Rostec subsidiary TsNIITochmash presented the 2S42 Lotos air-droppable amphibious self-propelled gun-mortar system at the Army 2019 defence exhibition held in Kubinka, outside Moscow, from 25 to 30 June. The system had previously been displayed as a scale model at the 2017 exhibition.
The 2S42 Lotos is intended for Russia’s Airborne Forces (VDV) as a light artillery vehicle with significant mobility, and is based on the same stretched variant of the BMD-4M chassis as the Sprut-SDM1, with seven roadwheels instead of the five on the BMD-4M. The BMD-4M chassis is in wide use with the VDV – it can be air-dropped with all crew inside, so that the vehicle is ready for combat within moments after landing. According to Veniamin Schastlitsev, the head designer of Lotos, the air-drop capability was required for Lotos too.
The 2S42 weighs 18 tonnes and can likewise be air-dropped with its crew of four from inside Il-76 or larger aircraft. It is amphibious with no preparation and capable of reaching a top speed of 70 km/h on roads, or 40 km/h off-road, a factsheet displayed with the vehicle said.
Lotos’ primary armament appears to be a breech-loaded smoothbore 120 mm gun-mortar, designated 2A80-1, and this is the same armament as that used on the 2S34 Hosta self-propelled artillery system. It is understood to have entered service with the Russian forces in 2011.
The 2A80-1 is capable of firing 6–8 rounds/minute, has a minimum range of 1 km, and a maximum range of 13 km. The turret for the gun-mortar is capable of traversing through 360° and can fire from any traverse position.
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