Russia used TOS-2 Tosochka rocket launcher with thermobaric rockets for the first time during Kavkaz-2020 exercises held recently.
"The new systems destroyed the advancing columns of armored vehicles of the mock enemy. The fire of unguided rockets in the TBS-M3 thermobaric equipment, which have increased energy characteristics, caused significant damage to the advancing enemy. In addition, the combined flamethrower battalion of the Southern Military District, consisting of nine combat vehicles of the heavy flamethrower system TOS-1A Solntsepek, destroyed a motorized infantry battalion of the mock enemy. Unguided rockets in thermobaric and smoke-igniting equipment were used to destroy targets,” Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement on September 25.
TOS-2 Tosochka is the successor of the TOS-1A Solntsepek system with improved tactical and technical characteristics.
"Unlike its predecessor, it is made on the basis of the Ural car with increased load capacity and cross-country ability. It has an increased launch range of unguided rockets. Aiming, shooting and fire control of the TOS-2 are fully automated. A crane is mounted on the vehicle, so the system does not need a transport and charging machine. In addition, the TOS-2 has a system of electronic protection against high-precision weapons,” the MoD said, describing the new system.
TOS-family rocket launchers are intended for providing fire support to infantry and armour, defeating manpower in offensive and defensive operations, as well as disabling armored vehicles and transport. Target's destruction by the unguided artillery rockets with thermobaric warheads is achieved through effects of high temperature and overpressure.
As Defenseworld.net understands, the main difference of the TOS system from the standard multiple rocket launcher (MRL) lies in its ability to provide almost the same firepower but at the point-blank range and more precisely. It can also be used in the artillery mode. Unlike traditional MRLs it makes minimum collateral damage.
This February TOS-1A was presented by its developer and producer Uralvagonzavod at DefExpo India 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar-Pradesh. It has a range of fire of 600 to 6 000 m and can be mounted on T-72 or T-90 MBT chassis, which could enable its license production in the countries already using these tanks.