TechRussian arms manufacturer patents conceptual heavy flamethrower to address earlier flaws

Russian arms manufacturer patents conceptual heavy flamethrower to address earlier flaws

TOS-1A system in action.
TOS-1A system in action.
Images source: © X | NEXTA
9:39 AM EST, February 8, 2024

The rocket artillery system TOS-1 "Solntsepyok" is often seen in Ukraine since it provides potent fire support and inflicts substantial damage. The more advanced system, TOS-2 "Tosochka", has also been spotted on the frontline. Using these weapons in warfare made the Russians realize that these heavy flamethrowers have several significant drawbacks that impact their effectiveness.

Russia aims to develop a new flamethrower

The Ukrainian service Defense Express notes that the TOS-1, a thermobaric weapon sometimes referred to as the nuclear weapon's poorer cousin, has a declared firing range of 3.7 to 6.2 miles. This limited range is seen as its main flaw since the gun must be close to the frontline or the target. Consequently, this makes TOS-1 vulnerable to Ukrainian attack drones.

As emphasized by the service, a $500 UAV can dismantle the entire Russian concept of using self-propelled flamethrowers. The compact device can destroy a system element worth up to 7 million dollars and stop it from launching massive thermobaric missile assaults. This is indeed positive news for Ukrainians. When a TOS-1 launches an attack, the temperature at the epicenter can reach 5720 degrees Fahrenheit, vaporizing everything at ground zero while consuming all the oxygen in the vicinity.

The TOS-1 system also has advantages that Russians hope to leverage in developing the TOS-3 "Drakon". As previously reported, this includes the weapon's chassis, where the annihilator is mounted on a T-90 or T-72 tank chassis. This allows it to function efficiently in the field. Russians theorize that integrating such a chassis with the TOS-2 range, which spans 9.3 to almost 15 miles, could produce a potent thermobaric weapon. The TOS-3 "Drakon" is currently only conceptual, and it remains unclear if and when Russia will begin production.

Related content