MOSCOW, (BM) – The Russian Federation and the Russian military-industrial complex, respectively, have succeeded in promoting the TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system and have made it one of Russia’s best-selling ground systems, learned BulgarianMilitary.com according to press releases from the Uralvagonzavod concern (UVZ) and the Rosoboronexport company [part of Rostec].
“The TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system is in service not only with the Russian army, but also with the armed forces of several countries of the world,” the companies said, without specifying the buyers of the equipment.
They reported that JSC Rosoboronexport and JSC Omsktransmash (as part of JSC Concern Uralvagonzavod) held a demonstration of the TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system for a number of foreign customers at the test site in Nizhny Tagil.
“Such equipment is not produced anywhere except Russia, and we are proud to show it to our foreign partners. The system has repeatedly shown its highest combat characteristics in real combat conditions when destroying well-fortified positions of terrorist groups in the Middle East. Due to its highest characteristics, the TOS-1A is stable is included in the TOP-5 samples supplied by Rosoboronexport for the ground forces of customers,” said Alexander Mikheev, General Director of Rosoboronexport, whose words are quoted in press releases.
UVZ said that during the demonstration at the Staratel test site, the TOS-1A system completed all its tasks.
“The efficiency of the system, its firepower has long been recognized all over the world, in terms of the applied technical solutions and combat effectiveness, it is a unique development,” said the general director of the concern, Alexander Potapov.
TOS-1A Solntsepek was developed in 2001 on the chassis of the T-72 tank. Solntsepek operates in combat formations of supported troops from open and closed positions.
Targets are destroyed with the massive use of unguided rockets in thermobaric and smoke-incendiary equipment. The flamethrower system is equipped with an improved launcher and an automated guidance system.
Earlier it was reported that Saudi Arabia became the buyer of TOS-1A. Russia also previously supplied Solntsepek for export, in particular, to Iraq. Heavy flamethrower systems have also been seen in Syria.
How the Solntsepek flamethrower system works
TOS-1A “Solntsepek” is a modification of TOS-1 “Buratino”, a heavy multiple launch rocket system based on the T-72 tank. TOS-1 was developed from 1971 to 1979. The first prototypes on the T-72 chassis were manufactured at the Transport Engineering Design Bureau in Omsk.
The complex included a combat vehicle (BM) – a launcher with a package of 30 guides on the chassis of the T-72 tank and a transport-loading vehicle (TZM) on the KrAZ-255B chassis. In 1980, the vehicle successfully passed state tests and was recommended for adoption by the Soviet Army.
The “Buratino” system was intended to disable lightly armored and automobile equipment, set fire to and destroy structures and buildings, destroy enemy manpower by fragments and a shock wave created by the massive use of unguided rockets in thermobaric and smoke-inducing equipment.
The significant mass of the package of guide tubes with shells required a high-carrying capacity chassis, and a small firing range (from 400 to 4500 meters) – a certain level of protection for the entire combat vehicle, which made it heavier up to 46 tons. A package of 30 guides for unguided rockets (NURS) was mounted on the turntable of the launcher.
The crew performed all actions to aim the installation at the target without leaving the car – with the help of a sight and electric drives. The trajectory of the projectile’s flight to the target required accurate accounting of the firing conditions and the creation of a special fire control system, which consisted of an optical sight, a laser rangefinder, a roll sensor and an electronic ballistic computer.
From “Buratino” to “Solntsepek”
In 2001, the “Buratino” system was modernized and received the name TOS-1A “Solntsepek”. Distinctive features of the novelty were: the number of shells reduced to 24, the firing range increased to 6 kilometers, the KrAZ chassis was replaced with a modernized tracked base of the T-72A tank.
The TOS-1A “Solntsepek” system includes:
– combat vehicle BM-1 (“Object 634B”) with a launcher on the T-72A chassis;
– transport and loading vehicle TZM-T (Object 563) on the T-72A chassis;
– NURS MO.1.01.04 or MO.1.01.04M caliber 220 mm.
The BM-1 vehicle is a multiple launch rocket system. It is equipped with a V-84MS diesel power plant with a capacity of 840 hp. from. at 2000 rpm. on the T-72A chassis, a rotating platform with a swinging part, which includes a package of 24 tubular guides for rockets, electric drives and a fire control system.
The package of guides is mounted in an armored swinging part, which protects the ammunition from the B-32 armor-piercing bullet with a caliber of 7.62 mm from a distance of at least 620 meters. Aiming the rocking part of the launcher at the target in the horizontal and vertical planes is done by electro-hydraulic drives using a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer.
