Ukroboronprom, the leading state-run defense consortium developed new thermobaric weapons, which the Ukrainian military never employed on the battlefield before.
According to the enterprise’s press service, the rocket-propelled flamethrower RPO-16 and thermobaric grenades RGO-27 successfully pass the field tests. Oleksandr Tuchynov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council was among those who tested the new weaponry at Honcharivsky firing range (Chernihiv region, northern Ukraine).
‘We had a chance to test the Ukrainian heat and pressure ammunition; currently, the military do not have such weaponry on the frontline in Donbas. The rocket-propelled flamethrower RPO-16 looks impressive, too,’ Turchynov said.
It is worth noticing that Ukraine’s 2017 state budget foresees five billion U.S. dollars (which is five percent of the country’s GDP) for defense expenditures. That is almost 14 percent more than the last year’s sum foreseen to cover the needs in Ukraine’s defense sector.
A thermobaric weapon is a type of explosive that utilizes oxygen from the surrounding air to generate an intense, high-temperature explosion, and in practice the blast wave typically produced by such a weapon is of a significantly longer duration than that produced by a conventional condensed explosive. Currently, there are many different types of thermobaric weapons that can be fitted to hand-held launchers, including rocket-propelled flamethrowers.
Russia has previously used thermobaric weapons against the Ukrainian military in Donbas.