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Why is the Tochka-U one of the vital efficient weapons within the Ukrainian arsenal?

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OTR-21 Tochka is a Soviet-era tactical ballistic missile. It’s been in service with many various nations since 1976, however the most well-liked model Tockha-U has been used since 1989. Whereas Russia insists that it isn’t utilizing its Tochka-U programs anymore, Ukraine considers them to be crucial weapons.

Tochka, which known as Scarab by NATO, is transported on a 9P129 automobile, which is 6×6 and has some spectacular off-road capabilities. Which means the Tochka-U missile might be launched in a short time and might evade the enemy’s eyes. Tochka-U is only a tactical missile, which implies that it doesn’t fly very far. Tochka-U has a variety of 120 km and its round error possible (mainly, accuracy) is estimated to be lower than 95 meters. 

Ukrainian Tochka-U in a army parade in 2018. Picture credit score: VoidWanderer by way of Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Loads has been stated about HIMARS and M270 – spectacular fashionable a number of launch rocket programs which can be utilized by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. These machines are extremely correct, and cellular and precipitated plenty of harm to Russian army infrastructure within the occupied territories of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the way in which Ukraine is utilizing its previous Tochka-U programs additionally requires numerous reward.

Russian amphibious assault ship “Saratov” in occupied Berdyansk was reported as destroyed by a Ukrainian assault on 24 March. Afterward, Russian sources stated that the ship can be repaired, however the harm was important. And this strike was carried out by Tochka-U missiles. At the moment Ukraine didn’t have HIMARS. However even this method with customary missiles has a variety of 70 km. ATACMS missiles can lengthen it to 300 km, however the switch of those weapons to Ukraine continues to be being mentioned. Which means Tochka-U for Ukraine was the weapon of option to destroy ships and warehouses deep behind the enemy’s strains.

What number of Tochka-U programs does Ukraine have? Nicely, that quantity isn’t public, however it’s estimated that earlier than the 2022 Russian invasion Ukraine had 40-90 launchers and as much as 500 missiles.  Russia has them as effectively and used them towards Ukraine.

Tochka-U grid fin, discovered after a Russian-fired missile was grounded in Ukraine in 2022. Picture credit score: Steve Jurvetson by way of Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

Apparently, whereas Russia is brazenly utilizing plenty of older weapons, it’s denying that it nonetheless has Tochka-U in service. That is, in fact, not true – open supply intelligence has proven a number of occasions that Russia is utilizing Tochka-U towards Ukraine. Moreover, Ukraine has collected many items from exploded Russian-fired Tochka-U missiles. Belarus had 36 Tochka-U launchers they usually had been seemingly transferred to Russian forces at first of the invasion. Alternatively, no visible knowledge confirms that Ukraine has destroyed any of the Russian Tochka-U launchers.

Ukraine is probably going to make use of Tochka-U much less and fewer, as this method can be changed by newer Western weapons. In the meantime, Russia might begin pulling extra of those missiles out of storage because the arsenal of different weapons will get depleted.

 

Sources: TSN.ua, Wikipedia


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