This week, Russian media spat out a bunch of extatic and euphoric reports announcing the release to the markets of yet another "toy for the adepts of imperial greaetness", the modernized Soviet-era Smerch complex named Tornado-S. They went as far as calling it a unique piece outperforming all competitors worldwide.
Sergey Abramov, an industrial executive at Rostec Corporation (which, by the way is a sanctioned entity) boasted of Tornado-S's uniqueness. Also, someone named Yuriy Knutov, a "military expert", claimed in a comment to Russia's propaganda channel RT that the Tornado-S MLRS might face some competition in the international market, but the Russian model is "far superior" to its rivals.
Well, praising own weapons is the right of any propaganda machine, but that is just too much! The thing is that in the post-Soviet space, Tornado-S is perhaps the least successful modernization of the infamous Smerch. And speaking of this, I am comparing it in my mind with the Ukrainian Vilkha and the Belarusian-Chinese Polonaise.
If we compare the "unique" Tornado-S with Vilkha, the Russian complex has a hitting range of up to 120 km, while the Ukrainian model has 130 km with a further prospect of increasing up to 200 km (a Vilkha-R modification).
It is also noteworthy that the increase in the hitting range for Tornado-S was achieved by both reducing the warhead to 150 kg and increasing the rocket's weight and size, namely, the length of the rocket is 7.6 m and the weight is 820 kg. At the same time, the warhead of the Ukrainian Vilkha is 170-250 kg, while the rocket's length and weight are 7 m and 800 kg, respectively.
It should be noted that Tornado-S is also inferior in a number of parameters to the Belarusian MLRS Polonaise with a hitting range of its A-200 rockets ranges from 50 km to 200 km depending on the type of warhead: 150 - 100 kg.
The praised accuracy of the Tornado-S is also doubtful because its auto-correction system is inertial, using GLONASS, while the Ukrainian rocket uses GPS in addition to the inertial principle. In combination with gas-jet and gas-dynamic flight controls, this allows the Vilkha to have a maximum deviation of target hit of no more than 5-7 m. In turn, according to the available data, such deviation of the Russian Tornado-S remained at up to 50 m, although even the Belarusian Polonaise has it at up to 30 m.
So, yes,indeed, the camp of our hybrid neighbors will remain euphoric in the near future. As I said, a new- old toy is being presented to the masses. It's about time to praise Russian weapons, while diverting public attention from a series of disasters with other "toys", such as the unique AS-12 Losharik submersible and the Burevestnik missile. But in fact, this euphoria is not worth a penny because the Tornado-S, in fact, is just a pathetic imitation of the Ukrainian Vilkha.