“Turkey Supplied Ukraine with DPICM Cluster Shells” – TTG

There are the bodies of 59 Russian soldiers. They were killed in battle against the Ukrainian Army on the outskirts of Bakhmut. Crossing through an open field during artillery strikes is very difficult. Even more so if the Ukrainians used DPICM.

In November 2022, Turkey began supplying the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Cold War-era DPICM cluster munitions. The Turkish defense industry produced such shells as part of a joint project with the United States. At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine could have received not only 155-mm projectiles, but also 122-mm TRG-122 rockets by the Turkish Roketsan, also equipped with a cluster warhead.

Turkey is now the only country in the world that can export DPICM. The reason is that because the United States itself cannot sell such shells for export due to restrictions of its own legislation, although there are up to 3 million such ammunition in American military warehouses, Foreign Policy reports.

DPICMs are effective as they have 5-10 times more destructive power than conventional 155-mm projectiles, so firing cluster munitions ultimately leads to a decrease in the rate of wear of the barrels of Western artillery systems at the disposal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On the other hand, DPICM has a bad reputation among the US military, as in some cases up to 25% of submunitions may not explode. And some politicians in the USA did not support the idea of handing over DPICM projectiles to Ukraine: they say that this will only lead to more littering of our land with “explosive surprises”, which will take a long time to eliminate.

Turkey Supplied Ukraine with the DPICM Cluster Shells

Comment: First it was the Bayraktars. Now it’s the cluster munitions. Old Tayyip continues to plot his middle course, but in these two cases he’s emphatically telling his old friend Vladimir Vladimovich to shove it up his fourth point of contact. Dan Rice is the President of the American University in Kyiv. He’s also an unpaid special advisor to General Zaluzhnyi, probably because he’s a West Point graduate who served his commitment as a field artillery officer. In 2004, he voluntarily re-commissioned in the Infantry to serve in Iraq for thirteen months. He had high praise for these cluster munitions in a recent Euromaidan Press article.  

“Turkish-supplied DPICM cluster bombs were one of the biggest game changers of the war: using high explosive artillery against Russian infantry is like throwing darts at ants. With DPICM, it’s like using a flamethrower against the whole ant hill. After Türkiye started supplying DPICM to Ukraine, Russian daily casualties have increased exponentially, from 100-200 to 600-800 soldiers killed a day, Rice claimed.”

We won’t supply DPICM rounds to Ukraine. After pissing and moaning about Russia’s use of cluster ammunition in Ukraine, it would be the height of hypocrisy for us to supply them to Ukraine even though Zelenskiy asked for them repeatedly. Rice also says we should give Ukraine the submunitions for our remaining DPICM rounds for use as drone munitions. I don’t know if we’ll consider that or not.

BTW, I can’t begin to imagine the carnage a salvo of those 122-mm TRG-122 rockets fired by a battery of BM-21s would bring down on a dismounted infantry assault or even entrenched infantry.



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28 Responses to “Turkey Supplied Ukraine with DPICM Cluster Shells” – TTG

  1. Burt says:

    600-800 Russian soldiers killed per day.
    Russia is losing as many soldiers killed in a week as the US lost in a year in Vietnam?
    I’m not sure I can believe those numbers.

    • TTG says:


      We’ve been spoiled by low losses since the first Gulf War. These losses are still nothing like the numbers from WWII on the eastern front.

  2. PeterHug says:

    I must say that I’m a bit puzzled by the high failure rates of these (and as far as I can tell, all) cluster munitions? It obviously is whatever it is, but that just seems a bit high to me.

    • TTG says:


      These submunitions have to withstand the forces of being fired in a 155mm artillery shell without premature explosion. The stability necessary for that probably has something to do with their high failure to detonate when they should.

  3. Are thermobaric munitions being used by either side in Ukraine?
    Those seemed especially deadly.
    Especially against men in trenches.

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      The Russians have the TOS-1 Buratino, a multiple rocket launcher using thermobaric warheads. They call it a heavy flame thrower. Several have been in use and several have been destroyed. The Ukrainians even used a captured TOS-1 against the Russians.

    • Leith says:

      Keith H –

      Both sides have mini-thermobarics used by infantry. Ukraine has the old 80’s-era Soviet RPO-A Shmel. The Russians have the newer RPO-M Shmel and the GM-94 pump action grenade launcher. One of those was reportedly used by DPR separtists in the Olenivka POW massacre.

  4. Bill Hatch says:

    As a Forward bs Air Controller in Vietnam in 1968 I often requested Cluster Bombs (CBU); but, they were never approved for use in VN because of the high dud rate of the bomblets. In effect the duds from a CBU drop created an unmarked mine field & a high risk for US infantry moving in the area. CBU’s were dropped in Laos & North VN. The dud’s created civilian casualties for decades.

