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First Video of russian Tosochka Flamethrower System Appears a Year After Alleged Arrival on Frontline

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TOS-2 Tosochka multiple launch thermobaric rocket system / Open source illustrative photo
TOS-2 Tosochka multiple launch thermobaric rocket system / Open source illustrative photo

The modernized TOS-2 Tosochka thermobaric rocket launcher was reportedly fighting against Ukrainians a year ago

Footage of the TOS-2 Tosochka heavy flamethrower system was published by russian state media RIA Novosti, the vehicle was claimed to open fire on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and hit the target, identified by russians as "enemy infantry." The Ministry of Defense of Russia confirms deployment of the system in Ukraine.

Read more: ​The Defense Forces of Ukraine Showed a Spectacular Video of russia’s Heavy Flamethrower System’s Defeat

For the first time, this mobile rocket system was mentioned in the context of the Ukrainian war on May 28th, 2022. A short notice from TASS quoted a "source in the military" telling them about TOS-2 allegedly used in battle but no visuals were supporting it. Now we have the video.

TOS-2 Tosochka systems at a military parade
TOS-2 Tosochka systems at a military parade / Open source illustrative photo

Right away we can spot one of the features pertaining to the modernized TOS-2 Tosochka compared to TOS-1: it has a crane so it doesn't need a separate reloading vehicle. The chassis rests on wheels instead of tracks, it is the Ural-63706 truck with additional armor applied to the cabin.

Photo for comparison: this is the TZM-T transporter-reloader vehicle, captured by Ukrainian Armed Forces in March 2022. Such vehicles usually follow TOS-1A rocket launchers. As the new TOS-2 system has a crane of its own, hence no need for a separate reloader / Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

As for the combat capabilities, the upgraded rocket launcher has even fewer tubes – 18 on TOS-2 compared to 24 on TOS-1A Solntsepyok and 30 on the progenitor TOS-1 Buratino.

According to open source data, TOS-2 received a new type of rocket, the TBS-M3 which should have a 2.5 times increased range: 15 km instead of 6 km of standard TOS-1 munitions. Precision has improved; aiming, launch initiation, and fire control systems were automated.

TOS-2 Tosochka launches a rocket
TOS-2 Tosochka launches a rocket / Open source photo

The flamethrower was presented during the Kavkaz military drills in 2020, and then it proved the declared characteristics, in particular by deploying new TBS-M3 munitions. Back then, russia carried plans for TOS-2 to fully replace older TOS-1 and TOS-1A all of the regiments in the Southern Military District. There is no relevant data as to how many of them could be in service with the russian army.

On the other hand, the vehicles of the previous generation have been confirmed to take part in hostilities in Ukraine. For some, it ended badly: since February 2022, the russians lost at least ten TOS-1A rocket systems, either destroyed, damaged or even captured by Ukrainian forces, and seven more TZM-T reloading vehicles supporting the launcher.

A collage of russian TOS-1A and TZM-T vehicles destroyed or captured in Ukraine
A collage of russian TOS-1A and TZM-T vehicles destroyed or captured in Ukraine / Photo credits: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, State Emergency Service of Ukraine
Read more: Metal Cage Did Not Save This TOS-1A Solntsepyok From Destruction by Ukrainian FPV Drone (Video)