Terminator, TOS-2 and Su-57, Russia deploys its new weapon systems in Ukraine

During first two phases of the offensive against Ukraine, the Russian armed forces mainly relied on their most seasoned and best equipped units apart from a few elite units kept in reserve. This is the reason why, during the first weeks of the conflict, the documented Russian material losses were mainly composed of modernized armored vehicles such as the heavy tanks T-72B3 and B3M, T-80U and BVM, and some T-90A, as well as many BMP-2s, BMP-4s and other BMDs. The numerous losses recorded by the Russian armies during these two abortive phases, led the General Staff to change strategy and revise its objectives, but also to engage much older equipment, such as T-72B tanks and VCIs. BMP-1. However, in recent weeks, Moscow seems to have decided to commit certain latest-generation equipment to Ukraine, with the arrival of T-90M tanks, BMPT Terminator armored escort vehicles, and even more recently, TOS-2 artillery systems and Uran robots, while there are reports of the new Su-5 57th generation fighter being used in this conflict.

The deployment of prototypes and pre-production equipment in conflict zones is not, in itself, a novelty for the Russian armies. Thus, since 2015 in Syria, the Russian forces have deployed numerous new military equipment, not so that they provide decisive operational added value, but to assess their operational behavior, both from the point of view of combat and logistical pressure they impose. With this in mind, several Su-57 prototypes have spent time at the Khmeimim air base, and would have carried out combat missions to assess their strengths and constraints. Likewise, Uran 6 and 9 ground combat robots, new armored vehicles like the T-90M, artillery systems like the TOS-1A thermobaric system, and next-generation anti-aircraft systems like the Pantsir S2 and Tor -M2 were tested during this long-running war. As such, the Russian armies had implemented a feedback and modernization protocol which, seen from the outside, seemed particularly effective in drawing lessons from these test engagements.

The new Pantsir-SM was designed on the lessons and RETEX of the use of the Pantsir S1 and S2 in Syria and Libya

In fact, it should come as no surprise when the official TASS news agency announces that equipment such as the T-90M heavy tank, the TOS-2 thermobaric system and the BMPT Terminator have been committed to Ukraine. However, these announcements occur in a very specific context, making their reading more complex. Indeed, at the same time, recurrent observations in the oblasts bordering Ukraine, report the arrival of much older equipment, such as the T-72A and B tanks dating from the 70s and the beginning of the 80s. , and even T-62M, a tank designed as its name suggests in 1962, and whose modernization dates back to 1983. Similarly, artillery systems supposed to have been withdrawn from service would also have joined the line of engagement, like the 2mm 7S203M Malka or the 2mm 5S152 Giansint. Above all, to cope with this old-generation equipment, the Ukrainian forces are beginning to receive and use much more efficient Western equipment, such as the French CAESAR self-propelled gun and the American M-777 towed howitzer, while many other systems such as the Polish Krab and the British AS90 are soon to join the Ukrainian lines, and that insistent echoes from Washington point to the possible delivery of HIMARS multiple rocket launchers to Kyiv, all of these systems being far superior to those currently in service with the Russian forces.


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