5 facts about “Doomsday” warriors

NBC Defence troops are among the oldest branches of the armed forces.

NBC Defence troops are among the oldest branches of the armed forces.

Military forces overseeing the nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons are among the oldest branches of the armed forces, but the most hidden from public view. Staying in the shadows of assault battalions or air force squadrons, the “chemists” (as NBC Defence troops are called) work to solve many complex problems, equipped with modern military equipment which no other branch of the armed forces possesses. RIR presents five interesting facts about these troops, “tamed” by Mendeleev’s periodic table.

NBC Defence troops can accurately calculate the power of a nuclear explosion immediately after impact

To assess the power of a nuclear explosion, they are assisted by the K-612-O nuclear explosions intercept station. Even without active NBC Defence troops, however, this station will gather all data automatically and send it to the command centre. If there is a nuclear strike, the command centre will immediately know the extent to which infrastructure is destroyed, the time of the impact, the height of the nuclear cloud, range of contamination, type of nuclear charge used, as well as the kilotonnage/power.

This system is based on a tracked armoured amphibious vehicle equipped with reconnaissance, geodetic support, and air filtration devices. 30 minutes time is needed to get the system operational. The number of such Russian stations possessed is classified.

NBC Defence troops use a vehicle similar to the Armata

The BMO-T vehicle is somewhat similar to the BMP ‘Armata’ and was placed into service in the early 2000s. Its similarity with the new Russian combat platform lies first in its concept. The BMO-T combat vehicle can be considered a heavy infantry vehicle with some specific features, providing maximum protection for its crew and NBC Defence troops.

The base for the BMO-T is the T-72 main battle tank, with specific design modifications. The main task of the “chemists’” combat vehicle is to transport the ‘flamethrower’ crew. The vehicle carries a crew of 8 men and 15 flamethrowers, is equipped with a PKM machine gun, and two light infantry LPO-97 flamethrowers. It also carries 12 902B Tucha smoke grenades.

NBC Defence troops have the most lethal weapons in the armed forces

Chemical forces have perhaps the most deadly weapons: the heavy flamethrower systems Buratino and Solntsepek.

‘Flamethrower’ artillery was kept a closely guarded secret for over two decades until it was used in Chechnya in 2000 and became widely known. The thermobaric munition’s chemical reaction is caused by the mixing of chemical elements with the air during the initial explosion. In addition to burning up a large target area, this hits the enemy with lethal air pressure. The cloud is made up of this chemical mixture and the air, at the moment of detonation, sucks in all oxygen within the cloud to become part of the reaction. Since this process is extremely fast (fractions of a second), after detonation the air pressure rises abruptly, and this is immediately followed by a sharp decrease in air pressure, below atmospheric levels – tearing lungs, bursting eyes and eardrums, crushing internal organs.

Compared with its predecessor – the TOS-1 Buratino, the Solntsepek carries 30 munitions systems instead of 24 in the former. This vehicle is being used in Syria by Russian troops in their struggle against ISIS.

Russian NBC Defence troops could even destroy the Terminator

In a confrontation with Russian NBC Defence troops, equipped with the LPO-97 light infantry flame-thrower, even the Terminator would not stand a chance. A thermobaric missile shot by the LPO, in addition to the detonation, would also burn everything within a five-metre radius of the target. At the same time, this weapon can be shot from inside buildings as well as from transport vehicles moving on open terrain. Each flamethrower has four thermobaric charges. The firing range is up to 500 metres, but it can be shot safely at distances of just 9 metres.

Contaminated equipment the “chemists” dry using “fans” made from aircraft engines

To clean equipment from contamination, NBC Defence troops use aircraft engines installed on the TMS-65 vehicle. This system works like a big hair dryer that blows cleaning solution over the armored vehicles as they move. MiG-15 engines are installed in this “dryer,” but they are used at 30% of their power setting. Should this power be increased to 50% of capacity, it would flip the armoured vehicle. These ‘dryers’ occasionally use engines from other jets, including Czech ones. 

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