Malka & Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated.

Defensionem Land Malka & Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated.

2S7M Malka and 2S4 Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated. The 2S4 Tyulpan is a self propelled mortar. A 240mm breech loading mortar, to be precise. That makes this Tulip (that’s the name of the machine) the biggest self-propelled mortar in service anywhere else in the world right now…

Malka & Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated.
2S4 Tyulpan

It was introduced in the 1970’s, used in Afghanistan and Chechnya and then retired and mothballed (Nothing is ever thrown away in Mother Russia!). Since then, a Tyulpan might have been spotted in Donetsk in 2015…

However… The decision was taken in 2016 to modernise and refurbish several of those… Those modernised platforms were introduced in the Russian army in 2017 and feature new barrel, hydraulic recoil mechanism, communication and positioning systems as well as new Fire Control Systems.

The 2S4 has a rate of fire of 1 round per minute. But that is compensated by the fire power, versatility, range and accuracy of this system: The standard round for the Tulip weights 130 kilos and has a range of 9600 metres. It can also fire a precision laser guided round and an extended range round with a reach of 20km. During the Cold War, a nuclear tipped round was also available, although it is unknown if those are still in service. It is believed Russia still has 120 to 130 Tyulpan in its arsenal. The number of machines refurbished in 2016 is unknown.

Malka & Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated.
2S4 Tylpan

In April 2020, it was announced that the Russian army was receiving modernised 2S7M Malka Self Propelled Heavy Artillery platforms. The Malka is in itself a 1980’s era modernised version of the 1970’s era 2S7 Pion.

Malka & Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated.
2S7M Malka

The Pion and Malka are veterans of several conflicts and served the Soviets in Afghanistan as well as the Russians during both Chechen wars. The Georgians deployed and used several of those during the Russo-Georgian war of 2008. The Ukrainians reactivated some of their own platforms in the Donbass from 2015 onward. It is interesting to note that North Korea also possesses several Pion.

The 2S7M Malka is a 203mm artillery platform with a range varying from 37.5km to 55km depending on which round is used. It has a rate of fire of 2.5 rounds per minute. It could also fire nuclear rounds during the Cold War, but again, it is unknown if those rounds are still in service with the Russian army, as we speak. The Malka is probably the most powerful conventional artillery piece in service anywhere in the world, today…

Malka & Tyulpan: Cold war dishes reheated.
2S7M Malka

The modernisation program was more of a deep overhaul. The main modernisation drive seems to have been centered around linking 2S7M platforms to a modernised 1V12M command vehicle. The command vehicle in question has a new Glonass positioning system and a new Fire Control System.

Renaud Mayers
Currently working on behalf of the Belgian Ministry of Defence, thanks to my knowledge in WWII and other areas. Working in two WWII era fortresses still belonging to the Army.

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