According to images posted by Forbes, a large Russian truck carrying no weapons has an RBU-6000 launcher mounted on the back.

After successfully crossing the Dnipro River, Ukrainian marines established a landing bridge on the left bank of the river and mobilized more manpower and equipment to reinforce positions. The Russian army is facing great challenges due to a lack of soldiers and difficulties in the supply process.

In the context of more and more tanks, combat vehicles and rocket launchers being attacked by Ukrainian drones, the Russian military has taken many measures to protect weapons and vehicles, including equipping trucks or armored vehicles with RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers originally intended for naval ships. According to images posted by Forbes, a large Russian truck carrying no weapons has an RBU-6000 launcher mounted on the back. This launcher appears to be reinforced with wood to help it stay fixed on the vehicle’s hull. Previously, some photos shared on social networks in September 2023 also showed a Russian MT-LB tracked armored vehicle with an RBU-6000 launcher mounted on the hull.

The effectiveness and accuracy of the RBU-6000 launcher combined with a ground-base vehicle is still unknown. On land, the RBU-6000 basically functions as a very large mortar or rocket-launcher that’s capable of firing salvos. The explosive warhead and the charges used to destroy submarines and torpedoes will now be presumably used as artillery that explodes after coming into contact with the ground. It’s not exactly useless—nor is it unprecedented. The British and Australian armies used hedgehog Forward-throwing Anti-submarine Weapons in ground-to-ground roles during World War II. Current Russian doctrine allows for the use of ship-mounted RBU-6000s in the shore-bombardment role.

RBU-6000 is a 213 mm caliber Soviet anti-submarine rocket launcher, similar in principle to the Royal Navy Hedgehog system used during the Second World War. Developed by the Research and Development Centre 1 and adopted by the USSR Navy in 1961, the system is designed to destroy enemy torpedoes and submarines. It is a common feature across Russia’s Soviet-era, some of its modern warships, and Ukraine’s navy.

While operating from the naval warships, the RBU-6000 ships have a unique mechanism to load ammunition from the vault under the installation. It can be assumed that the large, cumbersome loading device would far outsize the MT-LB to fit inside it. Neither will the small tracked vehicle provide the power requirements for the systems. Thus, the RBU-6000 installed on the MT-LB will be charged and loaded manually.

It is also difficult to imagine the Burya fire control system of the ASROC, which calculates the range and trajectory of the target, would not be available. The targeting, too, will be performed manually, based mainly on the same principles of mortar fire and unguided rocket artillery like the GRAD. The RBU-6000 MRL is, therefore, likely to be less accurate under this mode.

It is also not the first time the Russians have installed naval MRL on MT-LB. Russia has previously repurposed the with the Soviet А-22 Ogon’ naval multiple rocket launchers. However, it is unclear if the naval-land artillery fusion systems have been used on the frontlines. This is because no video of the machines in action has so far been found on many of the leading Russian and Ukrainian Telegram groups.

Therefore, it can be speculated that Russia is testing this system for a short period, and then throw it into the fray. It also raises the question whether Russia has a surplus of MT-LB vehicles and RBU-6000 launchers to combine in this way on a mass industrial scale, or are these just prototypes being tested. However, these are just speculations until more battlefield videos and public documents from the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMoD) become available.


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