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Machines fire: self-propelled flamethrowers await a major upgrade


Heavy flamethrower systems (TOS) “Buratino” and “Solntsepek” will be thoroughly updated. Combat vehicles will not only increase their firepower, but also their security, as well as connect them to the “military Internet”. In real time, vehicles will receive the coordinates of targets, as well as combat missions and march routes. It is planned to equip flamethrower systems with the latest long-range missiles, which allow them to burn whole hectares at a distance of up to 15 km. According to experts, the modernized TPS will radically increase the capabilities of Russian troops on the battlefield and become one of the most dangerous vehicles.

Long-range sight

Sources in the military department told Izvestia that a fundamental decision to modernize TOS-1 and TOS-1A has already been made. Newly released cars will receive updates first. And the systems already supplied to the troops will undergo an upgrade during the repair process. Improving the characteristics of the technique was required due to the growing range and changes in tasks for heavy flamethrower systems, the interlocutors explained to the publication.

In addition to modern digital means of communication, TOS will also receive equipment for a closed data transmission segment, known as the “military Internet”. This will make it possible to integrate the machines not only into reconnaissance and fire circuits, but also into the most modern automated control systems (ACS) of the tactical level. Subsequently, it is planned to adapt for them the latest long-range ammunition, used so far only TOS-2 “Tosochka”.

“Tosochka” for burning: the south of Russia will be protected by thermobaric flamethrowers New systems will enter service with the Southern Military District in the coming years

Now the troops of radiation, chemical and biological protection (RHBZ) are armed with up to a hundred heavy flamethrower systems of two modifications: TOS-1 “Buratino” based on the T-72 tank and the improved TOS-1A “Solntsepek” on the T-90 chassis. All these machines will be improved.

According to the military department, earlier in the exercises “Center-2019” they already tested a new organizational and staff structure for the massive use of “Solntsepek”. And at the strategic maneuvers “Kavkaz-2020” TOS-2 used long-range missiles TBS-4M in thermobaric equipment.

The range of the first Buratino weapons was only 3.5 km. Subsequently, it was brought to 6 km. New ammunition, tested in exercises in 2020, will increase the reach at once two and a half times, up to 15 km. Izvestia reported on the development of these missiles back in 2016.

Also, according to Izvestia, all tracked TOS of the Southern Military District will be replaced by Tosochki by 2025. But in other regions of the country, “Buratino” and “Solntsepeki” will be in service with the units and subdivisions of the RChBZ for a long time.

“Such heavy flamethrower systems fire direct fire at the forward edge. With the help of the new equipment, they will be able to work from closed positions, ”military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Izvestia. – An automated guidance system will eliminate errors that can be introduced by the human factor. The speed of preparing data and weapons for shooting will increase. The modernized heavy flamethrower systems can be used as an element of reconnaissance and strike systems. And given that one of its variants – TOS-2 – received a wheelbase, this will significantly increase operational mobility and resource. This technology will continue to occupy a worthy place among weapons systems and will even expand its niche.

Fire contours

The introduction of automated control systems makes it possible to increase the firepower of artillery. According to the Ministry of Defense, the exercises regularly practice strikes on targets a few minutes after they were discovered by reconnaissance. It is the ACS that allows modern Russian and foreign artillery systems to hit targets with the first volleys, and then quickly move and deploy to new positions so as not to get hit by a retaliation.

The Russian army will receive the TOS-2 flamethrower system by the end of the year

The coordinates of enemy targets are discovered by reconnaissance, radars and drones. Data about them are sent to the automated control system, and from there to the artillerymen. Automation allows you to quickly calculate the necessary data to open fire. Moreover, for each weapon, its exact position on the terrain and characteristics are individually taken into account, and its own task is assigned.

On the latest models of artillery systems, such as “Tornado-G” and “Tornado-S”, as well as the self-propelled gun mount “Coalition-SV”, there is already the necessary equipment to operate under the control of the automated control system. The commander even has access to a digital terrain map, which displays the position of his own vehicles and enemy targets. With deep modernization, they receive a set of necessary electronics for ACS 2S3 “Akatsiya” and 2S19 “Msta-S”.

Similar equipment will appear on the heavy flamethrower systems in service with the RChBZ. Now they can also be integrated into existing artillery fire control systems and reconnaissance and fire circuits. Connecting to a closed segment of data transmission will allow you to directly connect them, if necessary, even with the National Center for Defense Management in Moscow.

“Buratino” from the RChBZ

Back in the Soviet era, TPS were included not in artillery units, but in the troops of the RChBZ. This situation continues to this day. Now the battalion of the TOS is in the composition of the brigades of radiation, chemical and biological protection, and in the regiments – one company each.

Burnout system: battalions of heavy flamethrowers will be created in the army. Strike complexes will help “Armats” and motorized riflemen to break through fortified areas

The characteristics of the thermobaric mixture make it especially effective against fortifications. Not only dugouts, but also light armored vehicles do not save from the combination of a powerful shock wave and high temperature. With one salvo, a combat vehicle is capable of hitting a platoon strongpoint equipped in accordance with all the rules.

Due to the small firing range, the TOS often operated on the front line, sometimes under enemy fire. Therefore, they are assigned to units of soldiers who cover the combat work. These include flamethrowers with thermobaric RPO-A “Bumblebee”, machine gunners and snipers.

Prototypes of TOS-1 “Buratino” were tested in the war in Afghanistan. Since the beginning of this century, an improved version has been supplied to the troops, which received the designation TOS-1A “Solntsepek”. Both models are now in service. Experimental military operation of the more mobile heavy flamethrower system “Tosochka”, installed on the basis of a truck, also began.CBT


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