove through the enterprise’s territory, including its drive at a speed, demonstrated the rotation of its turret and a change in its ground clearance, raised and lowered its gun. The vehicle also made a test blank shot in the presence of journalists.
"Today we rolled out the prototype of the Lotos self-propelled artillery system for the first time. 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 gun’s control system software will begin to be tested very soon," the press office of Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec quoted its Industrial Director Sergei Abramov as saying.
Lotos self-propelled artillery system
Russia is developing the 2S42 Lotos air-droppable floating self-propelled artillery gun to boost the firepower of the Airborne Force and replace operational 2S9 Nona 120mm self-propelled artillery-mortar systems.
The artillery gun is mounted on the chassis of the BMD-4 airborne infantry fighting vehicle. As the Rostec press office reported, 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.