82 mm 2B9 Vasilek Gun-mortar
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbass
|Manufacturer||Bolshevik Plant, Norinco, Diósgy?ri Gépgyár|
|Mass||combat: 632 kg (1,393 lb)|
|Shell||3.23 kg (7 lb 2 oz) bomb|
|Caliber||82 mm (3.2 in)|
|Breech||muzzle or breech loaded|
|Elevation||-1° to 85°|
|Rate of fire||100-120 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||270 m/s (890 ft/s)|
|Maximum firing range||4,270 meters|
|Sights||PAM-1 2.5× or 3×|
The 2B9 Vasilek (Cornflower) is an automatic 82 mm gun-mortar developed in the Soviet Union in 1967 and fielded with the Soviet Army in 1970. It was based on the F-82 automatic mortar. Unlike conventional mortars, the 2B9 can fire in single and automatic mode using four-round clips. Rounds can be loaded from either the muzzle or the breech. Because of its wheeled carriage, the 2B9 resembles a light artillery piece more than a conventional mortar.
The 2B9 was used in Afghanistan by Soviet units and is still found in Russian airmobile infantry units. In the fighting in Afghanistan, Soviet units found the 2B9 to be a versatile and useful weapon. The 2B9 can fire high-explosive, armor-piercing and smoke shells, as well as flares. The armor-piercing projectile, which weighs 3.1 kg, has a 75 g warhead that can penetrate 100mm of armor. Upon blast, the shell[which?] produces 400 to 600 fragments.
The 2B9 can be towed but is usually carried on a modified GAZ-66. By 1988, the 2B9 was also deployed as a self-propelled weapon by mounting the gun-mortar in the rear of an MT-LB armored personnel carrier.
During the Syrian Civil War, the 2B9M Vasilek was used by the Syrian Armed Forces, Kurdish People's Protection Units, and the Islamist group Ansar al-Sham. The latter used a 2B9M automatic mortar near Mount Chalma, Kesab district.