Russian forces order 2 new light self-propelled artillery systems

Artillery has been at the heart of Russian strategies for decades, which is why Russian forces today have 8 to 10 times more artillery systems than their Western counterparts, once reduced to the number of soldiers engaged. This explains in particular the dynamism of Russian manufacturers to design new, high-performance systems, like the Koalitsiya-SV or the Lotos which will soon enter service. More specifically, Russian forces use a significant number of howitzers and towed mortars to provide support as close as possible to combat zones. However, the lack of mobility of towed systems makes them, today, very vulnerable as long as the adversary also has artillery systems and counter-battery radar.

This is why the Russian General Staff began work, at the beginning of the decade, with a view to transforming its fleet of towed 120mm and 82mm mortar systems to integrate them into light armored vehicles. with high mobility, like what France is doing with the CAESAR and the Griffon 2R2M. This program, called “nabrosok” (sketch in Russian), is currently completing its test phases, which allowed the Ministry of Defense to place an order for the first serial copies, according to statements made by General Alexei Maslov, representative for military and technical cooperation with the Uralvagonzavod company. Concretely, these are two new systems which will soon enter service in the Russian infantry forces.

phlox floks 120 mm self propelled mortar system 3 e1550723395914 Defense analyzes | Artillery | Construction of armored vehicles
The Floks is equipped with an advanced information and aiming system, allowing it to provide rapid and precise artillery support to the engaged forces.

The 120 mm Floks self-propelled cannon, named after the Phlox flower, is a hybrid artillery system allowing use ranging from direct fire cannon to ballistic fire from howitzers and mortars, identical to that equipped with theThe new LOTOS self-propelled artillery system which enters service with the Russian Airborne Forces. The cannon can thus fire all ammunition of this caliber, at a range of 13 km when it comes to fragmentation or explosive howitzer shells, at 7,5 km when it comes to shells from mortar or mines. It can also use the Kitolov-2M guided shell to attack armored targets, with a maximum range of 10 km. The Floks thus carries 80 ammunition of different types, 28 of which are immediately ready for use. Its rate of fire is 8 shells per minute in howitzer configuration, and 10 in mortar configuration. It also has an advanced automatic aiming system, giving it great precision, according to the tests carried out.

The Floks is mounted on a 6×6 Ural-63704-010 armored truck powered by a 440 HP YaMZ-652 turbo-diesel engine (Renault dCi 11 produced under license), giving it a top speed of 85 km/h, and significant all-terrain capabilities, with a vertical clearance of 1 m. The crew has a living space armored against small arms and shrapnel, and resistant to IEDs up to 2 kg. The truck is also fitted with a remotely operated 12,7 mm turret for self-defense, and can operate in contaminated environments.

Drok 82mm mortar Defense Analysis | Artillery | Construction of armored vehicles
The Drok at the Army 2019 show.

Mounted on a 4×4 Taifun K-4386 armored vehicle, the 2S41 Drok (genet in Russian) carries an 82mm mortar with a range of 100m to 6000m, as well as 40 rounds of ammunition and a 7,62mm self-propelled machine gun. protection. Equipped with a 350 hp diesel engine, it reaches a speed of 100 km/h, for a range of 1200 km. The crew of 4 soldiers is protected against small arms and shrapnel, but it is the great maneuverability of the Taifun which provides the best protection to the vehicle, which also has communication and digital targeting systems.

It is currently unknown how many Floks and Droks will be ordered, but Russian forces still have nearly 2000 mortars and towed artillery pieces of this caliber in line, and it is more than likely that these two systems will be called upon to replace a large part of them. They will then reinforce the approximately 2600 tracked armored self-propelled artillery systems in service, and the approximately 1500 multiple rocket launchers that accompany them.

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