The 2S42 Lotos is a new self-propelled mortar system, designed for the Russian airborne and naval infantry units. The 2S42 Lotos artillery system uses a modified chassis of a 2S25 Sprut-SD or the newer Sprut-SDM-1 airborne (BMD-4M) light tank but with 7 road wheels. It will replace the older 2S9 Nona-S, 2S9-1 Sviristelka and 2S9-1M Nona-SM self-propelled mortar systems in service with the Russian military. The 2S24 Lotos is a light, airportable and amphibious vehicle. The vehicle has longer chassis, carries more ammunition, and is better protected than the older 2S9 series systems. A Russian Il-76 military transport carry two of these light vehicles. This artillery system can be airdropped with the crew on board.
The model of new 2S42 Lotos air-droppable self-propelled 120 mm mortar system also was unveiled during the Army-2017 international military-technical exhibition, outside Moscow. The Lotos developed by Rostec’s design bureau TsNIITochMash. The 2S9 self-propelled mortar systems are primarily issued to the Russian Airborne Forces(Vozdushno-desantnye voyska Rossii) so most part of the abovementioned rearmament process will cover this military service; however, some Nona-S systems are operated by the Russian Naval Infantry ( Morskaya pekhota Rossii,) and thus the Russian marines could also receive the Lotos.
The Lotos is armed with a 120 mm breech-loaded mortar. This artillery system can be used as mortar or howitzer, and deliver direct or indirect fire. It fires special 120 rifled rounds, developed for Russian mortar systems, such as the previous 2S9 Nona-S, and any 120 mm mortar mines. Maximum range of fire is up to 13 km using rifled rounds. Its armor-piercing round penetrates a 600-650 mm steel plate at a range of 1 000 m. It is also compatible with the Kitolov-2M laser-guided rounds. These have a maximum range of 10 km and a hit probability of around 80-90%. Maximum rate of fire is claimed to be 6-8 rounds per minute. It is claimed that a total of 40 rounds of ammunition are carried for the main gun.
The self-propelled mortar system is powered by a 450 horse power 2V-06-2 diesel engine. Engine compartment is located at the rear. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension with adjustable ground clearance. Maximum road speed is up to 70 km/h. Maximum off-road speed is up to 30-40 km/h. The 2S42 Lotos is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by 2 waterjets. Vehicle is sea worthy up to a Sea State 3. The Lotos has a brief reaction and redeployment time. It takes only 30 seconds to prepare vehicle for firing from traveling order. Also 30 seconds is enough to leave the firing position in order to avoid counter-battery fire. The vehicle to reach the speed of 70 km/h, with a range of at least 500 km.