The war in Ukraine continues on and day after day, Russia keeps losing more and more men and weapons.
In fact, some estimates have Russian loses at over 200,000 dead and wounded.
One thing is for certain: Putin would love to change his mind about his invasion of Ukraine as he has no clear path to win.
‘Melt that Artillery’: Footage Shows Rare Russian ‘Big Guns’ Destroyed in Ukraine
Back in April, Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) posted a social media video highlighting the destruction of a “rare” Russian 2B16 Nona-K gun mortar near the village of Vaslivka in the Donetsk Oblast of Eastern Ukraine.
The weapon’s destruction, which had been positioned in a clearing near several structures, was recorded by Ukrainian drones that may have also acted as spotters for the Ukrainian artillery.
This is reportedly the first time a 2B16 Nona-K gun mortar has been destroyed in the conflict.
The Kremlin has deployed a range of artillery platforms to Ukraine, including many that date back to the Cold War. However, the 2B16 Nona-K was reportedly first introduced in late 2011, based on Soviet-era towed artillery platforms that were developed in the 1970s. The Nona-K was designed for use by Russian airborne troops and other high mobility units including airmobile and naval infantry.
According to Army-Guide.com, the platform was designed to be towed by the GAZ-66 (4×4) 2,000 kg light truck, which also carries the five-man gun crew and a quantity of ready to use 120 mm ammunition. Maximum towed speed on a good road is 80 km/h (50mph). For shorter distances, the Nona-K can be towed by the smaller UAZ-469 (4×4) 695 kg light vehicle.
When travelling, the gun’s trails are closed together and locked and the complete upper part of the weapon is traversed through 180 degrees and locked in position over the closed trails. That reduces the overall length of the system for travelling, which is considered important for air transport.
When deployed in its firing position, the Nona-K is typically supported on a small circular baseplate that is located under the forward part of the carriage. The rubber-tire road wheels are also raised clear of the ground and the equipment rests on the two box-type spread trails, each of which is fitted with a spade.
It is believed to be capable of hitting targets at ranges between 200 (658 feet) and 12,000 meters (7.5 miles).
The Nona-K combines the capabilities of an artillery gun, a mortar, and a howitzer into a single weapon system that can effectively engage troops, fortifications, and armored vehicles.
The platform is capable of firing high-explosive fragmentation (HE-Frag), shaped-charge Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAPs), illuminating, smoke, and incendiary mortar rounds including those designed for NATO’s 120mm mortars.
The 120mm Nona gun also has served as the basis for the 2S9 Nona-S and 2S23 Nona-SVK self-propelled guns.
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.