MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Radiation, chemical and biological protection troops live-fired next-generation increased-range rocket shells for Solntsepyok heavy flamethrower systems during drills in the Altai Region in Siberia, the press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported on Tuesday.
"The teams of heavy flamethrower systems from a radiation, chemical and biological protection regiment of the Central Military District’s 41st combined arms army live-fired new 220mm rocket shells, striking a notional enemy’s manpower, armor and communications centers. The employment of new shells helped increase the efficiency of striking targets by 1.5 times, expanding the range from 6 to 9 kilometers," the press office said in a statement.
The live-fire exercise involved over 600 troops and about 60 items of military hardware, the statement says.
"In addition to striking targets by heavy flamethrower systems, radiation, chemical and biological protection specialists practiced conducting chemical reconnaissance, using the latest PKhRDD-3 devices and advanced meteorological tools and gas analyzers," according to the statement.
On June 1, 2018, the radiation, chemical and biological protection regiment of the Central Military District’s 41st combined arms army set up a unit armed with TOS-1A ‘Solntsepyok’ heavy flamethrower systems in the Altai Region. In October 2019, ex-chief of the Central Military District’s radiation, chemical and biological protection troops Major-General Valery Vasilyev said that the heavy flamethrower unit would receive next-generation rocket projectiles with the increased firing range.
The TOS-1A ‘Solntsepyok’ (‘Scorching Sun’) is a flamethrower system based on the T-72 tank’s chassis. The flamethrower fires 220mm rockets with the thermobaric warhead. The Solntsepyok is designated to set ablaze and destroy buildings and structures and the enemy’s manpower.