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Captured Russian TOS-1A Deadliest Thermobaric Rocket Launchers Now in Ukrainian Arsenal

According to a video published on the Telegram account of (@horevica) on July 8, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers use now the most powerful Russian thermobaric rocket launcher tracked vehicle TOS-1A that was captured last fall in Balakliia with a number of rockets. With the TOS-1A, the Ukrainian armed forces have one of the deadliest weapons from the Russian military inventory due to the use of thermobaric rockets also known as a vacuum bomb or fuel-air explosive, creating a blast that is much more devastating than conventional explosives.
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Ukrainian soldiers use captured Russia TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launcher to strike the Russian force's positions. (Picture source Telegram account @horevica)

The Russian TOS-1A thermobaric MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) is now used by the Ukrainian soldiers to hit Russian positions outside of Tors'ke, Donetsk Oblast. According to open-source information, the Russian army will have already lost six TOS-1A of which three would have been captured by the Ukrainian forces.

The TOS-1A, nicknamed "Solntsepyok" (or Sunheat), is a Russian-made heavy flamethrower system that's considered one of the deadliest weapons due to its power and method of operation. This system, however, doesn't operate like a traditional flamethrower. Instead, it employs thermobaric and incendiary rockets, firing them from a launcher mounted on a T-72 tank chassis.

The term "thermobaric" refers to the type of explosive used in the rockets, which upon detonation produces an intense fireball followed by a blast wave. This makes the TOS-1A particularly effective when targeting enemy personnel in fortified locations or open terrain.

The lethal capacity of the TOS-1A lies in its ability to fire 220mm rockets from 24 launch tubes, unleashing a barrage of destruction. The thermobaric effect of rockets is incredibly destructive, especially in confined spaces like bunkers or urban environments. The ensuing blast wave and heat from the detonation can cause massive destruction, far exceeding the destructive power of conventional explosives.

The TOS-1A "Solntsepyok" has a firing range that varies depending on the type of rocket used. Generally, it has a minimum firing range of approximately 600 meters and a maximum range of around 6,000 meters (6 kilometers). This relatively short range compared to other artillery systems is due to the design of the thermobaric warheads, which are much larger and heavier than conventional artillery shells. Despite its limited range, the TOS-1A remains a highly devastating weapon due to the sheer destructive power of its thermobaric rockets.

Therefore, the TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launcher stands out as one of the deadliest weapons due to its immense firepower, the devastating impact of its thermobaric rockets, and its versatility in taking down both fortified positions and enemy personnel in open terrain.

Captured Russian TOS 1A Deadliest Thermobaric Rocket Launchers Now in Ukrainian Arsenal 925 002
Russian army TOS-1A flamethrower thermobaric MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

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