These weapon systems were among those that turned the tide of the Syrian war and still stand guard in Syria.
The Russian military used its entire arsenal to change the outcome of the war in Syria in 2015. We take a closer look at the three most unusual.
Tu-160 ‘White Swan’
Alex Beltyukov (CC BY-SA 3.0)
It is the largest and most powerful supersonic aircraft in the history of military aviation. It is also the fastest bomber in service, which has been nicknamed “White Swan” by aviators for its looks.
Each ‘White Swan’ can carry up to 45 tonnes of bombs and missiles. In comparison, its direct foreign analogues can carry only a maximum of 34 tons of ammunition (B-2 – 27 tons, B-1 – 34 tons, B-52 – 22 tons).
The aircraft also has the most powerful engines in its class of strategic bombers which allow it to accelerate up to 2,300 kilometers per hour. It is also a record number for strategic bombers.
For the first time, these planes were used in battles during the Syrian Russian campaign. At the end of 2015, they carried out strikes with X-555 cruise missiles against ISIS infrastructure.
“The attack had both a symbolic and a military objective. In the first case, we had to show the world the capabilities of our strategic aviation. And secondly, we had to drastically reduce ISIS forces on the ground, as well as see how the Tu-160 behaves in real combat circumstances on long-duration flights, ”said Viktor Murahovsky, editor-in-chief. of “Homeland Arsenal”. magazine.
The Russian Air Force currently has 16 Tu-160 and Tu-160M1. As part of the State armament program for 2018-2025, it is planned to upgrade them to version M2, in which they will receive new computer and on-board systems, a new protected navigation system, new means. radioelectronic warfare to protect the aircraft. and its “blinding” missiles, as well as the guided and unguided weapons of the new era.
TOS-1A heavy flame thrower
The TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system is capable of inflicting damage comparable to the consequences of a tactical nuclear strike. The theft of this radiochemical complex destroys everything in an area of up to 40,000 square meters, making it impossible to hide even in underground shelters.
“These are some of the deadliest weapon systems the military has. They are used in special operations, when units must quickly deploy to the scene and burn to the ground a poorly protected base with tents, armored vehicles, etc. The ideal target is a field camp, fortified combat positions in the mountains or a column of enemy vehicles with combatants on board, ”says Murahovsky.
The upgraded version of TOS-1A has 24 rockets. It can fire single shots and twin shots from two cannons at targets. The duration of the full burst for twin hits is six seconds, for single hits – 12 seconds. The preparation time for opening the fire is 90 seconds.
The system is designed to destroy light armored vehicles, to set fire to structures and buildings and to destroy enemy troops with fragments and waves of fire from 220mm rockets with thermobaric and smoke ammunition. The firing range of a TOS-1A is up to 6 km.
APS-5 Underwater Assault Rifle
The APS-5 (the name is an abbreviation for “underwater assault rifle” in Russian) is an underwater weapon used by the Russian Navy. It was created in 1975, but was not declassified and unveiled to the public until after the collapse of the Soviet Union, at the annual International Military Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
“It was and still is used by the Russian navies to protect military and commercial ships in the Syrian port of Tartus,” says Murahovsky.
Under combat circumstances, an APS-5 is capable of hitting a target from a distance of 30 meters to a depth of five meters. At the same time, the shooting range depends on the depth of immersion. At a depth of 40 meters, it can hit a target only ten meters away.
The weapon was originally designed to eliminate underwater saboteurs and spies from a potential enemy. It is mainly used to defend ships and submarines on docks against enemies ready to plant a bomb under the bottom of a ship. Or it can also be used by officers to protect themselves from underwater predators, such as sharks.
The APS-5 can be fired in single and fully automatic mode. It can also be used on the surface, but is not very effective, as the firing range does not exceed 100 meters. This setback required combat swimmer units to be equipped with two assault rifles – an APS and an AK, in case the need arose to fight enemies on the ground.
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