Russia’s intendsto modernise much of its military in the coming years. Russia will spend about $600 billion from now to 2020 upgrading tanks, planes, missiles and ships.
The commander of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RBhBD) troops, Maj. Gen. Eduard Cherkasov, announced a focus on so-called ‘flame weapons’ – incendiary, thermobaric and fuel-air explosive (FAE) weapons – describing a program of modernisation and development.
Russia is creating special ammunition that will hit highly secure defense constructions. Shortly, infantry flame units will receive new weaponry with higher fire precision and the penetration before exploding effect, ability to destroy fortified emplacements, armoured equipment, and personnel in trenches.”
“Flame weapons are very efficient in close combat and have not only physically destructive but also psychological effect on an enemy.”
Some examples of existing flame based weapons and special ammunition
The RPO-A is a shoulder-fired recoilless weapon in a 93 mm calibre, with an effective range of approximately 200 meters. It enteredservice in Soviet times and remains in production today, however it has been supplemented in Russian service by the MRO-A. The MRO-A is a 72.5 mm rocket launcher with a total weight of 4.7 kg, and an effective range of around 90 meters.
The 9M22S incendiary rocket ws used in eastern Ukraine. The 122 mm 9M22S rocket carries the 9N510 warhead, containing 180 incendiary elements which are composed of ML-5 magnesium alloy and filled with a pyrotechnic composition similar to thermite. Each element has a burning time of at least 2 minutes. The 122 mm rocket is launched from the 9K51 Grad MLRS and similar systems, with the 9K51 being capable of firing up to 40 rockets in around 20 seconds.
The 9M51 fuel-air explosive rocket has also been employed in eastern Ukraine. This 220 mm rocket is launched from the 9K57 Uragan MLRS and delivers the 30.2 kilogram 9N515 FAE warhead. This rocket is designed to engage infantry and light vehicles, and is particularly effective against targets in confined spaces
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