TechUkrainian forces dismantle feared Russian heavy flamethrower in Avdiivka region

Ukrainian forces dismantle feared Russian heavy flamethrower in Avdiivka region

TOS-1A system in action.
TOS-1A system in action.
Images source: © X | NEXTA
10:16 AM EST, February 24, 2024

Although Ukrainian forces have withdrawn from Avdiivka, conflict ensues in the neighboring areas where the search for dangerous targets persists. The TOS-1A units, known for firing robust rockets armed with thermobaric warheads capable of annihilating all life upon impact, are a primary focus.

Despite the relocation of Ukrainian troops, hostilities continue in areas close to Avdiivka, and the quest to dismantle dangerous objectives continues. TOS-1A systems, infamous for launching potent rockets packed with thermobaric warheads that decimate all living organisms at the point of impact, are certainly on the radar.

Thermobaric Weapon: The Less Privileged Sibling to Nuclear Weapons

The Russian TOS-1A systems, incorporated into the Russian army's arsenal during the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, are ideally suited for eradicating living forces across extensive territories, whether they're located in field fortifications or buildings.

A launcher carrying twenty-four unguided 220 mm caliber rockets - each packed with 99 lbs of thermobaric explosive - is mounted on a T-72 tank chassis, lending the system impressive striking power.

Distinguishing thermobaric charges from traditional explosives is their lack of oxygen in their makeup. Instead, they draw it from the surrounding air. Equating for the same weight, thermobaric charges contain significantly more potent explosive material. Preceding detonation, the thermobaric charge disseminates into an aerosol-based format, delaying the resulting explosion.

Given its similar impact to a nuclear weapon, sans radiation, thermobaric weapons are often labeled the "poorer sibling of nuclear weapons." That said, the TOS-1A system has a significant drawback – its maximum effective range of merely 3.7 miles (6 km), which makes it an easy target. It takes only an FPV drone or artillery shrapnel to detonate one of its rockets and cause a substantial explosion.

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