Image source: Минобороны РФ

As practice shows, artillery, the god of war, still plays an important role in modern armed conflicts: cannons, howitzers, mortars and similar weapons. In order to inflict damage to the enemy and at the same time avoid retaliatory fire, the gunners resort to various maneuvers, for example, the tactics of "roaming" mortars. For this type of warfare, special towed mortar systems are used, such as the 2S12 "Sledge". How the Russian military uses such tactics and what the mortar "Sani" is capable of – in our material.

The tactics of "nomadic" mortars are used to mislead the enemy about the location of foreign troops and their number. To do this, an artillery unit or a separate gun is not used permanently, as part of its platoons, but separately and constantly changes firing positions. As a rule, the command determines several such places in advance, draws up a schedule of their alternation, after which the gunners begin to complete the task.

With this approach, the mobility of the gun and the efficiency of the calculation become critically important, since the slightest delay threatens the most serious consequences: the enemy, having determined where the fire was fired from, will inevitably respond. We received the data for shooting, "worked out" – and immediately moved to another position – this is the algorithm of actions. This tactic was used by our armed forces in Syria.

Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

To conduct combat operations in this mode, the Russian military uses, among other things, the towed complex "Sani". "Sledge" is a 120–mm mortar that is capable of hitting enemy positions, destroying his support, command and observation posts and destroying enemy equipment with mounted fire. Moreover, the enemy will not be able to hide even in hard–to-reach places - in various terrain, for example, behind hills or in ravines and gorges.

Developed back in 1979, the mortar complex is still in service with our army and is successfully used on the battlefields. Of course, already in an upgraded version, with improved tactical and technical characteristics. An updated version of this complex could be seen for the first time in 2018 at the International Military-Technical Forum "Army" held in the Moscow region.

The complex "Sani" includes a 120-mm mortar with the index 2B11, a 2L81 wheel stroke and a transport vehicle, which is a powerful cargo "Ural", capable of moving without refueling at a distance of up to 1000 km, although the gun can be transported by a multi-purpose transporter-tractor.

The mortar itself weighs a little more than 200 kg, another 115 kg gives a wheel stroke. In order for a crew consisting of five people to quickly deploy such a gun on the ground, the artillery installation is unloaded from the car along the gangplank using an electric winch. Before firing, the wheeled carriage is removed, and the mortar itself is mounted on a special plate that provides circular firing from various soils, and rests on a biped bipod. It takes only about 2 minutes for experienced fighters to prepare the gun for firing. The mortar is loaded manually from the muzzle. In the lower part of the barrel, a firing pin is fixed, from the impact of which the shells ignite.

During the modernization of the mortar, the designers took care of the safety of the calculation: the updated complex is equipped with a means that blocks reloading. The fact is that during the battle, you can not keep track of the ammunition that has not flown out of the barrel. If the second mine ends up in the mortar, an explosion will occur.

Photo: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The gun fires 120 mm ammunition: high-explosive fragmentation, smoke, lighting and incendiary mines – at a distance of 480 m to 7 km. After modernization, the mortar was able to fire with the help of the KM-8 "Gran" guided weapons system. This is a high-explosive fragmentation shot with a laser-type homing head, which allows you to destroy stationary and moving targets with the first shot without aiming. By the way, the KM-8 "Edge" is a development of the Rostec State Corporation, created in the Tula Instrument Design Bureau. academician A.G. Shipunov. The ammunition of the complex is designed for 56 shots, and the rate of fire reaches 10 rounds per minute.

The 2S12A "Sani" mortar, which has repeatedly proven its reliability, efficiency and ease of use in modern combat conditions, is now in great demand by the Russian military, and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation regularly orders these artillery pieces. Rostec, fulfilling the requirements of the military leadership, is increasing their production: this year the military department will receive twice as many of these "nomadic" mortars compared to last year, and the next batch of "Sleighs" was sent to the army in July.

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