Friday, January 27, 2023

Ukrainians built Frankenstein-style artillery systems out of scraps

The Ukrainian defense industry has built a Frankenstein-like artillery system on Soviet-era armored reconnaissance vehicle chassis.

Using the chassis of an old BRM-1K reconnaissance vehicle and a large turret 2S9 Nona-S mortar system, engineers have created a unique self-propelled gun-mortar.

With a large amount of aging military vehicles in its stock, Ukraine seeks to return to service as much equipment as possible in a short period of time in order to make up for losses in the war with Russia. A large number of reconnaissance vehicles remain in the boneyards, which are being converted into combat vehicles by installing combat modules and turrets from Soviet BMDs, including Nona-SV, which was also created on the basis of the BMD-1.


The 2S9 Nona-S is a self-propelled mortar of Soviet origin. It was developed in the 1970s to improve the mobility of mortars serving with the air assault divisions. Additionally, it provides direct fire and a limited anti-tank capability. The 2S9 is one of the most numerous gun-mortar systems in the world.

This mortar system can be used as mortar or howitzer, delivering direct or indirect fire.  Maximum range of fire is 8.85 km with ordinary projectiles, 12.8 km with rocket-assisted projectiles and 7.1 km with mines. Minimal firing range is 1.7 km with rifled rounds and 400 m with mines. The Nona-S can engage armored vehicles.

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.