This is Russia's new and fearsome TOS-3 Dragon thermobaric flamethrower

Russia confirmed its existence last month and now the state news agency TASS has revealed his appearance in a video that shows a military ceremony in which the soldiers of the 1st Mobile Brigade for Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense his work in the ukrainian war. This body is the one that is equipped with the fearsome thermobaric flamethrowers TOS-1A and TOS-2, one of the most destructive weapons that Russia has on Ukrainian soil. And although TASS has not assigned the TOS-3 to this brigade in their information and details about it remain scarce, their presence at the ceremony indicates that its deployment may be close.

Flamethrowers or thermobaric rocket launchers are weapons that the Russian Army classifies as heavy flamethrower. A thermobaric rocket is a type of explosive weapon that uses a mixture of fuel and air to produce a high temperature explosion and a shock wave of great power and duration. Upon impact, it releases a cloud of combustible material into the target area which mixes with oxygen in the surrounding air and is a second explosive charge which detonates the mixture and generates an explosion with temperatures of up to 3,000 degreesunder which any living being vaporizes, and an overpressure of 3 megapascals inside.

Thermobaric flamethrowers are being a nightmare for Ukrainian soldiers, which is why they are one of their preferred targets. Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, they have managed destroy, damage or capture 25 TOS-1A systems, but no TOS-2, as collected by Oryx from open information sources. From the TOS-1A to the TOS-2, there were important changes that added advantages and disadvantages to the weapon, and the new TOS-3 seems to want to bring together the best of both machines.

TOS-1 thermobaric rocket systems opening

The TOS series was designed to provide general fire support along with infantry and tanks. He TOS-1A Solntsepyokwhich could be translated as “scorching sun,” is mounted on a T-72 tank chassis in which the turret is replaced by a multiple launch rocket system with 24 cannons. He TOS-2which joined the Russian Army in 2020, changed the T-72 chassis for that of a truck with wheels and incorporated a thermobaric rocket launcher system second generation with fewer cannons, 18but of greater scope: 15 kilometers compared to 6 for the TOS-1A. However, and although it gained in mobility, it is a vehicle much less protected and that offers greater risk to the crew.

He TOS-3 Dragon It is designed to combine the best features of both systems, with the tank hull protection of the TOS-1A but with rockets that offer greater range to that of TOS-2. The number of tubes in the rocket launcher has again been reduced, which left at 15. It is possible that, by carrying a smaller number, each missile contains more fuel and this is what allows it a greater range than the TOS-2. As confirmed to TASS last month Bekhan OzdoevIndustrial Director of Weapon Systems at Rostec State Corporation, The TOS-3 uses a new launcher that fires longer-range missilesalthough he did not specify how much.

The TOS-3 design also once again demonstrates the importance of drones in the Ukrainian war. Anti-drone cages have been added from the factory to protect the rocket launcher.a place where a drone attack could be disastrous for the crew and units around it.