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Tulip, Pinocchio & Serving Tray: Bizarre names of Russian weapons (PHOTOS)

 4 Mar, 2018 15:22


2S3 'Akatsiya' self-propelled gun. ©Ildus Gilyazutdinov / Sputnik


The Soviet and later Russian military is renowned for choosing peculiar names for its weaponry, which seldom seems suited to any kind of war machine. RT highlights some of the most unusual monikers for military hardware.

1 Artillery ‘Bouquet’

The Soviet-era military apparently had an affection for plant life, as many of its artillery pieces were given ‘flower’ names, including the 2S3 'Akatsiya' (Vachellia) and the 2S7 'Pion' (Peony) self-propelled guns, as well as the 2S4 'Tyulpan' (Tulip) heavy mortar. The towed automatic 2B9 mortar was called ‘Vasilek’ (Centaurea).

240-mm self-propelled mortar 2B4 Tyulpan. © Parutip / Wikipedia

Some of the modern Russian artillery pieces have continued the floral trend. For example, the 120mm self-propelled gun 2S34 has been nicknamed ‘Hosta.’

2S34 Hosta self-propelled gun. © Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikipedia

2 ‘Serving Tray’ & ‘Snow Sledge’ mortars

Smaller pieces of Soviet-era artillery were less inclined to get floral nicknames, and instead were dubbed with more cryptic monikers. The 120mm mortar complex, which could either tow the mortar or carry it inside a transport truck was nicknamed ‘Sani’ after a traditional Russian transport, the snow sledge.

2S12 'Sani' mortar in action. © Maksim Blinov / Sputnik

It’s smaller counterpart, the 82mm mortar was nicknamed ‘Podnos’ (Serving Tray), probably due to the shape of the mortar’s base plate.

Servicemen carrying disassembled 2B14 ‘Podnos’ mortars. ©

3 ‘Pinocchio’ flamethrower

A powerful rocket flamethrower system, TOS-1, has been dubbed – for whatever reason – ‘Buratino’ (Pinocchio). A modern version of the system – TOS-1A – has received the more appropriate, but quite grim-humored, nickname 'Solntsepyok' (Sun Heat).

TOS-1A 'Solntsepyok.' © Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikipedia

4 ‘Booth,’ ‘Melon Field’ and ‘Female Gardener’ IFV’s

The BMD family of Russian airborne infantry vehicles has also been given a series of unusual nicknames. BMD-2, for example, is nicknamed ‘Budka’ (Booth). BMD-3 has been called ‘Bakhcha’ (Melon Field), and the latest in the series – BMD-4 – is named ‘Sadovnitsa’ (Female Gardener).

BMD-4M 'Sadovnitsa'. © Alexander Vilf / Sputnik

5 ‘Zoo’

The modern Russian artillery radar and command complex 1L219 has its inspiration in the animal world, and has been dubbed ‘Zoopark’ (Zoo). This nickname may have its roots in the fact that its Soviet-era predecessors were known as ‘Leopard’ and ‘Rys’ (Lynx). Nobody knows for sure, however, except those who came up with moniker.

Zoopark-1M radar system. © Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikipedia

6 ‘Cabbage Fest’

Arguably the most cryptic and bizarre title was given to a modern Russian 1V156 artillery command complex. It bears the proud name ‘Kapustnik-B’ (which roughly translates as ‘Cabbage Fest’). Why? Why not, apparently.

Vehicles of the 'Kapusnik-B' complex. ©

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