For the past 80 days, Russia and Ukraine have been at arms. Thousands of soldiers on both sides have been killed in this war, and billions of dollars have been lost. Regardless, neither country is willing to accept defeat as the war rages on.
A photo recently circulated online shows the Russian military now employing 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm mortars. It is the world’s largest laser-guided mortar, and the Russian army uses this to target the Azhovstal steel mill in Mariupol, Ukraine’s southern port city. This mortar can stack adversaries hiding in tunnels above ground and below ground.
The 2S4 Tyulpan Mortar is mounted on a modified SA-4 Gnaf Surface-to-Air Missile System chassis. It is self-propelled; therefore, soldiers do not have to fire rounds from above like regular mortars. The Soviet Army first used this mortar in 1975. The fact that it requires a crew of nine people to operate indicates the strength of this mortar. Four of these soldiers sit inside the mortar chassis while the remaining five ride in another vehicle.
The 2S4 Tyulpan mortar fires typically high explosive rounds weighing 108 kg or 226 kg. It has a range extender Extended Range Booster. With conventional ammunition, this mortar can hit around 9.5 kilometres and 17.7 kilometres with rocket-assisted ammunition.
However, it is unknown how many laser-guided rounds can be placed into the device simultaneously. A tiny crane is located on the 2S4 Tyulpan’s chassis that puts ammunition into its magazine. The sound is so loud during firing that operators require ear protection.
The viral image depicts a bullet being fired at the Azovstal facility. The picture clearly shows a laser-guided smel’chak fired from a 2S4 Tyulpan mortar. Its form is entirely different from that of the 2S4’s unguided ammo. The Smel’chak was initially intended to be used with a forward artillery observer.
Azovstal Steel Plant is located in Mariupol. The city has been described as the Ukrainian army’s last stronghold. The Russian military has been fighting to possess this city for the previous two months. The Russian military has surrounded the Azovstal steel complex. Inside this steel mill, Ukrainian forces have dug multiple underground tunnels. As a result, the Russian army has been unable to capture this facility entirely.
The Soviet-Afghan War, the Iran–Iraq War, the First Chechen War, the Second Chechen War, the Syrian Civil War, and the Donbas all used the 2S4 Tyulpan mortar. This mortar is currently used by the armies of Russia, Syria, and Ukraine. According to reports, the Russian military has stored 410 rounds of Tyulpan mortars in its arsenal stockpile.