Russia ‘acquires’ TOS-3 thermobaric MLRS, whereas Saudis eye TOS-1A

Reviews recommend that the Russian military will quickly purchase the most recent enhanced thermobaric model, TOS-3. This Multi-Launch Rocket System [MLRS] is a variant of the older fashions presently in use in the battle with Ukraine. The updates in regards to the TOS-3 originate from native screens who’ve been vigilantly observing actions on the Omsk Transport Engineering Plant [Omsktransmash]. The registration of a new trademark, identify, and classification by the corporate suggests the event of this new system. 

Photograph credit score: Dzen

Wanting again, shares the energetic deployment of an earlier model of this method, the TOS-1A, by the Russian military in Ukraine. This MLRS, often known as Solntsepek, is armed with fierce thermobaric warhead missiles that actually go away a mark. 

Apparently, the TOS-1A, as a consequence of its distinctive efficiency and efficiency through the Ukrainian battle, has managed to safe the curiosity of the Center Jap kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Alexander Mikheev, the CEO of Rosoboronexport, has hinted at a potential buy of this Russian MLRS system by Riyadh. It’s noteworthy that Russia is showcasing its weaponry on the Worldwide Exhibition in Riyadh, the World Protection Present 2024. Not too long ago, Italian sources claimed that Saudi Arabia had already invested in a Russian weapon system by buying the Pantsir-S1 cellular anti-aircraft missile system.

Russia 'acquires' TOS-3 thermobaric MLRS, while Saudis eye TOS-1A
Photograph credit score: Dzen

What we find out about TOS-3 Dragon

Let’s delve into the realm of hypothesis, drawing on the experience of Russian navy analysts. Their predictions middle across the TOS-3 Dragon, which they consider shall be a system affixed to a tracked chassis or tank chassis. The TOS-3 Dragon will in all probability be able to launching round 15 missiles. These missiles may are available two variations – an incendiary warhead or a thermobaric warhead. 

Regardless of the restricted conjectured data, it’s clear that there are some distinct variations when in comparison with the earlier three incarnations. To supply context, the TOS-1 Buratino is mounted on a T-72 tank chassis and may launch a staggering 30 220mm rockets. Then there’s the TOS-1A [a model of interest to Saudi Arabia], which additionally deploys 220mm rockets, however solely 24 of them. Intriguingly, the TOS-1A presents two modifications based mostly on the tank chassis, with some variations having a T-72 tank chassis and others geared up with a T-90 tank chassis. The TOS-2, often known as Tosochka and most just lately registered by the Russian navy, relies on a wheeled Ural chassis, delivering as much as 18 missiles. 

Russia 'acquires' TOS-3 thermobaric MLRS, while Saudis eye TOS-1A
Photograph credit score: Dzen

The hypothesis continues with consultants predicting the TOS-3 Dragon to be mounted on both a T-72 or a T-80 tank chassis. This assumption comes from observing that the producer, Omsktransmash, doesn’t produce the T-90 tank chassis.

Vary assumptions

Upon viewing the define of the potential TOS-3 “Dragon”, it’s obvious that the system homes 15 missiles—a considerable lower from earlier fashions. The decreased ammunition capability within the TOS-3 might be associated to the load of the NURS, supplementary tools, and the presence of an energetic and dynamic safety system. 

There’s a good likelihood that the TOS-3 “Dragon” may make use of the brand new TBS-M3 missiles. These missiles have a vary of 15 km, a size of three.7 meters, an elevated weight for the thermobaric warhead, and the stable propellant’s mass. These are already applied within the TOS-2 “Tosochka”. Variations of different missiles, together with the MO.1.01.04M and M0.1.01.04M2, have ranges of 6 km and 10 km, respectively. 

The TOS-1 “Solntsepek” weighs 46 tons when it’s geared up with a 24-missile package deal. Engineers might goal to cut back the fight automobile’s weight to 40-42 tons, thereby enhancing its pace and maneuverability.

The thermobaric warhead

A thermobaric missile warhead, often known as a fuel-air explosive [FAE], is a sort of explosive that makes use of oxygen from the encircling air to generate a high-intensity, high-temperature explosion. It’s totally different from standard explosives, which carry an oxidizer and gas blended collectively as a steady compound. 

Russia 'acquires' TOS-3 thermobaric MLRS, while Saudis eye TOS-1A
Photograph credit score: Dzen

The operation of a thermobaric warhead begins with the preliminary detonation of a dispersal cost. This primary explosion disperses a cloud of gas into the air, creating an aerosol cloud. This cloud is then ignited by a secondary cost, inflicting the gas to burn quickly. The result’s a extra sustained blast wave with a considerably longer length than a standard condensed explosive. 

The thermobaric warhead’s impact on the enemy is devastating. The preliminary blast wave could cause extreme harm to constructions and personnel. The following vacuum impact could cause extra harm, because the fast outward growth of the blast wave adopted by a sudden lower in stress can result in the collapse of buildings and different constructions. 

Moreover, the extreme warmth generated by the explosion could cause extreme burns and begin fires, growing the damaging energy of the weapon. The oxygen-depleting nature of the explosion can even trigger suffocation in those that survive the preliminary blast.

Why are the Saudis concerned about TOS-1A?

Maybe you’re captivated by the notion proposed by Russian analysts: that Riyadh has expressed curiosity within the TOS-1A, one of many pioneer variants of the a number of rocket launcher system. However what’s sparking this curiosity? It’s seemingly as a result of this method has been broadly deployed through the battle with Ukraine and has acquired quite a few enhancements lately. 

The TOS-1A, often known as the ‘Solntsepyok’ or ‘Blazing Solar’, is a Russian heavy flamethrower system engineered for volley hearth. One of many substantial adjustments is the improve in its firing vary. This method now flaunts an prolonged firing vary of as much as 6 kilometers, a important improve from its earlier most vary of three.5 kilometers. 

Russian troops deployed an iconic flamethrower weapon in Ukraine - TOS-1A
Photograph credit score: MWM

One other outstanding revision to the TOS-1A system is the development of its rocket projectiles. The system now makes use of thermobaric rockets, which outperform standard explosives. Moreover, the TOS-1A has seen enhancements in its focusing on and management programs. The modernized system now options an automatic laying and hearth management system, facilitating extra exact focusing on and refined accuracy. 

Furthermore, the TOS-1A has been outfitted with upgraded safety programs. The automobile is now geared up with reactive armor, which considerably reduces the harm inflicted by anti-tank weapons. Lastly, the TOS-1A’s mobility has been enhanced. The system is now mounted on a T-72 tank chassis, offering superior maneuverability and pace.


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