TOS-1 Buratino/TOS-1A Solntsepyok
|Type||Multiple rocket launcher|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||Soviet Union (historically), Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq|
Second Chechen War
War in Iraq (2013–2017)
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbas
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
|Designer||Omsk Transmash Design Bureau|
|Mass||45.3 t (100,000 lb)|
|Length||9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)|
|Width||3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.22 m (7 ft 3 in)|
|Caliber||220 mm (8.7 in)|
|Rate of fire||30 rounds/15 s|
|Effective firing range||.5-3 km (TOS-1)|
10 km (TOS-1A)
840 hp (630 kW)
|550 km (340 mi)|
|Maximum speed||60 km/h (37 mph)|
TOS-1 (Russian: тяжёлая огнемётная система [ТОС-1], Heavy Flamethrower System) is a Soviet 220 mm 30-barrel (original system, Object 634 or TOS-1M) or 24-barrel (Object 634B or TOS-1A) multiple rocket launcher capable of using thermobaric warheads, mounted on a T-72 tank chassis. TOS-1 was designed to attack enemy fortified positions and lightly armoured vehicles and transports, in open terrain in particular. First combat tests took place in 1988 and 1989 in the Panjshir Valley during the Soviet–Afghan War. The TOS-1 was shown for the first time in public in 1999 in Omsk.
The idea of a heavy short-range MLRS to launch rockets equipped with incendiary and thermobaric warheads arose in the late 1970s. The combat system consisting of the combat vehicle, rockets, and loading vehicle was developed in early 1980s at KBTM in Omsk and was named TOS-1, remaining a secret development for a long time.
The TOS-1 Buratino is intended to engage military personnel, equipment, and buildings, including fortified constructions. The nickname "Buratino" originates with the name of the hero of a Russian retelling of the Pinocchio tale (by Alexey Tolstoy), given the perception of the big "nose" of the launcher (in the original Italian text of Pinocchio, the protagonist is a "burattino", the Italian word for "puppet"). The combat vehicle acts within the combat order of infantry and tanks.The large mass of the launcher, combined with the short range of rockets launches (3,500 m (11,500 ft)), forced an increase in the level of armor and use the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank. The TZM reloading vehicle was built on the chassis of a KrAZ-255B cross-country truck and equipped with a crane for loading/unloading of the launcher. Production of KrAZ-255B has officially stopped in 1994. Therefore, TZM-T for later Soltsepyok was created based on the chassis of a T-72 variation T-72A.
In 2003, the improved TOS-1A Solntsepyok ("Scorching sunlight") system entered service with the range extended to 6 kilometers and a better ballistic computer.
In March 2020, Russia introduced a new rocket for the TOS-1A with a range of 10 km, achieved in part by weight and size reductions of a new fuel air explosive mixture in the warhead, while also increasing its power. Minimum range is extended from 400 m to 1.6 km, so the shorter-range M0.1.01.04M rocket will be retained for close combat environments. In 2018, Russian NBC Protection Troops received 30 TOS-1A Solntsepyok (Sunburn) 220 mm multiple rocket launchers.
On 12 January 2018, it was announced that NPO Splav was working on a prototype of a next generation TOS system for preliminary tests. The system with improved tactical and technical characteristics will be made on a wheeled chassis.
The new TOS-2 (Tosochka) system was first unveiled during the 2020 Moscow Victory Day Parade, and further showcased during the Kavkaz-2020 drills in September 2020. It is equipped with a more powerful TBS-M3 rocket and its own crane. It has also an increased range and is protected from precision weapons. The system uses the 6x6 Ural-63706-0120 all-terrain vehicle instead of the tracked armored chassis of the TOS-1A.
TOS-1As were first used in combat in Iraq by the Iraqi Army in the recapture of Jurf Al Sakhar on October 24, 2014, from ISIL forces. The Iraqi Army launched at least three TOS-1 rockets on 18 June 2017 during the first day of an offensive to recapture the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, from the Islamic State, targeting school buildings held by Islamic State forces and known to be devoid of civilians.
The TOS-1 was used in Syria on October 10, 2015, by Syrian Army forces against rebel forces in Hama. In 2016, it was used against rebel forces in the Latakia mountains, with at least one being destroyed by a rebel Kornet ATGM near Northern Aleppo. It was used again by the Syrian Arab Army in April 2017 in the area of Palmyra, and later in the same month to destroy an ISIS camp. In November 2018, the system was deployed by the SAA against ISIS in Al-Safa region.
TOS-1A units were being deployed during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Several sightings of the system were reported during the invasion. A verified image of a TOS-1A claimed to have been captured by the Ukrainian Army has been widely shared across social media. On 9 March 2022, the UK Ministry of Defence said on Twitter that the Russian Ministry of Defence had confirmed the use of the weapon system in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces went on to capture several units which were left abandoned by the Russians, and have used a captured unit against the Russians. The TOS-1A was reportedly used by Russian forces during the battle of Pisky.
- The "combat vehicle" BM-1 (Russian: боевая машина) (Object 634B) based on a modified T-72A chassis and fitted with a rotating launch system for 24 unguided thermobaric rockets. All rockets can be launched within 6 to 12 seconds. The launch vehicle is equipped with a fire control system with a ballistic computer, aiming sight and 1D14 laser range finder. The other standard equipment consists of a TKN-3A sight for the commander, a GPK-59 navigation system, an R-163-50U radio station, an R-174 intercom and a 902G smoke grenade launcher with four barrels. The 3-man crew is armed with one AKS-74, one RPKS-74, three RPG-26s, and 10 F-1 hand grenades. The BM-1 is fitted with the same equipment as the T-72 tank (NBC protection, fire-fighting, observation etc.).
- Two TZM-T (Russian: транспортно-заряжающая машина) (Object 563) re-supply vehicles, fitted with a 10 kN crane. Each vehicle carries 2x12 spare rockets and 400 litres of fuel for the BM-1 and has a combat weigh of 39 t (86,000 lb). The TZM-T has a crew of three, armed with two AKS-74s, one RPKS-74, five RPG-26s, and 10 F-1 hand grenades.
- A set of rockets NURS (Russian: неуправляемый реактивный снаряд) MO.1.01.04 and MO.1.01.04M. These are 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in) and 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in) long and weigh 173 kg (381 lb) and 217 kg (478 lb) respectively. The original rocket for the TOS-1A had a range of only 2,700 m (8,900 ft), but the improved version extends the range to 6,000 m (20,000 ft). Some sources say its range is 12 km. The system was modernized in 2016. Modernized systems with active protection, new engine and launchers and other improvements were delivered in early 2018. In March 2020, Russia introduced a new rocket for the TOS-1A with a range of 10 km.
- Algeria – 52
- Azerbaijan – 36
- Iraq – 12
- Kazakhstan – 3
- Russia – ~45 + TOS-1A and a number of TOS-2. New batches of TOS-1A were delivered in September and November 2022.
- Saudi Arabia: Used by the Royal Saudi Land Forces. A license to produce TOS-1A was granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017.
- Syria – 8+
- Ukraine – at least four TOS-1As and four TZM-Ts captured during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. One was reportedly used in combat against Russian forces in early April 2022.
- Soviet Union – Passed on to Russia.
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- Video of the TOS-1 in action (in Russian)
- GlobalSecurity profile
- FAS profile
- TOS-1A article on Military Today
- TOS-1 article on Military Today
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