Russia delivered the first batch of TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launchers to the Saudi military, RIA Novosti reported on April 10, citing a source in the Russian military-industrial complex.
The TOS-1A, which is based on the T-72 tank chassis, launches heavy 220mm thermobaric rockets with a range of up to 6km. The rocket launcher was effectively used by the armies of Iraq and Syria during the war on ISIS.
The supply of the TOS-1As is a part of a massive Russia-Saudi agreement, which was reached in 2017. The deal includes other advanced weapons, including S-400 air defense systems, Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), AGS-30 grenade launchers and Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles.
Under the deal, the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) will supposedly be allowed to locally manufacture some parts of these Russian weapons. The deal’s total value was never revealed. However, it is expected to be worth several billions U.S. Dollars.
Saudi military blogger Sulaiman al-Doosari released two photos showing some of the newly-delivered TOS-1A rocket launchers in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi variant appears to be equipped with an additional auxiliary power unit (APU) or an air conditioning (AC) unit.
The TOS-A1 has become the first Russian-made heavy weapon to enter service with the Saudi military. In the near future, the oil-rich kingdom could receive other weapon systems included in the 2017 agreement with Russia.