More Firepower for the Ground Troops
On the ground, Russian forces were deployed with limited numbers of full combat formations, these included T-90A/S main battle tanks, equipped with the latest reactive armor and Stora-1 ‘soft kill’ active protection systems that proved their effectiveness against second-generation anti-tank threats they were designed to defeat. The 125mm 2A46 main gun is more accurate than the T-72’s, and electronic fire control systems support effective operation in movement, both in day and night. The T-90MS is the latest variant of T-90, was not delivered to the Russian Army and therefore did not deploy to Syria.
A new armored vehicle used in Syria for the first time is the BMPT Terminator, an AFV based on the T-90 chassis designed to deliver direct first support using twin 2A42 30mm cannons, coaxial 7.62 PKT machine gun, and four Sturm-SM missiles. The vehicle has a crew of five. The vehicle first appeared in Syria in 2017, displayed to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on his visit to Hmeimim.
Another support vehicle based on the T-90 platform is TOSH-1A heavy rocket launcher. The TOSH carries 24 220mm rockets equipped with large thermobaric warheads. The system quickly covers large areas using incendiary and high-pressure effects of multiple the fuel-air explosive charges. A salvo of 24 rockets fired in six seconds is useful at ranges from 600 to 6,000 meters, covering an area of 40,000 square meters, effective against exposed personnel as well as buildings and bunkers, and vehicle concentrations, including armored vehicles. Long range rocket attacks are also provided by BM30 SMERCH units, spotted in Syria. Thermobaric warheads are also used with man portable shoulder fired weapons including the RshG 1 / 2 and RPO-A Shmel.
Among the weapons, the Syrian army has used for the first time in Syria were various combat robots, including the Uran 6 demining robot.
Other Russian weapon systems widely deployed in Syria include the Kornet-E laser beam riding guided missile that defeats armored targets, including the most heavily armored main battle tanks, from a maximum distance of 5.5 km (4 km in mountainous terrain). Since 2003 Kornet proved itself in many theaters, operated by insurgents, terrorists and regular military forces, in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria. Russian forces in Syria are also operating vehicular variants of the missile called Kornet EM that can hit targets at 10 km distance. These weapons require the support of guidance systems mounted on Tiger armored tactical vehicles.