Russia has begun state trials of its new 2S42 Lotos airborne amphibious 120mm self-propelled artillery system, according to a report by the TASS news agency.
The Lotos provides fire support for airborne and amphibious assault units, engages enemy fortifications and armoured vehicles, and fires various types of ammunition, including high-explosive, fragmentation, smoke, and illumination rounds. It can also fire laser-guided projectiles up to 13 km away.
The Lotos is based on the chassis of the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle, which allows it to be air-dropped by parachute or transported by military transport aircraft. The Lotos has a crew of four and weighs about 18 tons.
It has a maximum speed of 70 km/h on land and 10 km/h on water. The Lotos is equipped with a 120mm 2A80-1 rifled gun, which can fire up to 6-8 rounds per minute. The Lotos has a maximum firing range of 13 km and a minimum firing range of 1 km. The Lotos can carry up to 40 rounds of ammunition in its automated loading system.
The Lotos is expected to replace the older 2S9 Nona-S self-propelled mortar system, which has been in service with the Russian airborne forces since the 1980s. The Lotos is part of the Typhoon-Airborne family of vehicles, which also includes the BMD-4M infantry fighting vehicle, the BTR-MDM armoured personnel carrier, and the Rakushka multipurpose armoured vehicle. The Typhoon-Airborne vehicles are designed to enhance the mobility, firepower, and survivability of the Russian airborne forces in various combat scenarios.