Russian forces using 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm mortars, Worlds Biggest Laser-Guided Mortar, to fire laser-guided rounds at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol

Russian forces using 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm mortars, Worlds Biggest Laser-Guided Mortar, to fire laser-guided rounds at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol
Written by Arindam
Russian forces using 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm mortars, Worlds Biggest Laser-Guided Mortar, to fire laser-guided rounds at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol

Moscow: The Russo-Ukraine War has been going on for the last 80 days. Both the countries are attacking each other fiercely. In this war, thousands of soldiers from both Russia and Ukraine have been killed and billions of dollars in damage has also been done. Despite this, no country is ready to accept defeat or ceasefire. An image now being shared online shows the Russian military now using 2S4 Tylpan 240mm mortars. The 2S4 Tailpan is the world’s largest laser guided mortar. The Russian army is using this mortar to attack the Azhovstal steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol in Ukraine. This mortar is capable of stacking enemies hidden in tunnels not only above the ground, but also below.

9 crew members operate the 2S4 tailpan mortar
The 2S4 Tailpan Mortar is fitted on a modified chassis of the SA-4 Gnaf Surface to Air Missile System. It is self-propelled, which does not require soldiers to fire shells from above like other mortars. This mortar was first included in the Soviet Army in 1975. The strength of this mortar can be gauged from the fact that it requires a crew of nine people to operate it. Four of these men sit inside the mortar chassis and five others follow him in another vehicle. At the same time, if we talk about a normal mortar, then a team of two to three soldiers can easily operate it.

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Tylpan mortar has a range of 9 to 17 kms.
Due to the use of heavy rounds, the tailpan mortar is able to hit only for a short distance. Not only this, only one round is fired in a minute. The 2S4 tailpan mortar typically fires 108 kg or 226 kg high explosive rounds. It is fitted with a range extender Extended Range Booster. This mortar can strike about 9.5 kilometers with standard ammunition and 17.7 kilometers with rocket-assisted ammunition. The Soviet Union developed a laser guided round for the 2S4 in the 1980s. That round was named the Smelchak, which has a maximum range of 9.2 km.

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Equipped with 40 kg high explosive and rocket warhead
Its autolander system loads two drum type magazines into the mortar. These can carry either a 40 kg standard high explosive projectile or 0 long-range rocket assisted warheads. It is not clear how many laser-guided shells can be loaded into the system at once. There is also a small crane mounted on the chassis of the 2S4 tailpan, which loads ammunition into its magazine. When firing, its sound is so loud that operators have to use some device to cover the ear.

Picture of firing at Azovstal plant is going viral
The picture going viral shows a bullet allegedly being fired at the Azovstal compound. The image clearly shows that it is a laser-guided small’chuck being fired from a 2S4 tailpan mortar. Its shape is completely different than that of the unguided ammunition for the 2S4. The Smel’chak was originally designed to be used with a forward artillery observer.

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Where is Azovstal Steel Plant
Azovstal Steel Plant is located in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine. The city is being described as the last stronghold of the Ukrainian army. For the last two months, the Russian army has been fighting for the occupation of this city. The Russian army has completely cordoned off the Azovstal steel plant, inside which hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers are trapped. Ukrainian soldiers have built several underground tunnels inside this steel plant. Due to this, the Russian army has not been able to completely capture this plant even after wanting it.

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Used in these wars
The 2S4 Tylpan mortar has been used in the Soviet–Afghan War, the Iran–Iraq War, the First Chechen War, the Second Chechen War, the Syrian Civil War, and the Donbass. Currently, the army of Russia, Syria and Ukraine use this mortar. It has 10 units active in the Russian Army. According to a report, the Russian army has kept 410 rounds of Tilpan mortars inactive in its weapons warehouse.

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