Why all this talk about the Tulip Tree? It has far more cons than pros.
It is a very specific tool for a limited range of jobs.
It was used at a time when Soviet air power was not 24 hour or even very capable in bad weather and really until they get satellite guided bombs into full service that is pretty much where they still are.
The shell is large enough that a Glonass guided bomb should be perfectly possible and relatively cheap and would not risk a low flying UAV operating a laser target marker let alone a team of soldiers with a LTM on the ground. The target will likely not even know what hit them.
Its steep trajectory makes it very useful in mountains and in big cities so it can get into targets that other artillery types can't reach.
It can also defeat targets lighter rounds will not defeat simply because of its weight.
The kit is a Soviet style siege cannon. Unless you have your enemy encircled, not much use.
Because of its range it could cover quite an area around a base without needing to be moved. With satellite guided rounds no initial shots need be fired.
Anyways, I'm not Austin
Sorry it was your avatar that is the same...
I asked about it's elevation settings because in the video, there seemed to be something that held the mortar back from gaining more or less elevation.
It is quite normal for Mortars to not have a full range of elevation because elevation is simply used to change range parameters. With mortars (like Howitzers) there are added charges that can be wrapped around the tail to further extend range when necessary. In this case it would be 80 degrees and no extra charges gives a range of 800m. 50 degrees and the max of charges fitted will send the mortar bomb 9.5km. There is also a rocket assisted bomb that will travel 19km. The nuclear round also had rocket assistance and a range of about 18km.
Btw, can't remember where, but I also read somewhere that Smel'chak warhead weighed 32 kg, which would be less than the 130 kg "small aircraft bomb size".
32kgs is the HE content, the entire round weighs 134.2kgs. The standard round weighs 130kgs. The 32kgs of HE is the bursting charge, it is a HE FRAG shell so most of the rest of the weight... about 80kgs is metal that is prefragmented so that it shatters evenly and makes a nice even pattern or razor sharp shrapnel.
As a comparison the BETAB-500U which is a concrete piercing bomb weighs 510 kgs and has a 45kg HE warhead charge. Now admittedly a concrete piercing round needs a lot of steel to penetrate concrete before it explodes, but a fragmentation mortar shell needs a lot of steel to form fragments from too. These fragments are not a good aerodynamic shape so they don't fly as far as a better shaped object might... like a bullet... so it makes more sense to have a lot of fragments and a relatively small charge than a bigger charge and less fragments or lighter fragments. Heavy fragments will fly further than lighter ones.
My, my, we are touchy. Really, I can’t see the benefit in Tulip either. From a plain Grunt’s perspective, I’d prefer 81mm /82mm mortar or 105mm Howz. as support weapons.
The benefit is you get the choice of climbing up that vertical mountain and down the other vertical side to get into a well protected Muj base... or you can sit and watch as the Tulips are set up and fired.
Another scenario is yo can wander into Grozny and take this particular building where the enemy is doing all its planning... there are no good guys there to save... just go in a kill everyone in the building... or you can sit and watch as the Tulips are set up and fired.
Realistically, how do you think Tulip could operate and provide effective support to the infantry? The size of the shell alone is an obstacle for support fire – what’s the lethal range of that bloody round?
We have already gone over this it is one of many options. The standard supporting mortar for airborne forces is a 120mm gun/mortar while the heavier Tulip is more specialised.
Regarding infantry support roles the lethal range of a Tulip barrage is nothing like the lethal range of a barrage from Buratino. TOS still seems popular for specific roles.
Mortars on rapid rate, can suppress an area far more effectively than Tulip would and be a bloody sight more accurate in doing it as well.
Without having compared them myself I cannot say I know enough about both to agree. The sudden impact of 6 rounds of that weight and power landing at the same time followed by another 6 a minute later would feel quite effective to me I would guess.
The comparison of 6 rounds only a fraction of their weight landing more frequently... well I think the effectiveness would depend largely on the target. I think with troops in the open the lighter 120mm rounds would be more effective till they could get to cover. For targets in trenches however I think the former would be more effective... but I have experienced neither.
When these factors are considered, then the usefulness of Tulip is very limited. It is limited for winkling out the enemy from well prepared positions, when your forces are in a commanding position.
And the Russian Armed forces will only ever fight whom?
Getting back to the topic of the thread the Vasilek automatic mortar is capable of direct fire as well as high angle engagements.
It can fire at a cyclic rate of well over 120 rpm and fires from a 4 round clip. A battery of 6 guns could move into position fire 200 rounds and then move off in less than 5 minutes.
On paper an ideal support weapon yet only the VDV seem to still operate it. Their support vehicles like the NONA uses a 120mm gun of lower rate of fire but a heavier shell and longer range.
As I have pointed out previously each size mortar offers advantages and disadvantages. The old WWII 50mm mortars were very light and mobile but were short ranged and had light bombs that weren't hugely effective. Modern 30mm grenade launchers make up for the small shell weight with rate of fire. The 82mm mortar is easily man portable and offers a moderately effective bomb over reasonable range. These remain in service largely in the Podnos mortar that is simpler and cheaper and man portable. The VDV have lots of vehicles to tow specialist equipment to they operate the Vasilek. The 120mm is at the edge of man portable and is turning up in Russian and Soviet use in vehicle mounts like the Vena and Nona.
There was also a 107mm mortar but was similar to the 120mm with a lighter bomb and shorter range. There was also a 160mm mortar with a 40kg bomb and it was big and heavy with a much more effective bomb than the 120mm but needed a vehicle mount. The 240mm mortar had an even bigger bomb and a longer range and the option of firing a nuclear bomb. This probably was the main reason that the 240mm mortar survived and the 160mm mortar disappeared.
For delivering bio or chem warfare agents dropping it in in a 130kg cannister that could probably be designed to carry at least 80kgs of agent with the rest being the strong container that will only rupture above the target (with a dispersing charge).