TOS-1

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ТОС-1
TOS-1 Buratino/TOS-1A Solntsepyok
Object 634/634B/MO.1.01.00
TOS-1A Solntsepyok during the Army-2020 exhibition
TypeMultiple rocket launcher
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1988–present
Used bySoviet Union (historically), Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine(captured from Russia)
WarsSoviet–Afghan War
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Second Chechen War
War in Iraq (2013–2017)[1]
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbas
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Production history
DesignerOmsk Transmash Design Bureau
Designed1988
ManufacturerUralvagonzavod
ProducedTOS-1: 1987–present
TOS-1A: 2003–present
VariantsTOS-1A
Specifications
Mass45.3 t (100,000 lb)
Length9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)
Width3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)
Height2.22 m (7 ft 3 in)
Crew3

Caliber220 mm (8.7 in)
Rate of fire30 rounds/15 s
Effective firing range.5-3 km (TOS-1)
10 km (TOS-1A)

EngineV-84 Diesel
840 hp (630 kW)
Operational
range
550 km (340 mi)
Maximum speed 60 km/h (37 mph)

TOS-1 Buratino (Russian: тяжёлая огнемётная система [ТОС-1], romanizedTyazhyelaya ognemyetnaya sistema [TOS-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 Solntsepyok) multiple rocket launcher capable of using thermobaric warheads, mounted on a T-72 / T-90 tank chassis. TOS-1 was designed to attack enemy fortified positions and lightly armoured vehicles and transports, particularly in open terrain. The system’s 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.

TOS-1 is not assigned to the artillery units of the Russian Armed Forces but is found in Russian NBC Protection Troops.[2][needs update]

Development[edit]

BM-1 - Russian 24-barrel multiple rocket launcher, part of ТОS-1A system

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 metres, 3,800 yards), 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 kilometres (6,600 yd) and a better ballistic computer.[3]

In March 2020, Russia introduced a new rocket for the TOS-1A with a range of 10 kilometres (11,000 yd), 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 to 1,600 metres (440 to 1,750 yd), so the shorter-range M0.1.01.04M rocket will be retained for close combat environments.[4] In 2018, Russian NBC Protection Troops received 30 TOS-1A Solntsepyok (Sunburn) 220 mm multiple rocket launchers.[5]

In October 2017 Saudi Arabian Military Industries signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rosoboronexport for the local production of the TOS-1A.[6]

Combat history[edit]

TOS-1A in action

TOS-1s were first used in combat in Afghanistan's Panjshir valley by the Soviet Union during the Soviet–Afghan War.[7][8] Later, they were used during the Second Chechen War.[9]

TOS-1As were first used in combat in Iraq by the Iraqi Army in the recapture of Jurf Al Sakhar on 24 October 2014, from ISIL forces.[10] 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.[11]

The OSCE reported in September 2015 that the TOS-1 was sighted in a rebel training area in eastern Ukraine.[12]

The TOS-1 was used in Syria on 10 October 2015, by Syrian Army forces against rebel forces in Hama.[13][14] In 2016, it was used against rebel forces in the Latakia mountains,[15] with at least one being destroyed by a rebel Kornet ATGM near Northern Aleppo.[16] It was used again by the Syrian Arab Army in April 2017 in the area of Palmyra,[17] and later in the same month to destroy an ISIS camp.[citation needed] In November 2018, the system was deployed by the SAA against ISIS in Al-Safa region.[18]

Azerbaijan used the TOS-1A against the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army on 4 April 2016[19] and 28 September 2020.[citation needed]

It took part in the large-scale Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad in September 2021.[20]

Remains of a TOS-1 in Izium (Ukraine) after the battle for the city

TOS-1A units were being deployed during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23][24] Ukrainian forces went on to capture several units which were left abandoned by the Russians, and have used a captured unit against the Russians.[25][26][27]

The TOS-1A was reportedly used by Russian forces during the Battle of Pisky in 2022.[28] One was destroyed by Ukrainian forces in February 2023 during the Battle of Vuhledar.[29] On 9 June 2023, another TOS-1A was claimed to be destroyed in Zaporizhzhia region during the 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive. However no video evidence exist for this claim.[30] Another TOS-1A was reportedly destroyed on the left bank of the Dnipro River in November using a drone dropping bombs.[31]

System description[edit]

The TOS-1A Solntsepyok (Russian: Солнцепёк, Blazing Sun) system consists of the following items:[32][33]

  • 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.). Modernized systems with active protection, new engine and launchers and other improvements were delivered in early 2018.[34][35] A new topographic orientation system is being reportedly installed as of October 2023.[36]
TZM-T loader-transport vehicle for TOS-1A during the "Armiya 2020" exhibition
TZM-T with a cover off one of the rocket storage racks, with two rockets
  • 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.
  • The MO.1.01.04 (Russian: неуправляемый реактивный снаряд) are 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in) long and weigh 173 kg (381 lb).[37] The original rocket for the TOS-1A had a range of only 2,700 m (8,900 ft).
  • The MO.1.01.04M rocket is 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in) long and weighs 217 kg (478 lb).[38] This version extends the range to 6,000 m (20,000 ft). The system was modernized in 2016.[39]
  • The M0.1.01.04M2 rocket was upgraded in March 2020 to a heavier thermobaric warhead and better 10 km range, to operate outside the range of modern ATGMs.[38]

Operators[edit]

TOS-1 operators
  Current
  Former

Current operators[edit]

Former operators[edit]

  •  Soviet Union – Passed on to Russia.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iraq: See the EXPLOSIVE Russian firepower helping Iraqi forces fight IS". Archived from the original on 18 January 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2014 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "Ukrainian army fires TOS-1A Heavy Flamethrower against its former Russian owner".
  3. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В декабре исполняется 15 лет со дня принятия на вооружение ВС РФ ТОС-1А "Солнцепек"" [TsAMTO / News / In December it will be 15 years since the adoption of TOS-1A "Solntsepyok" in the Russian Armed Forces] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2018-12-24. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  4. ^ "Troops fire next-generation shells for heavy flamethrowers in Siberia drills".
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  38. ^ a b "M0.1.01.04M".
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External links[edit]