Research, Technology

Heavy flamethrower system Pinocchio and Solntsepek - a weapon from which there is no protection?

TOS (heavy flamethrower system) actuallyis a multiple launch rocket system (an example is the American HIMARS or the Russian Tornado), but fires 220-mm projectiles and a theormobaric warhead. Since the TOS has a short firing range, the vehicles are built on the basis of tanks, which provides protection for the crew. Unlike MLRS, targets are hit by high temperature and overpressure, that is, TOS is a thermobaric weapon. It is capable of destroying buildings, lightly armored vehicles, as well as enemy manpower, including those hidden in buildings and fortifications. We offer further to get acquainted with the purpose, features and capabilities of this weapon.

Heavy flamethrower system "Solntsepek"


  • 1 TOS "Pinocchio" - development history
    • 1.1 Characteristics of TOS "Pinocchio"
    • 1.2 Disadvantages of TOS "Pinocchio"
  • 2 TOS-1A “Solntsepek”
  • 3 TOS-2 “Tosochka”

TOS "Pinocchio" - development history

TOS-1 "Pinocchio" is alreadya rather old Soviet weapon, which was developed back in the 70s of the last century. The machine was made on the basis of the T-72 tank. Strictly speaking, TOS-1 "Pinocchio" is a complex that includes three vehicles at once: the launcher itself based on the tank, as well as two charging vehicles based on the KrAZ-255B vehicle. The latter ensure the transportation of NURSs (unguided missiles), as well as loading and unloading the combat vehicle.

Soviet-style heavy flamethrower system "Pinocchio"

The complex was successfully tested in 1980 andwas recommended for adoption. The complex is designed to disable equipment, set fire to and destroy buildings, destroy manpower, etc. As mentioned above, the main feature of TOS-1 is the use of thermobaric charges. We talked about what a thermobaric weapon is in more detail earlier. There are also smoke incendiary charges for TOS, which do a good job of destroying buildings.

The machine was first used in Afghanistan in1988-1989. Later TOS-1 "Pinocchio" was used in many other military conflicts. According to some reports, the name "Buratino" was given to the car by the military during the second Chechen campaign.

Characteristics of TOS "Pinocchio"

The combat vehicle has a package with 30 guides fornurses. Due to such a large number of them, the car turned out to be quite heavy - its curb weight reaches 46 tons. The package is located in the swinging part of the launcher, mounted on a turntable.

Aiming and other preparatory actionsbefore the shot, the crew carries out right in the car. The fire control system contains an optical sight, a laser rangefinder, as well as a roll sensor and an electronic ballistic computer. All this equipment is necessary because TOC requires accurate consideration of firing conditions due to the steep trajectory of projectiles. Calculation of all parameters for aiming is carried out automatically.

The firing range is from 400 to 4500 meters. NURS consists of a warhead, a fuse, as well as a solid-propellant jet engine that ensures the delivery of the warhead.

Charging machine for TOC

Disadvantages of TOS "Pinocchio"

Many experts talk about CBT "Pinocchio" asunique weapon, which to this day has no analogues. The machine allegedly burns everything in its path, and there is no escape from it. But in fact, it has many disadvantages, including a short firing range, as well as a lot of weight and vulnerability.

First of all, TOS has disadvantages,characteristic of tanks. Accordingly, the machine is easy to disable anti-tank systems, such as "Cornet" or Javelin. Since the crew is actually in the tank, they use aiming devices with a narrow field of view. The “blindness” of the crew also increases the vulnerability of the vehicle.

In addition, there are questions about the accuracy of shooting. According to some reports, the extreme NURS from the package deviate greatly from the target when fired.

TOS-1A “Solntsepek”

“Solntsepek” is a modernized versionPinocchio, developed in 2001. During its development, the designers tried to eliminate some of the shortcomings. In particular, the number of guides was reduced from 30 to 24, making the machine lighter, while increasing accuracy.

In addition, the firing range has increased.Now it is 10 km. However, according to critics, for accurate shooting, the target must be within sight for the distance to be recorded by the laser rangefinder. In other words, the firing range is increased only theoretically, but in practice the aiming system in the TOS-1A Solntsepek has migrated from the tank, which does not allow hitting targets at a great distance.

TOS "Solntsepek" has most of the shortcomings that "Pinocchio" had

In addition, the TOS “Solntsepek” had alldisadvantages associated with the tank chassis - crew “blindness”, vulnerability, etc. Therefore, in real combat operations, TOS-1A Solntsepek often become an easy target for the enemy, as evidenced by numerous photos and videos.

Some experts argue that TOS "Pinocchio"and "Solntsepek" are effective only when used in local conflicts and in anti-terrorist operations. But in full-scale hostilities, they lose a lot of MLRS, so there is no serious use from them on the battlefield.

Heavy flamethrower system "Tosochka"

TOS-2 “Tosochka”

TOS-2 "Tosochka" is more moderna heavy flamethrower system, in which many of the shortcomings of Pinocchio and Solntsepek were eliminated. The most important thing is that the car is made on the basis of the Ural car, thanks to which it can reach a higher speed, while the crew has a good overview.

"Tosochka" does not need additionaltransport-loading machines, as it is itself equipped with a crane-manipulator. Among its other advantages is a system of electronic protection against high-precision weapons. The fire control system is fully automated, obviously, the firing accuracy of the vehicle has been increased. It is possible that this car really has prospects. According to some reports, the mass production of these machines has already begun, moreover, they managed to take part in the conflict in Ukraine. But there was no information about any cardinal tactical changes in the database zone in connection with the use of these weapons.

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I must say that for TOS-2 "Tosochka" developedspecial NURS, however, the vehicle can also use ammunition from the Solntsepek TOS. According to some reports, Tosochka has already been used in real combat conditions in Ukraine.