Russia uses 240mm 2S4 Tyulpan to fire FRAG-HE round with 32kg TNT

MOSCOW, ($1=65.50 Russian Rubles) — Russia’s armed forces use the Soviet-made 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled heavy mortar in their offensive near Mariupol to fire on the Azovstal steel plant. A photo posted on Twitter on May 13 captured the moment 2S4 Tyulpan fired a mortar shell. The text to it does not provide more information, such as when it was made. The photo also shows that the 240mm 2S4 Tyulpan is located between residential buildings.

Russia uses 240mm 2S4 Tyulpan to fire FRAG-HE round with 32kg TNT
Photo: Twitter

Experts suggest that the projectile is 240mm 3F5 Smelchak [Daredevil in English]. This is a high-explosive [HE], semi-active laser-guided mortar projectile. 3F5 Smelchak can be fired in two ways: electrically or mechanically. The projectile consists of a seeker that is activated as soon as the T-90 fuze is activated. 3F5 Smelchak also has a second fuze, which is internal – 3VT25.

The warhead contains a fragmented highly explosive charge or FRAG-HE and is said to have an explosive power equivalent to 32 kg of TNT. The 3F5 Smelchak is powered by several small rocket engines. Flight stabilization is performed by up to six sliding fins located in the rear.

Russia uses 240mm 2S4 Tyulpan to fire FRAG-HE round with 32kg TNT

2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled mortar

2S4 Tyulpan is a heavy self-propelled mortar designed and manufactured in the Soviet era. 2S4 Tyulpan began production in the late ’60s of the last century, entered service in the ’70s, and in 1988 production ceased. It is estimated that about 590 units of 2S4 Tyulpan were produced.

It is currently in service only in Russia, but before the fall of the Iron Curtain, it was part of the artillery forces of Czechoslovakia and Iraq. 2S4 Tyulpan has documented participation in the Soviet-Afghan War, Iran-Iraq War, First Chechen War, Second Chechen War, Syrian Civil War, and War in Donbas.

2S4 Tyulpan weighs 30 tons and is 8.5 meters long, 3 meters high, and 3 meters wide. It is manned by a five-member crew. He is armed with a 240mm mortar cannon that fires 240mm mortar projectiles. The armor of the 2S4 Tyulpan is a minimum of 20 mm. As an additional weapon, this heavy self-propelled mortar has a 7.62 mm PKT light machine gun installed.

Russia uses 240mm 2S4 Tyulpan to fire FRAG-HE round with 32kg TNT
Photo: Wikipedia

The 2S4 Tyulpan has 520 horsepower [17 horsepower per ton] thanks to a V59 V-12 liquid-cooled diesel engine. The suspension is a torsion bar type. The maximum speed that the mortar can reach is 62 km / h, and with one refueling the tank can go 420 km.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

What a downed Mi-28 looks like - detached missile tubes, rotor, blades
Photo: Twitter

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.


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