Russian 2S31 Vena - automated self propelled howitzer/mortar.
One of the most original 120mm Russian mobile mortar
systems, was, and still is, the 120mm 2S9 Nona-S howitzer/mortar system.
designed as airborne artillery support vehicle, the Nona is mounted on a
modified turret BMD airborne combat vehicle, which can be dropped from
tactical transport aircraft. Armed with the
120mm breech-loaded rifled tube 2A60 mortar, it renders both indirect
high trajectory and direct point fire capabilities. Through its
semi-automatic loading mechanism, 6-8 rpm firing rate is normal, with 30
seconds action readiness. Another Russian system is the 2S23 120mm SP
howitzer/mortar. This model is mounted on a modified BTR-80 platform. In
1996 the Russian Motovilikha Plants Corporation fielded the latest of
its Nona family, the 2S31 Vena, an automated
self propelled mortar, with a longer barrel, (Russian 120mm 2A80) also
firing the Gran laser-guided bomb against point targets to 13km range.
The known version was mounted on a BMP-3 chassis and has 70 rounds on
board storage (about twice as much as the former).
A similar version was developed by the Chinese Army, designated
WZ-551 6x6 mounted on an armoured personnel carrier. The
Russians seem to love super-big guns, they have designed the mammoth
420mm SP Oka mortar system, which was originally intended to fire
tactical nuclear rounds. Fortunately it was never commissioned.
See also: Origins of Russian Mobile
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