MOSCOW, ($1=76.33 Russian Rubles) — The Russian state company Rostec and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation plan in 2022 to begin state tests of the latest Russian development in artillery defense – self-propelled airborne 120mm Lotus artillery. The information was disseminated by the state news agency TASS, based on a press release from Rostec.
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According to the set criteria for state tests, Lotus will have to show mobility, speed, and flexibility of movement. This test involves a total of 600 km – 50% – on dirt tracks, 30% – on cobblestones and gravel roads, 10% – off-road, and the same amount of surface. During these tests, Lotus will have to fire a minimum of 300 artillery shells to assess long-range, accurate target hitting and speed. Different ammunition will be used, say TASS.
Lotus self-propelled artillery is being developed for Russian special forces known as the Blue Berets. This type of weapon system is designed to destroy enemy artillery, tanks, manpower, command posts, and enemy defenses. The lotus is categorized as an air amphibious cannon, ie. can be parachuted from an airplane. In the future, the Russians will transport self-propelled artillery to the battlefield through the heavy military transport aircraft IL-76, which will be able to load and transport two Lotus artillery systems.
In 2020, the Russian army conducted the first tests of this artillery, covering 400 km and firing only 14 shots.
Main characteristics of Lotus self-propelled artillery
Lotus is a 120 mm self-propelled artillery cannon. This platform weighs 14 tons and can be landed from the air on the PBS-950U parachute system. The maximum speed of Lotus on the highway is 70 km / h, on the surface – 10 km / h, the mileage on the road is 500 km. The artillery system is integrated on the Russian-made base chassis BMD-4M. Experts say that this chassis allows good driving on uneven terrain and good swimming.
Rostec does not provide information about the engine but says what is its main feature – 450 horsepower, which allows Lotus to move at a maximum speed of 70 km / h on the highway and 10 km / h on uneven off-road terrain. With a single tank charge, the Lotus travels up to 500 km.
The 120-mm cannon is designed to fire conventional ammunition with precision. The cannon hits targets between 13 and 25 km, and the maximum range is achieved by firing a guided active-reactive sliding projectile [code: Glissada]. Sources at Rostec say the Lotus artillery complex will also be tested with this type of projectile.
According to the developers of the 120mm cannon, Lotus will be able to perform between six and eight shots per minute, with a significantly reduced recoil due to the use of a muzzle brake. In addition to manual, 120mm cannon is controlled remotely with an integrated computer that automatically calculates the position. The Lotus self-propelled artillery is additionally armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun, which is also manually or remotely controlled.
Lotus has anti-tank protection and an optoelectronic interference system. “When an attack is detected, the complex releases cartridges with aerosol-forming filling. They create an aerosol cloud of interference in the air in the visible, infrared, and radio frequency ranges with wavelengths, which protects the war machine. It’s just that the extended range of wavelengths is a hallmark of the new complex,” Rostec explains.
Russian military engineers have developed the Lotus as an autonomous system. Military experts suggest that on the battlefield Lotus will interact with the self-propelled gun Sprut-SD. Sprut-SD has the power of the main battle tank: it fires with a 125mm cannon, making it with a large selection of ammunition – armor-piercing sub-caliber ammunition, cumulative, high-explosive projectiles, and those that detonate remotely.
Russian tactical analysts say the joint use of Lotus and Sprut-SD will provide greater opportunities to complete a successful mission than the airborne “blue berets”. “The development of the Lotus is fully in line with the concept of using airborne forces as rapid response units that are in constant combat readiness. Paratroopers need weapons that can be dropped from the plane with them and then support their progress. The creation of the Lotus is part of a major modernization of the Russian Federation’s airborne forces to increase their mobility and firepower,” said Dmitry Litovkin, editor of the Independent Military Review.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that Lotus was presented for the first time exactly three years ago – in early 2019.
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