The BMP-1 is an old, but still used amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. It was designed back in 1961-1965 and was produced till 1982. It is a capable tracked machine, which provided a platform for many other military weapons, including BMP-2, MLI-84 and many others. One of them could have been a Nona-SV, but this prototype was abandoned before reaching series production.
The 2S9 Nona-S is a Soviet self-propelled 120 mm mortar. This machine looks a bit similar to the BMP-1, but is actually based on the multi-purpose tracked armored personnel carrier BTR-D. The point of the Nona-S is its mobility.
Thanks to its aluminum hull, the Nona-S weighs just 8.7 tons and can reach max speeds of 60 km/h on land and 9 km/h on water. It is air-droppable and can move through various difficult terrains with confidence. The Nona-S entered service in 1981, but is a relatively rare machine now.
The Nona-SV is a slightly different idea. As Defense-ua.com reminded us, the Nona-SV was just a prototype, developed in the early 1980’s, based on the BRM-1K. Basically, the Nona-SV is Nona-S’s turret, mounted on the BRM-1K, which was a command variant of the BMP-1.
All of these abbreviations are getting a bit confusing, but you should understand that the Nona-SV was never put into series production. There was no real point, because it didn’t offer any kind of benefit that the Nona-S couldn’t deliver.
However, now the defenders of Ukraine have come up with a new Nona-SV. This peculiar self-propelled 120 mm mortar was recently seen online and even the 25th Air Assault Brigade of Sicheslavshchyna shared a picture of this machine.
The Ukrainian-made 2S17-2 Nona-SV is very slightly different from that 1980’s prototype. It still uses the same 2S9 Nona-S turret, but this time it is installed on a PRP-3 chassis. This is a minimal difference, though, because the PRP-3, which is an artillery reconnaissance vehicle, is also based on a BMP-1.
Artillery reconnaissance vehicles used to be extremely useful, because they would get closer to the target and correct the artillery fire for a precise hit. The problem with that is that the machine itself might find itself in a dangerous position. Now artillery fire can be corrected using drones, but the chassis is still good for other tasks – such as housing a mortar turret.
It is not known how many such machines are currently in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, having in mind that the original PRP-3 was only armed with a PKT machine gun, the Nona-SV is a very useful weapon to have. Great for indirect fire and using a lot of the 120 mm mortar bombs that Ukraine had in its arsenals.
Sources: Wikipedia, Defense-ua.com.