Depending on the situation, fire on targets can be made with single and double shots from two barrels. The control of NURS launches is automatic, the duration of a full salvo with paired launches is 6 seconds, with single launches – 12 seconds, and the time of readiness to open fire on a visible target from the moment the combat vehicle stops is 90 seconds. The vehicle’s crew consists of three people: a driver-mechanic, a gunner and a commander.
Shooting is carried out with unguided rockets of caliber 220 mm. The projectiles are designed to deliver a thermobaric mixture, activate it and create overpressure and a thermal field on the target area. The MO.1.01.04 projectile has a length of 3300 mm and a weight of 173 kg, and MO.1.01.04M is slightly longer and heavier – 3700 mm and 217 kg, respectively. NURS consists of a thermobaric or incendiary warhead, a fuse and a solid-propellant jet engine.
The fire control system includes an optical sight, a laser periscopic rangefinder 1D14, a roll-trim sensor PB2.329.04 (electric, pendulum type) and a specialized electronic digital computing complex MO.1.01.01.03M2. Using a laser rangefinder, the distance to the target is determined with an accuracy of 10 meters. These data are automatically entered into the ballistic computer, which calculates the required elevation angle of the launcher. The angle of roll and trim is fixed automatically and taken into account by the calculator.
BM-1 auxiliary armament: RPKS-74 machine gun (1440 rounds of ammunition), AKS-74 assault rifle (300 rounds of ammunition), three RPG-26 anti-tank grenades and ten F-1 hand grenades.
The power drive for guiding the launcher in the horizontal plane is electromechanical, in the vertical plane it is electro-hydraulic. To ensure firing accuracy, the BM-1 is equipped with outriggers and hydraulic friction stoppers with remote electrohydraulic control.
The commander’s device TKN-ZA is a combined (day and night) electro-optical, binocular, periscope. The rest of the observation devices are both prismatic and telescopic, and the orientation device is a gyroscopic heading indicator gyrocompass GPK-59.
BM-1 is equipped with built-in bulldozer equipment for self-digging, four installations for launching smoke grenades 902 G with a firing range of up to 100 meters and thermal smoke equipment that creates an impenetrable curtain up to 400 meters long.
The system of protection against weapons of mass destruction protects the crew from toxic substances by sealing the cockpit. A filter ventilation unit with a radiation and chemical reconnaissance device GO-27 purifies the air entering the crew compartment from dust and radioactive substances. The average range of communication with radio stations of the same type is about 20 km. Fire-fighting system – automatic, triple action.
Get up to charge
Transport-loading vehicle TZM-T is designed for transportation of NURS, loading and unloading of the launcher.
TZM-T is a set of loading and unloading devices located on a tracked base. The car’s crew also consists of three people: a driver-mechanic, an operator and a commander. They are armed with a RPKS-74 machine gun (1440 rounds of ammunition), two AKS-74 assault rifles (600 rounds of ammunition), five RPG-26 anti-tank grenades and ten F-1 hand grenades.
The lifting capacity of the hydraulic two-mode crane installation is 1000 kg. The charging time of the installation by a remotely controlled electro-hydraulic crane is 24 minutes. Ammunition protection – armored, removable. The power plant, power supply systems, fire extinguishing and protection against weapons of mass destruction of the TZM-T transport and loading vehicle are similar to the BM-1.
Today, TOS-1A are in service with the 1st mobile brigade of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops (at least four BM-1 units and one TZM-T unit), the 28th separate brigade of the RChBZ in the city of Kamyshin, Volgograd Region (at least two units BM-1 and one unit TZM-T), as well as the 70th separate flamethrower battalion in the village of Razdolnoye, Primorsky Krai (at least two units BM-1).
In the period from December 1988 to February 1989, two TOS-1 “Buratino” complexes took part in hostilities in the Charikar Valley and in South Salang (Afghanistan) during Operation Typhoon.
The tactics of the application consisted in a sudden fire defeat of the enemy, the rapid withdrawal of combat vehicles from a possible retaliatory shelling and withdrawal to the points of permanent deployment of Soviet troops. The effect of the use of thermobaric ammunition in the mountains has exceeded all expectations. During the battle for the village of Komsomolskoye (Chechen Republic) in 2000, TOS-1 fired at the positions of the militants.
TOS-1A “Solntsepek” is exported to Azerbaijan (6 BM-1 units on the T-90 chassis were delivered in 2013 and 6 more units will be delivered in 2014), Kazakhstan (3 BM-1 units were delivered in 2011) and Iraq (several units will be delivered by the end of 2014).
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