Russian army 2S4 Tyulpan in Ukraine
When moving, the barrel is placed horizontally. While shooting time, the barrel raises vertically, keeping an angle of 50 to 80 degrees that makes you think of a smaller mortar but is completely different.
A single projectile fired from a 28-ton Tyulpan mortar can hit fortified buildings, bunkers and airport runways, along with tanks and armored vehicles. Tyulpan was successfully used in 2014 by pro-Russian separatists at airports in Donetsk and Lugansk.
The shells arc upward and then fall in a near-vertical fashion to explode over the top of a building or other target. Each shell is about 1.5 m long and the vehicle can carry 40 rounds in the compartment.
The 2S4 has a range of 9,650 meters using standard high-explosive rounds, but a range of 20,000 meters using extended range munition. In addition to the high explosive rounds, it can also fire armor-piercing, laser-guided and cluster munitions, as well as chemical, neutron and tactical nuclear rounds. The Russians have stated that the chemical and tactical nuclear munitions are no longer in service
However, the giant 240 mm bullet is very powerful, it can be fitted with a fragmentation, incendiary, or armor-piercing explosive warhead. During the Cold War, Tyulpan was even equipped with tactical nuclear and chemical warheads. There is precision guided ammunition too called “Daredevil” that was used in Afghanistan and Chechnya, where it crushed Grozny and brought down Chechens hiding in mountain caves.
Alarmingly, Tyulpan was able to fire the cluster munitions in Syria during the war. These projectiles are decelerated by small parachutes.
The 2S4 has a slow rate of fire, only one round per minute. This is due to the large size of the mortar and the weight of its ammunition (130 kg (290 lb) for a standard HE rounds and 228 kg (503 lb) rocket-assisted HE rounds). It can also be loaded one round at a time via a small crane, which is most often used to load the magazines or to place specialty rounds onto the loading track.
There is nothing new about this “monster”, it has been around since 1971. Russia has about 40 combinations in the combat component and about 390 systems in reserve. A V-59 V-12 diesel engine makes 520 hp, but the 2S4 is not very fast, can only travel at 45 km / h.
2S4 Tyulpal is not the one to lead the offensive lineup. The system is located in the rear and its armor cannot withstand enemy counter-fire, including airstrikes or air-to-ground missiles by drones.
This weapon is another matter for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, it can be eliminated by artillery fire or armed drones, but once it has a safe place to bombard it will cause severe damage to urban areas.
The use of 2S4 Tyulpal self-propelled mortars in Chechnya and Syria shows its powerful firepower in destroying enemy buildings and fortified fortifications at a much cheaper cost when placed next to bombers.
The Ukrainian military will have to find the 2S4 Tyulpan complexes and remove them from the battlefield before the weapon can open fire on their besieged cities.