The moment of the destruction of the Russian 2S4 Tyulpan 240 mm self-propelled heavy mortar capable of firing nuclear weapons was caught on video by Ukraine.
As a result of a high-precision strike, a heavy self-propelled artillery mount capable of firing tactical nuclear weapons was destroyed. We are talking about large-caliber self-propelled guns 2S4 Tyulpan 240 mm self-propelled heavy mortar, the explosion from the detonation of ammunition which turned out to be so powerful that the fireball rose to a height of 40 meters, which is comparable to the height of a 14-story residential building.
On the presented video frames, you can see the moment when an unidentified ammunition hit a large-caliber self-propelled artillery mount.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 22, 2022
Due to the fact that the video shows the moment when the artillery mount was already hit, you can clearly see it was a large caliber artillery. We are talking about 240-mm 2S4 “Tulip” this artillery is capable of firing nuclear tactical ammunition.
Judging by the location of the large-caliber self-propelled guns, the latter was covered by some kind of production facility. Moreover, the latter was clearly not affected by the impact (it was destroyed earlier), which indicates that the attack on the large-caliber self-propelled guns was carried out using high-precision ammunition.
This is the first 2S4 confirmed lost by Russia in the conflict, though Moscow reportedly retains up to 400 inactive systems in storage, some of which could eventually be refurbished to replace losses.
Thanks to Russian media
Recently, Russian military reporter Aleksandr ‘Sasha’ Kots revealed Russia was also employing its super-sized 2S4 “Tyulpan” (“Tulip”) 240-millimeter self-propelled mortars, designed to penetrate and destroy heavy fortifications and large building.
Earlier in May 2022, a 2S4 was photographed firing at Ukrainian forces holed up in the Azovstal steel facility in Mariupol using a guided Smel’chak round.
Russian 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm heavy mortars in the Severodonetsk area. These may have been shifted from Mariupol. 2S7 and 2S4 have better penetration against fortified positions than 152mm artillery.https://t.co/FwCxldkGZa pic.twitter.com/6TaHNtfcPV
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 20, 2022
Kots’s video in Rubizhne (finally secured by Russian forces on May 12 after a two-month siege) showcased from several angles a 2S4 firing beside a large industrial facility. The bark of each shot is followed by the ringing bell sound characteristic of this mortar.
Around this time, Russian strikes destroyed several bridges over the Donets river to Severodonetsk to cut it off from reinforcements. This particular 2S4 was alleged to have knocked out the bridge connecting Lyschansk to Severodonetsk. If true, likely this was again accomplished using a laser-guided munition.
However, within 24 hours after Kot’s report went live, the Ukrainian military released a video shot by a drone peering down on a location close to the building Kots had been filming from. It shows a 2S4 consumed by flames. Abruptly, its ammunition—up to 40 oversized rounds—detonates in a gigantic fireball.
This weapon, which has no counterpart in Western service, is by far the largest-caliber mortar system in service. Out of hundreds deployed during the Cold War, Russia retained just 40-50 in operational service—10-12 per district-level High Power Artillery Brigade.
The giant mortars belt out gigantic 288-pound F864 shells more akin in effect to air-dropped bombs out to a range of 6 miles at a stately maximum fire rate of one round per minute. It can also fire Smel’chak (“Daredevil”) laser-guided rounds, 3B11 nuclear shells, and 3O8 ‘Nerpa’ rocket-assisted cargo shells with a maximum range of 12 miles that can release a hail of cluster bomblets.