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Russian Forces Use 50 Destructive Weapons TOS-1A/TOS-2 Heavy Flamethrower Systems in Ukraine

Citing information published by the Russian defense website "Top War", the Russian armed forces in Ukraine have deployed about 50 TOS-1A and TOS-2 which are considered as one the most destructive weapon systems in the world. In fact, booth artillery systems fire thermobaric rockets producing a high-temperature explosion with a significantly longer blast wave than conventional explosives. This makes them particularly effective against entrenched positions and in urban combat scenarios.
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The Russian-made TOS-1A is considered one of the most destructive weapons in the world. (Picture source TASS)

The TOS-1A fires rockets with thermobaric warheads, which are extremely effective against entrenched or fortified positions. These warheads create a high-temperature explosion with a prolonged blast wave, capable of devastating bunkers, trenches, and urban structures. In the context of Ukraine, where fortifications and entrenched positions are common, this capability is particularly valuable.

The sheer destructive power of the TOS-1A, along with its ability to cover a large area with a single salvo, makes it an effective tool for area denial. Additionally, the psychological impact on troops facing the threat of such a weapon can be significant, potentially lowering morale and combat effectiveness.

In urban areas, where conventional artillery might be less effective due to the need for more precise targeting to avoid collateral damage, the TOS-1A can be used to clear enemy positions in buildings or fortified areas.

The TOS-1A is a formidable Russian heavy flamethrower system, renowned for its unique combat capabilities, primarily derived from its integration of a multiple rocket launcher on a tank chassis. This combination offers both the mobility and armor protection of a tank, typically based on the T-72 platform and the devastating firepower of a rocket artillery system. The TOS-1A's most striking feature is its ability to fire 220mm rockets equipped with thermobaric warheads. These warheads are particularly effective against entrenched or fortified positions, as they produce a high-temperature explosion with a prolonged blast wave, capable of inflicting severe damage over a wide area.

The system's relatively short firing range, usually around 6 kilometers, is offset by its sheer destructive power. This range, while shorter than traditional artillery, is often sufficient for the close-range engagements and urban warfare scenarios where the TOS-1A is most effective. The targeting and control systems of the TOS-1A are modern and sophisticated, allowing for a high degree of accuracy, which is crucial given the weapon's power and the potential for collateral damage.

In combat, the TOS-1A serves a dual role. It is not only a direct fire support weapon for infantry and armored units, capable of clearing enemy fortifications, bunkers, and entrenched positions swiftly, but it also serves a psychological role. The fear and demoralization effect on enemy troops facing the prospect of a TOS-1A attack can be significant, impacting their morale and combat effectiveness. Moreover, the system's ability to deliver a large volume of firepower in a short time makes it an effective tool for area denial and creating breakthroughs in stagnant front lines.

Russian Forces Use 50 Destructive Weapons TOS 1A TOS 2 Heavy Flamethrower Systems in Ukraine 925 002
The TOS-2 is a wheeled version of the TOS-1A which is also deployed in Ukraine by Russian armed forces. (Picture Russian MoD)

The TOS-2 is a notable advancement in Russia's line of thermobaric rocket launcher systems, building upon the foundation laid by its predecessors, the TOS-1 and TOS-1A. A significant departure from the earlier models is its mounting on a wheeled chassis, as opposed to the tank chassis used in the TOS-1 and TOS-1A. This shift to a wheeled platform is likely to enhance its mobility, particularly on roads and across diverse terrains, potentially offering greater operational flexibility and speed of deployment.

In terms of firepower, the TOS-2 continues the tradition of delivering thermobaric munitions, which are known for their devastating impact, especially against fortified positions, underground bunkers, and in urban combat scenarios. These munitions create a high-temperature explosion with a prolonged blast wave, capable of inflicting severe damage over a wide area. The specifics of the TOS-2's rocket system, including its range and payload capacity, represent an evolution from its predecessors, aiming to provide enhanced combat capabilities.

Additionally, the TOS-2 likely incorporates advanced targeting and control systems, reflecting the ongoing modernization of military technology. These systems would enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the weapon, crucial factors given the destructive potential of thermobaric munitions.

The introduction of the TOS-2 underscores a continued emphasis on heavy firepower in Russian military doctrine, particularly for scenarios requiring rapid, overwhelming force to neutralize enemy positions. Its development also indicates an awareness of the need for greater mobility and flexibility in modern warfare, where rapid deployment and adaptability can be as crucial as sheer firepower.

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