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Russian Arms Manufacturer Reveals Images Of Its Newest Air-Droppable Self-Propelled Gun

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Russian Arms Manufacturer Reveals Images Of Its Newest Air-Droppable Self-Propelled Gun

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On January 2nd, the Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering (TsNIITochMash) released the first ever photograph of the new Russian 2S42 Lotos air-droppable self-propelled 120 mm gun.

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АО "ЦНИИТОЧМАШ" публикует собственный календарь на 2019 год В календарь АО "ЦНИИТОЧМАШ" вошли как уже зарекомендовавшие себя образцы вооружения, так и перспективные разработки, например, плавающее авиадесантируемое самоходное артиллерийское орудие "Лотос" Календарь будет интересен не только специалистам и сотрудникам предприятия, но и всем, кто интересуется развитием стрелкового и артиллерийского вооружения. Помимо описания основных образцов продукции, календарь содержит интересные истории и факты, описывающие процесс их разработки или эксплуатации, которые рассказывают сотрудники ЦНИИТОЧМАШа. В частности, многие слышали о пистолете СР1 «Гюрза», но мало кто знает какое впечатление оставил он у американских коллег после демонстрации своей мощи. Также очень интересной оказалась история создания САО "Лотос", при разработке которого разработчики отдела № 25 впервые применили принцип "золотого сечения". Ознакомиться с календарем АО "ЦНИИТОЧМАШ" можно в галерее. #cniitm #цнииточмаш #календарь #аоцнииточмаш #календарь2019 #лотос #нона-с #СР-1М #НОНА-М1 #2Б-23 #апс #ратник #ср-3м #ср.2мп #печенег #вал #календарь_2019

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The new 2019 calendar shows various arms, while the August one is the Lotos. The model was first unveiled during the Army-2017 international military-technical exhibition, outside Moscow.

The image of the 2S42 Lotos self-propelled gun was accompanied by a statement by Dmitri Melikhov, chief engineer in charge of the Lotus project, who explained that in designing the project, “the lotus flower was a kind of inspiration for us. Notwithstanding its outward fragility, it grows in the most difficult conditions. It is a perfect combination of beauty, grace and indestructibility.”

According to the chief designer, the Lotus airborne artillery system boasts “high ballistic characteristics and effectiveness of ammunition, designed in accordance with the principal of the ‘golden ratio’,” i.e. not only optimal weight and dimensions, but also a graceful silhouette.

It was specifically developed for the Russian Airborne Troops in order to replace their aging 2S9 Nona-S self-propelled gun.

The Lotos is based on the upgraded chassis of the BMD-4 airborne assault vehicle. It is operated by a four-man crew comprising a commander, a driver/mechanic, a gunner, and a loader.

The Lotos is the follow-up and the replacement of the Zauralets project that was designed to create a new self-propelled artillery gun for the Airborne Force.

Global Security reported the following parameters:

“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.”

In addition, according to Zvezda it will also have a rate of fire between 6-8 shots per minute, conversion to and from firing position in 30 seconds, and new high-precision ammunition. The nimble system is believed to have a weight of 18 tonnes and a maximum speed of 70 km per hour.

Another prospective weapon for the Russian Airborne Troops is the Zavet-D artillery fire control vehicle.

It is built on the foundation of the much newer BTR-MD Rakusha transport vehicle,  which boasts superior handling, speed, and navigation of water-based obstacles. BTR-MD’s modern internal design allows for a more comprehensive integration of communication systems, to more rapidly and reliably guide nearby artillery weapons. This modern communication technology is accompanied by improved radars to effectively detect stationary and camouflaged targets. Zavet-D’s digital onboard controls will enable it to control drones, which can be used for forward reconnaissance purposes.

It is also expected to keep the paradrop capabilities of its predecessor. The IL-76 is expected to be able to deploy manned, full operational Zavet-D units while airborne.

In an announcement on December 17th, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that both the Zavet-D and the 2S42 Lotos will enter their final state trials.

“In 2019, the 2S42 Lotos 120mm self-propelled artillery gun and the Zavet-D artillery fire control vehicle will enter final state trials before they are accepted as the armament of the Airborne Force.”

It is expected that the mass-production of the Lotos self-propelled gun will begin in 2020.

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The Russian airborne forces are being remodernized with new equipment, BMD4 and a new 122MM and 152MM SPGs, a new Ratnik paratroop combat system, enabling the paratroop formations along with their airdropped heavy equipment to become veritable mechanized units operating behind enemy lines.

paul ( original )

I think you are expert on these matters, so can I ask a question? To me this looks more like a light tank than a self propelled gun. I only say this because it looks like it has a turret. This being the extent to my being able to differentiate.

Zo Fu

it is basically a self propelled mortar , not a tank with a cannon. Gun-mortars are breech loaded mortars . They are capable of direct fire and combine features of modern infantry mortars together with those
of modern cannon. Such weapons are smoothbore, firing fin stabilised
rounds, using relatively small propellant charges in comparison to
projectile weight. They have short barrels in comparison to guns and are
much more lightly built than guns of a similar calibre . This produces a hybrid weapon
capable of engaging area targets with indirect high angle fire, and also
specific targets such as vehicles and bunkers with direct fire, but have a reduced range
compared to modern gun-howitzers and inferior anti-tank capability
compared to modern anti tank guided weapons.


Self propelled guns have turrets for protection and being able to rotate the gun and aim 360 degrees. This vehicle is based on the BMD chassis which is a VDV version of the BMP3 armored fighting vehicle equipped with a 100MM gun and a 30MM auto cannon.
The paratroopers using BMD4 can use the 100MM gun as a artilery piece or an ATGM launcher depending on threat, 2S42 Lotos will be behind the attacking lines providing indirect fire for the attacking units.

Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

Why 120mm, Russia is using 122mm and 152mm among others, maybe a typing error?
Arming for the international market?

Jean-Luc Cécyre

It’s not based on a 122mm howitzer, it’s an automated and long barrelled version of their 120mm breechloader mortars, it replaces 2S9 Nona.

Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

Arh, i forgot that the Nona is a 120mm piece of joy, thanks

Zo Fu

Zavet-D’s digital onboard controls will enable it to control drones, which can be used for forward reconnaissance purposes…

Today you can control drones via satellites all over the world so maybe Russians are 50 years behind…


So their mistake was a Syria win??????

Tudor Miron

You contol drones via satellites? :) It’s funny when someone talks about something that he has no clue and doesn’t have capacity to use common sense.
And yes, Russia is 50 years behind and Putin has to go :) Is that what you asked Santa to give you? Keep dreaming.


Still dealing with models, though. And there’s no expected due date to enter service, so this doesn’t sound like it’s getting any sort of top priority. The reason they emphasize how efficient it’s size is because it’s supposed to replace the much oversized late Soviet guns that were impractically large. Strictly speaking it only needs to be big enough for an atomic artillery shell and have enough armor to be proof against large grenades.

Daniel Miller

That dosent look like a model at all the rest is almost as vaild as your counter argument to the “MBT’s generation classification beeing invalid”


Shut up and enlist as tanker. Maybe then you’ll do something worth the air you waste.

Daniel Miller

I already served once no need to go again.


launching decoy flares while flying to the moon

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