HomeInternational GeopoliticsOutfoxing Ukraine's Thermal Imaging Weapons, Russia Acquires 'Smoke Grenade' To Defend Its...

Outfoxing Ukraine’s Thermal Imaging Weapons, Russia Acquires ‘Smoke Grenade’ To Defend Its Key Infra

As Ukrainian precision attacks on Russian military and civilian infrastructure mount, the Russian army has secured the delivery of the latest unified RDG-U smoke grenade, which is expected to protect troops and equipment from high-precision missiles.

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According to RIA Novosti, citing a key source, “The supply of the unified hand-held smoke grenade RDG-U has begun for the Russian Armed Forces.” However, more information about the delivery schedule and whether these smokescreen grenades had already been deployed were not divulged.

Russian state arms manufacturer Rostec announced in February 2023 that the hand-held grenade provides camouflage to the personnel and equipment from infrared-guided missiles and high-precision weapons with thermal imaging targeting systems.

Anton Semenyako, interim general director of Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering, the company that developed the grenade, stated that the RDG-U would enable the fighters to provide themselves with a smoke screen without the use of specialized equipment or expertise in radiation, chemical, or biological protection.

The RDG-U uses a combined principle of operation, whereby the smoke-forming component of the product, on the one hand, produces an air curtain that is instantaneous. On the other hand, the grenade has a smoking component that enables the curtain to be fueled for a considerable amount of time.

The grenade is still effective in the minus 50 to + 55 degrees temperature range. According to Rostec’s account, the smoke screen is non-transparent in the visible band throughout its smokescreen time and in the infrared phase. It contains a phosphorus-based smoke-generating mixture.

The RDG-U has a length of 200 millimeters, a weight of 700 grams, and a housing diameter of 54mm. However, it does not have an explosive charge and, as a result, has no pieces that could cause severe damage, rendering it useful only for defense. The casing of the grenade, constructed of high-strength and durable composite material, guarantees security when in use, storage, and transit.

Russian army received a new RDG-U grenade (via Platform X)

It has increased concealment duration due to the continuous aerosol feeding from smoke-emitting pellets, increased smoke screen density from the rapid spread of numerous burning pyro-elements, and short-term concealment from high-precision weapons’ infrared detection through the formation of higher-temperature zones from high-windage flat pyro-elements that settle down slowly.

The development comes at a time when Russia has been grappling with Ukrainian UAV, artillery, and missile attacks. Ukraine has employed some cutting-edge precision-guided missiles and rockets that it has received from NATO. These munitions have been used to strike at military locations in the strategic depths of Russia, in addition to the frontlines.

Missiles like the Storm Shadow or SCALP-EG in Kyiv’s arsenal have accuracy that the Ukrainian forces have utilized to strike high-end targets like the Crimean Bridge because of their long range, low observability, and pinpoint accuracy.

On top of that, Russian military bases are increasingly targeted by Ukrainian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), leading to the loss of sophisticated equipment. For instance, a drone strike at the Pskov Air Base in Russia, attributed to Kyiv, damaged at least four Russian military transport aircraft. Similar strikes were simultaneously conducted on multiple sites in western and central Russia.

The RDG-U, in a nutshell, would allow the Russian troops to protect themselves by making it more challenging for the Ukrainian munitions to seek the target due to smoke and resultant camouflage. Russian forces have extensively used camouflaging techniques and decoys to avert such attacks.

Having said that, while Moscow is constantly working to protect its positions, it has launched another spate of missile strikes on Ukraine, causing casualties and triggering additional NATO military aid to Kyiv to combat these recurrent attacks.

Russia’s Bloody Missile Strike On Ukraine Market

As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to the nation with more than US$1 billion in fresh American financing for Ukraine, including military and humanitarian help, a Russian missile tore through an open-air market in eastern Ukraine on September 6, killing 17 people and injuring dozens more.

The attack that caused the market in Kostiantynivka, a city in the Donetsk region close to the front line, to burn infernally overshadowed Blinken’s fourth trip to the nation. It was one of the bloodiest bombardments against civilians in the 18-month conflict. At least 32 other persons were hurt in addition to the deaths.

“Those who know this place are well aware that it is a civilian area,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at a news conference with the Danish prime minister in Kyiv. “There aren’t any military units nearby. The strike was deliberate.”

As some Western allies express concerns about Kyiv’s sluggish progress against invading Russian soldiers, Blinken’s visit was intended to assess Ukraine’s three-month-old counteroffensive and show ongoing US support.

According to the State Department, some US$175 million of the total would be delivered as weapons from Pentagon stocks, and another US$100 million would be provided as grants so that the Ukrainians could buy more weapons and equipment.

Moreover, the US announced it would transfer controversial depleted uranium shells to Ukraine as part of military and humanitarian help. Russia quickly criticized the decision to arm US Abrams tanks with projectiles capable of penetrating standard tank armor.

They are created from depleted uranium, a byproduct of uranium enrichment that removes most of the radioactive elements and is notorious for causing long-lasting civilian ailments.

Angry Russian missile attacks, according to experts, are unlikely to abate any time soon.

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