The Russian Defense Ministry announced in a video that it has deployed one of the country’s most powerful weapons, the Tornado-S rocket launcher system, in Ukraine. The devastating power of the system is likened to that of a small nuclear bomb.
A recent U.S. Congressional report analyzed how and to what extent the Russian military’s activities have changed since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Among other things, it was found that the Russian side has not only improved communication between troops in the wake of the initial setbacks, but has also transformed the campaign into a generalized all-arms fight. The most important element of this is the extensive use of artillery, including a special role for rocket launchers.
Effective range of 120 kilometers
The recently deployed 9K515 Tornado-S rocket launcher has been in the Russian army’s arsenal since 2016. It has already been tested in the Syrian civil war and is now being deployed in Ukraine. The Tornado differs from its predecessor in that it can launch guided missiles that can attack targets up to 120 kilometers away, instead of the previous 70 kilometers.
Its thermobaric head is the most feared
In addition to satellite guidance and increased range, designers have developed a range of warheads. Among these, is one of the most terrifying, the thermobaric warhead, which not only scorches its surroundings but literally sucks the air out of people’s lungs.
The effectiveness of a single Tornado-S is equivalent to 21 conventional BM-21 Grad serial launchers and can devastate tens of hectares at full firepower. A battery of six launchers can stop an entire division or destroy a small town. That is why its combat power is compared to that of nuclear weapons.