MOSCOW, ($1 = 76.33 Russian rubles) – The Russian state company Rostec and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation plan in 2022 to start state tests of the latest Russian development in artillery defense – the 120-mm self-propelled Lotus airborne artillery . The information was carried by the state news agency TASS, based on a press release from Rostec.
According to the criteria established for the state tests, Lotus will have to demonstrate mobility, speed and flexibility of movement. This test involves a total of 600 km – 50% – on dirt tracks, 30% – on paved 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 accuracy and hitting speed. Different ammunition will be used, say TASS.
Lotus self-propelled artillery is being developed for Russian special forces known as Blue Berets. This type of weapon system is designed to destroy artillery, tanks, manpower, command posts and enemy defenses. The lotus is classified as an amphibious air cannon, ie. can be parachuted from an airplane. In the future, the Russians will transport self-propelled artillery to the battlefield using the IL-76 heavy military transport aircraft, which will be able to load and transport two Lotus artillery systems.
In 2020, the Russian army carried out the first tests of this artillery, covering 400 km and firing only 14 rounds.
Main characteristics of the Lotus self-propelled artillery
Lotus is a 120mm self-propelled artillery gun. 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, road mileage is 500 km. The artillery system is integrated on the basic Russian-made BMD-4M chassis. Experts say this chassis provides good ride on rough terrain and good swimming.
Rostec does not provide information about the engine, but indicates what its main characteristic is – 450 horsepower, which allows Lotus to move at a maximum speed of 70 km/h on the highway and 10 km/h on a off-road rough terrain. With a single tank charge, the Lotus travels up to 500 km.
The 120mm gun is designed to accurately fire conventional ammunition. The gun hits targets between 13 and 25 km, and the maximum range is achieved by firing a guided active-reactive sliding projectile [code: Glissada]. Rostec sources say that the Lotus artillery complex will also be tested with this type of projectile.
According to the developers of the 120mm gun, Lotus will be able to fire between six and eight shots per minute, with significantly reduced recoil due to the use of a muzzle brake. In addition to the manual, the 120mm gun is remotely controlled with an integrated computer that automatically calculates 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 canisters filled with aerosols. They create an aerosol cloud of interference in the air in the visible, infrared and radio frequency domains with wavelengths, which protects the war machine. It’s just that the extended range of wavelengths is a feature of the new complex,” Rostec explains.
Russian military engineers developed the Lotus as a stand-alone system. Military experts suggest that on the battlefield Lotus will interact with the Sprut-SD self-propelled gun. The Sprut-SD has the power of the main battle tank: it fires from a 125 mm gun, which makes it equipped with a wide choice of ammunition – armor-piercing sub-caliber ammunition, high-explosive cumulative projectiles and those that explode from a distance.
Russian tactical analysts claim that the joint use of Lotus and Sprut-SD will provide greater possibilities for carrying out a successful mission than 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 constantly combat ready. Paratroopers need weapons that can be dropped from the plane with them and then support their advance. The creation of the Lotus is part of a major modernization of the Airborne Forces of the Russian Federation to increase their mobility and firepower,” said Dmitry Litovkin, editor of the Independent Military Review.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that Lotus was first presented exactly three years ago – at the beginning of 2019.
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