MOSCOW, November 6. /TASS/. The Moscow Design and Production Center Universal (part of Technodinamika Group within the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) will hold dynamic drop tests of the Lotos self-propelled artillery gun being developed for Russia’s Airborne Force, Company CEO Ivan Androsov said on Wednesday.
The dynamic drop tests will simulate the conditions of air-dropping the artillery gun with the help of the landing craft and assess its technical condition after the landing.
"Universal is currently taking part in this R&D work. We have made a set of the landing system for this gun to confirm the possibility of air-dropping this weapon and are planning to hold dynamic drop tests before the end of the year," Androsov informed.
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 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 120mm gun as its basic armament while its artillery round will be heavily upgraded to be slightly behind the 152mm shell by its firepower.
The artillery gun is mounted on the chassis of the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. As the Rostec press office reported, the new artillery vehicle weighs 18 tonnes, can develop a maximum speed of 70km/h, operates a 450hp engine and has a cruising range of no less than 500km.
The artillery system has a crew of four, a rate of fire of six-eight rounds per minute and a firing range of 13km. The preparation and delivery of fire are maximally automated.
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.