Russia has begun mass production of the newest Arctic artillery complex, “Magnolia.” It has previously been reported that the weapon system had been successfully tested in cold temperatures in northern latitudes. The self-propelled artillery system Magnolia is built on the armoured two-link tracked carrier DT-30PM chassis and can perform various tasks in hard-to-reach areas and wetlands in the Far North. This caterpillar all-terrain vehicle family was designed specifically for use in difficult climatic conditions and off-road circumstances in the Arctic, isolated parts of Siberia, the Far East, and the Far North. The DT-30PM, the “Omnipresent” variant of the all-terrain vehicle, features armour protection for the livable compartment.
Mognolia SPG has been developed by Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), which is part of the state corporation Rostec.
In 2017, the head of the Main Rocket and Artillery Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant General Nikolai Parshin, announced the development of the 120-mm Magnolia self-propelled artillery gun on the chassis of an armoured two-link tracked carrier and Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile system on the DT-30PM snow and swamp vehicle.
The Magnolia’s features were revealed for the first time at the Army-2019 international military-technical event when the developer presented promotional materials for self-propelled weapons for inspection. The first Self Propelled Gun model was on display during Army-2020.
According to the published information, the cannon is mounted on a two-link tracked all-terrain vehicle called the DT-10PM Vityaz. It has a carrying capacity of 10 tonnes and weighs 27.5 tonnes. It is driven by an 800 horsepower B-46-5C diesel engine, allowing the system to attain a maximum speed of 45 km/h. When overcoming water barriers, the speed may reach 6 km/h. The battery has a 700 kilometre range.
The rear hull houses the 120-mm rifled semi-automatic gun 2A80. The cannon has the combat capabilities of a howitzer gun and a mortar. The tower’s construction enables the gunner to perform a circular horizontal pickup and elevate the gun barrel at an angle ranging from -5 to +80 degrees.
The cannon can fire high-explosive fragmentation projectiles up to 8.5 km away, and the range may be extended to 10 km when employing guided rockets. The rate of fire is ten rounds per minute and an ammo load of 80 rounds.
The Magnolia’s crew comprises four personnel. According to the Central Research Institute, Petrel, “Magnolia” can fire ammunition and anti tank guided missiles. Additionally, it can perform air defence and electronic warfare.
DT-30PM The Vityaz two-link all-terrain vehicle is already used in the Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile system’s Arctic variant.
The new self-propelled cannon will be used largely to react rapidly to the landing of any enemy sabotage units or attempts to acquire a foothold in the Arctic or the Far North. It can be quickly transferred to the scene and engaged in combat support for the Russian army.
As previously stated, Magnolia is armed with a 120 mm weapon that can function as a howitzer and mortar. This is important for northern latitudes since the gunner can use various ammunition types, including cumulative, high-explosive, thermobaric, incendiary, and even cluster. It is critical that this system can hold a large amount of ammo and that personnel have someplace to hide in the case of severe frost. Magnolia is a one-of-a-kind weapon; there is nothing else like it in the world today.
Motovilikha Plants (Perm) is in charge of the gun’s development. The same cannon is used on the BMP-3-based 120-mm self-propelled gun 2S31 “Vena.”
A distinctive feature of the gun is the ability to fire both 120-mm mines and projectiles with ready-made rifling. At the same time, thanks to the calibre, both Russian mines and ammunition from NATO countries can be suitable for firing. In addition, the KM-8 Gran-M1 high-precision mine can be used in conjunction with the 2A80 cannon.
The Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command now has the ground formations, notably the 14th Army Corps. The 80th and 200th independent motorised rifle brigades, known as arctic, are part of this corps. The brigades are equipped with T-80BVM tanks, and a variety of specialised equipment, such as two-section tracked all-terrain vehicles DT-10 and DT-30 and snowmobiles.
The standard army 122-mm self-propelled cannons 2S1 “Gvozdika” are also in service with these units. This equipment has limited applicability on marshy soils and thick snow cover. The advent of a 120-mm self-propelled artillery cannon based on the chassis of the two-section tracked all-terrain vehicle DT-30, which has great mobility, would significantly extend the fighting capabilities of the Russian Arctic brigades. When a towed mortar division is replaced with a 2S31 division, the fighting capability of a tank or motorised rifle regiment roughly doubles.