Friday, July 25, 2014

Russia ramps up war against Ukraine

The US State Department today said:

".. the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,"

There are some reports that a latest generation 'Tornado' Multiple Rocket Launcher has crossed into Ukraine from Russia already.

This is a fearsome weapon:  "It is equipped with a single container with six launcher tubes for 300-mm rockets, which can fire all current Smerch rockets, including HE-FRAG, incendiary, thermobaric, cluster with anti-personnel or anti-tank mines. Cluster rounds may also carry self-targeting anti-tank munitions. The 800 kg standard rocket has a maximum range of 90 km. A range and direction correction system provides better accuracy compared to its predecessors.

The 9A52-4 can launch rockets singularly, by a partial ripple or by a full salvo, which can cover an area of 32 hectares. A full salvo can be fired with 20 seconds. The 9A52-4 launching vehicle can be reloaded within 8 minutes. Launcher pods designed for use with 122-mm and 220-mm rockets.

The weapons system is equipped with an automated laying and fire control system, along with an autonomous satellite navigation and positioning system."

'Grad' MRL's are now regularly being employed by separatists, [e.g. as videoed by a passer by here]. There have been reports in the media of 'Grad' and other weapons systems being deployed from inside Russia against Ukrainian forces for several days now.

Despite this, today Ukraine's armed forces gained control of the strategically important town of Lysychansk. Relieved residents hope 'the nightmare will soon end'.

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