Russia has started mass production of the brand new arctic artillery complex “Magnolia”. It has already been reported that the weapon system was successfully tested in cold temperatures in northern latitudes. The Magnolia self-propelled artillery system is built on the DT-30PM chassis of the two-link armored tracked carrier and can perform various tasks in hard-to-reach areas and wetlands in the Far North. This family of Caterpillar all-terrain vehicles has been specially designed for use in harsh climatic conditions and off-road circumstances in the Arctic, isolated regions of Siberia, the Far East and the Far North. The DT-30PM, the “ubiquitous” variant of the all-terrain vehicle, has armored protection for the habitable compartment.
Mognolia SPG was developed by Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), which is part of the state-owned Rostec.
In 2017, the head of the Main Rocket and Artillery Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Nikolai Parshin, announced the development of the 120 mm Magnolia self-propelled artillery gun on the chassis of a two-link tracked armored vehicle and Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system on the DT-30PM snow and swamp vehicle.
The characteristics of the Magnolia were first revealed at the Army-2019 international military technical event when the developer presented promotional materials for self-propelled weapons for inspection. The first model of the self-propelled gun was exhibited during Army-2020.
According to published information, the gun is mounted on a two-link tracked all-terrain vehicle called DT-10PM Vityaz. It has a load capacity of 10 tons and weighs 27.5 tons. It is driven by an 800 horsepower B-46-5C diesel engine, allowing the system to reach a maximum speed of 45 km/h. When crossing water barriers, the speed can reach 6 km/h. The battery has a range of 700 kilometers.
The rear hull houses the 120mm 2A80 rifled semi-automatic cannon. The gun has the combat capabilities of a howitzer and a mortar. The construction of the tower allows the shooter to perform a circular horizontal pickup and raise the barrel of the gun at an angle ranging from -5 to +80 degrees.
The gun can fire high-explosive fragmentation projectiles up to 8.5 km away, and the range can be extended to 10 km when using guided rockets. The rate of fire is ten rounds per minute and an ammunition load of 80 rounds.
The Magnolia crew includes four people. According to the Central Research Institute, Petrel, “Magnolia” can fire ammunition and anti-tank guided missiles. Additionally, it can perform air defense and electronic warfare.
DT-30PM The Vityaz two-link all-terrain vehicle is already used in the Arctic variant of the Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile system.
The new self-propelled gun will be widely used to react quickly to the landing of any enemy sabotage unit or any attempt to gain a foothold in the Arctic or the Far North. It can be quickly transferred to the scene and engaged in combat support of the Russian army.
As previously stated, Magnolia is armed with a 120mm weapon that can function as a howitzer and mortar. This is important for northern latitudes, as the shooter can use various types of ammunition, including cumulative, high-explosive, thermobaric, incendiary, and even cluster ammunition. It is essential that this system can hold a large amount of ammunition and that personnel have somewhere to hide in the event of severe frost. Magnolia is a one-of-a-kind weapon; there is nothing else like it in the world today.
Motovilikha Plants (Perm) is in charge of the development of the weapon. The same gun is used on the 120 mm self-propelled gun based on BMP-3 2S31 “Vena”.
A distinctive feature of the gun is the ability to fire both mines and 120 mm projectiles with ready-made rifling. At the same time, thanks to the caliber, Russian mines and ammunition of NATO countries can be suitable for shooting. Additionally, the KM-8 Gran-M1 high-precision mine can be used with the 2A80 cannon.
The Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command now has land formations, including the 14th Army Corps. The 80th and 200th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigades, known as Arctic, are part of this corps. The brigades are equipped with T-80BVM tanks and various specialized equipment, such as DT-10 and DT-30 two-section tracked all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.
Standard army 122-mm 2S1 “Gvozdika” self-propelled guns are also in service with these units. This equipment has limited applicability on marshy ground and deep snow cover. The advent of a 120 mm self-propelled artillery gun based on the chassis of the DT-30 two-section tracked all-terrain vehicle, which has high mobility, would significantly expand the combat capabilities of the Russian Arctic brigades. When a towed mortar division is replaced by a 2S31 division, the combat capability of a tank or motorized rifle regiment roughly doubles.