At the ARMY 2019 international forum a new self-propelled artillery unit being named Lotos (Russian for Lotus) had been presented. The system is intended to replace the Nona-family self propelled mortars in the Russian Vozhdushno-desantnye voiska VDV (airborne troops).
18 ton Lotos has a fully automated turret on the BMD-4 amphibious chassis to get a maximum speed of 70 km/h on the road and 9 km/h on water. The gun employs 120 mm caliber (same as its predecessor Nona) to use a variety of conventional and guided projectiles with a firing rate of 6-8 per minute. The system also has a 7.62 mm machine gun and means of self-protection from the smart weaponry. It could be lifted and dropped by parachute from an aircraft.
Lotos has been designed by the TsNIITOChMash research institute. According to the system head designer Veniamin Schastlivtsev, this year Lotos will face the so called “preliminary trials” to be followed with the state trials and serial production later on. The first batch of artillery units may be delivered to the customer in 2020, a year ahead of the initial state dead-line.
Lotos has revived a Soviet tradition to stick flower names to the artillery systems, which used to have Tyulpan (Tulip)and Vasiliok (Knapweed) mortars, Giatsint (Hyacinths), Akatsia (Acacia) and Gvozdika (Pink) guns and howitzers.