Russia Testing the New 2S42 Lotos for the Air Force

  • Despite a number of upgrades, Nona is outdated and should be replaced by Lotos.
  • During the tests, the self-propelled gun was tested in motion, the Lotos passed 80 kilometers, and in addition, 14 shots were fired.
  • Lotos was created with all identified deficiencies that Nona had.

A Russian Air Force squadron is expecting new 2S42 Lotos. In 2019, at the Army forum, the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering (TSNIITOCHMASH) presented a new 120-mm self-propelled artillery gun 2S42 Lotos, which should replace the Russian landing forces self-propelled gun-howitzer-mortar 2S9 Nona-S.

The 2S9 NONA is an extremely light-weight self-propelled and air-droppable 120 mm gun-mortar designed in the Soviet Union, which entered service in 1981. The 2S9 Nona-S is an amphibious vehicle that can be propelled through the water by two rear water-jets

Despite a number of upgrades, Nona is outdated and should be replaced by Lotos. Production of the previous model began in 1981 at the Perm machine-building plant.

TSNIITOCHMASH is a major designer and producer of weapons for the Russian military and MVD Internal Troops. The name is an initialism for Central Scientific – Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering.

Promising self-propelled artillery gun 2S42 Lotos, being developed for delivery to the air force (VDV), received acceptance tests.

The Russian Airborne Forces, or VDV, is a military branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. First formed before World War II, the force undertook two significant airborne operations and a number of smaller jumps during the war, and for many years after 1945 was the largest airborne force in the world.

Furthermore, as RIA Novosti reports, citing its own source in the Russian defense industry:

“The promising 120 mm self-propelled artillery gun Lotos has already passed presentation tests. now it is undergoing acceptance tests, during which specialists of the military representation in TSNIITOCHMASH accept a sample and give a conclusion about its readiness for preliminary tests.”

During the tests, the self-propelled gun was tested in motion, the Lotos passed 80 kilometers, and in addition, 14 shots were fired. Of the 57 points of acceptance testing, the new weapon has seven more to carry out, including checking the stops, navigation systems and weighing to determine the combat weight.

RIA Novosti was a Russian state-controlled domestic news agency, which used to be one of Russia’s international news agencies until 2013. On 10 November 2014, Rossiya Segodnya launched the Sputnik multimedia platform as the international replacement of RIA Novosti and Voice of Russia.

Moreover, Lotos was created with all identified deficiencies that Nona had more ammunition, tracked chassis of BMD-4M, more powerful 450 HP engine and more advanced fire control system. The Lotos gun has a range of 13 kilometers, which is 200 meters more than the Nona.

The car turned out to be much heavier than the Nona −18 tons, against 8.8 tons of the 2S9-1M modification. At the same time, thanks to the new diesel engine, the maximum speed of the Lotos on the highway is more than that of the Nona — 70 km/h against 60 km / h. The range of both cars is the same-500 kilometers.

The Lotos can use previously issued 120 mm ammunition, while the gun can fire advanced projectiles with a flight correction system. It takes only half a minute for the Lotos to open fire,which is half the same as for the Nona. The gun can fire up to eight rounds per minute.

The advantage of both self-propelled guns is their ability to overcome water obstacles and the ability to land from military transport aircraft Il-76. The development of the Lotos was handled by TSNIITOCHMASH JSC, and the production of a pilot batch of the new self-propelled gun will be carried out at the facilities of JSC “design Bureau of automatic lines named after L. N. Koshkin” in Klimovsk.

Overall, it is just another upgrade. At the same time, Russia continues to grandstand and make big announcements. How the new technology will withstand in combat is unknown. Nevertheless, it is an advanced technology.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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