TOS-1: why Afghan spooks were so afraid of the flamethrower

Weapons 07/02/20 TOS-1: why Afghan spooks were so afraid of the flamethrower “Buratino”

Heavy flamethrower system TOS-1 is among one of the most secret models of Soviet weapons. As it is often mentioned when talking about the most unexpected and memorable names for military equipment, thanks to the name “Pinocchio”. Often the effect of this setup compared to a small atomic explosion, and the first cases of its use not only leads to great destruction, but also a huge psychological effect, as the few survivors, and those who it was used.

Different TOS-1 and a complete lack of understanding among a wider audience, what is it and where this machine belongs. The reason for that is the official name of the system and its organizational affiliation.

a foreign reference TOS-1 is in the section of rocket artillery that, in General, correct. This is a classic reactive system of volley fire (MLRS), and the famous “Katyusha” were the ancestors of “Pinocchio.” However, if MLRS is included in the composition of artillery, the TOS are on arms of armies of radiation, chemical and bacteriological protection. At the same time, perform the system tasks, more typical engineering units. And the name “flamethrower system”, suggests associations with the actions of the flamethrower, sending a stream of fire into the embrasure Pillbox. All of this together easily creates confusion, which is good for counter-intelligence, as there is nothing more useful for the classification of something than legends and myths.

TOS-1 “Pinocchio”, as we now know from released in 2010 reference S. G. Tikhonova “Defence companies of the Soviet Union and Russia” was developed in 70-e years in Omsk. In structure it was a classic rocket artillery installation for firing unguided rockets. A fundamental difference from the other MLRS were small a range, up to 3500 m, that is, “Buratino” it systemsas melee. The main feature of TOS is the usage of thermobaric munitions that are not quite right. Such ammunition is used and the other MLRS: “Hurricanes”, “Tornadoes”, “Tornado”. And coma used demoshield thermobaric ammunition.

also, according to Belarusian author A. V. Strugovschikov who wrote the article “TOS-1 “BURATINO” for the “Pinocchio” was created and the warhead (warhead) with toxic substances of the binary type. On the one hand, this is not surprising, because rocket artillery was designed for shooting chemical shells. And the Soviet “Katyusha”, and appeared earlier German “Nebelverferov” originally was the main chemical munition. But because of the current Russian military chemical weapons there, in any case, “Pinocchio” is hardly ever going to use missiles with combat gases.

the Fact that TOS refers to the chemical forces, it is rather a historical specificity. Even in the red Army flamethrowers were not related to the engineers (as in most armies), and to chemical forces. The name “flamethrower system” is derived from the improvement of this type of weapon. The Soviet defense industry has long been searching for a way to do so is to reduce losses — because most of it was shot from the flamethrower burning mixture did not reach the goal. The easiest way to send agneses to the goal stream, and in ampoules. Embolomeri first appeared at the beginning of the great Patriotic war, but then these weapons were so perfect that to use it was more dangerous for those who ampulae uses. These work led, in particular, to the creation of the TOS. Although “Pinocchio” uses not incendiary weapons, like flamethrowers and thermobaric, but it relates to the flamethrower.

Contrary to common opinion, “Pinocchio”, as well as its modification TOZ-1A “Sun”, are not universal and all-powerful weapon. On the contrary, the scope of TPS is extremely narrow: the destruction of fortified areas of the field type. Thermobaricsthe cue ball (their TOS produces from 30 to 24 per 7-6 sec) when hit throws the aerosol that detonates. As a result of the expanding shock wave. Thermobaric mixture is able to penetrate inside the shelters, and the walls of the shelters and even enhance the effect of the blast wave. According to journalists edition of Popular Mechanics, a volley of one unit, destroys all life in the area of 200 by 400 meters. Fortified turns after volley scorched into space.

for the First time “Pinocchio” used in Afghanistan and later in Chechnya, now the “Sun” is used in Syria and Iraq. In all cases very similar nature of the fighting, and almost the same enemy. The Afghan Mujahideen, Chechen militants, Islamic terrorists are equally horrified seeing the effects of “Pinocchio” and “Sun”, those who were in the area of the volley impressions left.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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