Russia used 9M22S incendiary munitions on Azovstal steel plant

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Russian armed forces use 9M22S incendiary munitions from Grad MLRS to attack Azovstal Metallurgical Plant.

The Russian armed forces currently attacking the Azovstal metallurgical plant not only with aircraft and artillery, but again with tanks, and are trying to break through with manpower. The Russians are blocking exits from underground bunkers where Ukrainian defenders are hiding, but even so, the Ukrainian military is carrying out successful counter attacks against the invaders. Among the defenders of Mariupol, who are on the blocked Azovstal, there are more than 600 wounded.

Video shared by Social media users shows the destructive power of 9M22S incendiary munitions, Video was filmed in Azov steel plant. These were likely fired by the 9K51 Grad or upgraded 9K51M Tornado-G multiple-barrel rocket launchers (MBRL). Earlier videos, also shared via social media, show incendiary weapons functioning during the night time, the visual signatures of which are consistent with 9M22S rockets. One example was recorded on 12 March 2022 near the town of Popasna, Luhansk Oblast, in eastern Ukraine. The 9M22S remains in Russian service, and was previously used in Ukraine conflict in 2014 and Syria.

Don’t be confused with phosphorus munitions, the effect of these flammable munitions and lighting munitions is often looked similar to phoporus munition.

The 9M22S 122 mm incendiary rocket was developed by the Splav State Research and Production Association in 1971, and was broadly based on the 9M22 high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) munition which preceded it.

In place of the 9M22 rocket’s HE-FRAG warhead, the 9M22S carries the 9N510 warhead, which contains 180 individual incendiary elements (see Figure 3). Designed to start fires in vegetated areas such as forests, amongst ammunition or fuel storage sites, and elsewhere, these incendiary elements consist of hexagonal prisms made of a magnesium alloy known as ML-5, filled with a pyrotechnic composition similar to thermite. Each element is nominally 40 mm long and 25 mm wide, and has a burn time of at least 2 minutes.

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The incendiary elements are packed into the body of the rocket in 9 layers of 18 elements per layer, with a further 18 elements arranged in three layers in the conical nose of the munition. After the rocket is fired, a time fuze (most often the GDT-90, although the TM-120 has also been observed in use with these munitions) fuze arms and functions the munition after the selected delay. When the munition functions, the individual elements are ignited by way of a black powder expelling and ignition charge, and scattered over an area of approximately 80 × 80 metres (6,400 square metres).

According to reports Russian replaced the regular high-explosive fragmentation warhead of the 9M22 missile, the 9M22S missile carries the 9H510 warhead. The warhead of this missile consists of 180 incendiary combat elements made of magnesium alloy ML5 and filled with pyrotechnic composition similar to termite.

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