Russia plans dramatic upgrades of its TOS-1 heavy flamethrower systems with longer-range “scorching” rockets and real-time targeting capabilities, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper reported Wednesday.
Up to 100 TOS-1 “Buratino” and TOS-1A “Solntsepyok” models of the Russian Armed Forces’ Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops will reportedly receive the upgrades “due to the growing range and changing tasks for heavy flamethrowers.”
Citing unnamed military sources, Izvestia reported that the upgrades will more than double the flamethrower systems’ missile range to 15 kilometers able to “scorch” up to 40,000 square meters of enemy areas.
Additionally, Izvestia reports the TOS-1 and TOS-1A systems will improve firepower through digital communication and closed data transmission known as the “military internet,” integrating them to an artillery command and control mechanism known as the Reconnaissance and Fire Contour and tactical automated fire control systems.
The upgraded systems will receive real-time target coordinates, combat tasks and march routes, the outlet reported.
“The automated guidance system will eliminate errors caused by the human factor,” Izvestia quoted military expert Viktor Murakhovsky as saying.
The Russian military has reportedly already tested the upgraded TOS-1As and the new thermobaric warheads at recent war games.
Russia is undergoing a $340 billion state armament program seeking to overhaul 70% of Soviet-era hardware by 2027.