Some details of one of the projects currently being developed for advanced equipment for airborne forces have become known. Representatives of the industry disclosed part of the plans regarding the timing of the project "Lotos". According to the latest data, the main part of the design work is expected to be completed in the coming years, after which the prospective sample will be put to the test and can count on the start of mass production.
On November 5, Dmitry Semizorov, Director General of the Central Scientific Research Institute of Precision Engineering (TsNIITochmash), told the press about the existing schedule of work on the topic “Lotos”. A new self-propelled artillery gun will be developed over the next few years. On the 2019 year scheduled tests of the prototype. In the same year it is planned to carry out all the necessary checks, the results of which will be used to decide on the adoption of equipment for service. Serial production of Loz can be launched in 2020 year. Such terms, as noted by D. Semizorov, were approved by the customer.
Also, the head of the enterprise-developer revealed some features of the design. He said that the project is promising self-propelled initially created for mass production in specific enterprises. This means that the project is being developed taking into account the production capabilities of certain organizations of the defense industry, which will have to start production of equipment. Such an approach will greatly simplify the launch of mass production and the release of new technology.
Recall the development of self-propelled artillery "Lotus" started just a few months ago. The start of the new project was announced in June of this year. In this case, the first data on this account were obtained by the media from anonymous sources in the defense industry. Subsequently, officials confirmed the beginning of the development of a new artillery system. In addition, in the statements of the official representatives of the armed forces and industry there were some clarifications of already known information.
Messages about the launch of a new project with the cipher "Lotos" appeared in mid-June this year. Unnamed sources of the domestic press reported that the Ministry of Defense decided to abandon the continuation of work on the Zauralets-D project, the purpose of which was to create self-propelled artillery guns for the airborne forces. At the same time, a decision was made to launch a new project with similar goals. Before the start of the Lotos project, the military department formed updated requirements for promising technology. So, it is known about changes in the requirements for the chassis of the new CAO. It was planned to complete work on the new project by the middle of 2018.
The goal of the Zauralets-D project, which preceded Lotus, was to create a promising self-propelled artillery gun that could replace existing combat vehicles of the Nona-S type. The new development is designed specifically for the airborne troops and therefore has a number of characteristic features. It was mentioned that in the framework of the Zauralets-D project, two versions of the 120 and 152 mm caliber guns are being created. The gun was supposed to be placed on a combat module suitable for installation on different chassis. The CAO was to be based on the chassis of the BMD-4M. It is also known about the work on the wheel version of the self-propelled gun.
CAO of a new type was intended for the Airborne Forces, because of which it should have been able to transport aviation and parachute landing. Similar features of a combat vehicle could bring its effectiveness to the required level. The use of self-propelled guns with 120-mm guns made it possible to replace existing equipment, while 152 mm-caliber guns could give the landing artillery completely new possibilities. If the project was approved by the customer, the airborne troops could receive equipment with unique characteristics.
Earlier it was reported that various experimental equipment created in the framework of the project "Zauralets-D", is already undergoing certain tests. In 2016, a number of self-propelled guns were planned to be sent in part of the Airborne Forces to conduct military tests. On the test of equipment in actual use was given several years. In 2019, the year it was supposed to launch a full-fledged mass production. About a year later, the airborne troops were to complete rearmament with the transition to a new type of system.
In early May of this year, Airborne Forces Commander-in-Chief Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov announced that in the very near future the ZNuralets-D 120-mm self-propelled artillery gun will be shown to the general public for the first time. However, this did not happen. A few weeks later it became known about the decision of the Ministry of Defense, determining the further development of the self-propelled artillery of the airborne troops. The customer has changed the requirements for technology in the direction of tightening, and also ordered the development of a new project "Lotos".
An interesting comment on the future of the two projects was made at the end of July. Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces, Lieutenant General Andrei Holzakov, said that the Defense Ministry is not refusing further work on the subject of Zauralets-D. The general clarified that the existing project moved to a new form of development work. According to him, some of the objects in the process of aging. Because of this, every year they change the name. A. Holzakov promised to continue the conversation on this topic next year.
In mid-August, the general director of the enterprise TsNIITochmash commented on the work on the new project. D. Semizorov recalled that the project "Zauralets-D" was brought up to the stage of preliminary tests that confirmed the correctness of the chosen ideas and solutions. In the framework of the previous project, the designers received a serious scientific and technical background, which is now used when creating the CJSC Lotos. Thus, the new project “Lotos” is simultaneously a further development and replacement for the previous “Zauraltsa-D”.
Any details of the technical appearance of the self-propelled weapons "Lotos" has not yet been published. Nevertheless, information about the continuity of the two newest projects has already allowed some assumptions to be made on this subject. Information about the change in the requirements for the chassis of the prospective sample may indicate that other components of the self-propelled gun can be borrowed in the existing project without significant changes.
Previously it was assumed that the CJSC "Zauralets-D" will be a tracked combat vehicle built on the basis of a special chassis. The latter should be based on the BMD-4М units, but differ from the airborne assault vehicle by a number of parameters, primarily the dimensions and, as a result, the composition of the undercarriage. The fighting compartment should be located on the chassis, having a rotary turret with a new type of weapon. It was supposed to use guns caliber 120 and 152 mm. Thus, from the point of view of the overall architecture, the prospective self-propelled gun was almost no different from the existing equipment of its class.
Previously, there were reports of the possible installation of an artillery unit on a wheeled armored car VPK-39373 "Wolf-3". In addition, several photos of this type of equipment got into free access in due time. Various additional units were installed on the base chassis, including the open installation of the implement with the coulter lowered. Subsequently, this sample, despite the interest shown to it by the general public, was not featured in the new materials on the project. Moreover, there were reports that this prototype model was not directly related to the project “Zauralets-D”.
In connection with the purpose of the new CAO should have a relatively small size and combat mass. Special requirements are placed on this technique regarding the possibility of transporting and landing from existing military transport aircraft. Functional analogs of the “Zauralets” and “Lotus” that are in service correspond to similar requirements, which allows us to make some estimates about the dimensions and weight of the developed equipment.
Obviously, due to the changing requirements of the customer, the new version of the draft perspective CAO will differ from the base version. However, this may lead to some shift in the timing of completion. So, a few years ago it was claimed that the Zauralets-D cars would go to the Airborne Forces already in 2016, however, these plans, apparently, were never realized. Instead of this technology, a new and improved one is now being developed, but its prototypes will appear later. However, it is planned to complete all the required work and begin rearming the airborne troops, as before, at the end of this decade. If the Lotos project does not face new difficulties, already in 2019-20 years, paratrooper-gunners will be able to start developing the newest material part, which significantly increases the strike potential of the troops.
On the materials of the sites:
Project news CJSC "Lotos"
- Ryabov Kirill