    In 1968 while flying at Khe Sahn one day all aircraft near Khe Sahn were directed to clear the airspace near hill 470, south of the base. As I orbited north of the base I observed a lone F-4 make what appeared to be a low angle napalm run west to east down the Hill 470 ridge line. Ordnance was dropped but there were no explosions or flames. Seconds later there was a huge shockwave down the length of the ridge. Later I was to learn that it was an Operational Test of a new, secret thermobaric bomb (FAE) that would replace napalm.

    If CBU’s are used in the Ukraine, farmers will harvest them for decades.

    • TTG says:

      Bill Hatch,

      Many Ukrainian fields, villages and cities are already sown with unexploded ordinance of various types including CBU submunitions. I always heard those thermobaric weapons referred to as FAE or fuel-air explosives. In SF we learned how to construct a dust initiator, a variation on the FAE.

  5. wiz says:


    Nowadays, with all the various drone types available, there are many additional options of delivering this type of (sub)munitions.

  6. LeaNder says:

    We did you find the image you use above, TTG. “dead_orcs.jpeg” suggests you found it somewhere in the Ukrainian´media or social media universe.

    • TTG says:


      The image was originally named with a long string of alphanumerics. I renamed it dead_orcs so I knew what it was. I found it on the Visegrád 24 twitter feed.

      • LeaNder says:

        Sorry, no idea where I initially was heading above: “We … ” what?

        Yes, I see, AND Visegrád 24 got it from Rysnya 200

        Who is/are celebrating Dead Russians?

        An interesting image, almost like one of those solemn paintings by Mark Rothko.

        • Leith says:

          LeaNder –

          Rysnya is a slur for ethnic Russians. However the vast majority of Russian dead are minorities within the Russian Federation and are NOT ethnic Russians. And are especially not from the Moscow and St Petersburg regions, which have been spared from mobilization.

          Whoever that Telegram channel belongs to is not paying attention.

          • Whitewall says:

            That is what I have been wondering about with these casualties….who besides cons and Wagnerites is doing most of the dying? Moscow and St Pete would seem to be home to a lot of university young men and a lot of young professionals. At this rate, they may be next.

          • LeaNder says:

            What nationality/ethnicity were the Russian elite brigade/troops that Ukraine eliminated?

            Thanks, was wondering what it signifies.
            Moskal, Katsap, Rysnya; ukranian khokhol. Last entered on Urban Dictionary: Rysnya

            Hmm. Apparently there is a new Ukrainian updated spelling:

            Rus + -nya (collective suffix); most likely, it is primarily a Russian word, since it is in the Russian language that Russians are called “Russian” (Russian: русские), while in the Ukrainian language they are never called that way; “rosnya” is a deliberate change of the word “rusnya” with “y” changed to “o” to bring it closer to the name of the country Russia (Russian: Россия) and distance the root from the medieval state of Rus.

  7. Sam says:

    Terrifying moment flesh-melting ‘thermite rain’ bombs hit eastern Ukrainian town as Putin’s forces lose 1,000 men in just 24 hours on their deadliest day of war yet


    It appears the Russian army is shelling Bakhmut with these thermite munitions. They’ve been at Bakhmut for sometime. Why haven’t they captured it yet after all these attacks?

  8. Klapper says:

    I don’t think the anomalies in the photo above are actually bodies. The field has allegedly been located using recent satellite imagry and the observed constellation of shell craters. The “bodies” are there in the same pattern in satellite images taken before the shelling.

    The author of rhe geolocation article thinks they are rocks brought to the surface by frost action. I agree sort of. I think they are patches of weathered carbonate originating from carbonate glacial erractics in the till under the soil, brought to the surface by frost action.

    The origin of the geolocation is the twitter account ” geoconfirmed”.

    • TTG says:


      I can’t confirm those are bodies either. It could be like all those structures and faces seen in photos of the Martian surface. But the geolocation puts it in the thick of the fighting north of Bakhmut for several weeks and now behind Russian lines. The “geoconfirmed” tweet erroneously claims that location is behind Ukrainian lines.

      • Klapper says:

        I disagree it’s behind Russian lines, even as of today. The War Mapper on Telegram posts his maps to SOAR so you can check where the front line is day by day against satellite imagery. As of today it’s still behind the AFU lines (barely, it’s on the “tip” of the arrow War Mapper has drawn pointing NW along highway M03/E40), and as of the 11th when this photo was maybe taken (or earlier, it can’t be later), the front line was 2 km to the SE.

        But that’s not the point in any case. Satellite imagery from Jan 25 shows the anomalies were already there, long before the fighting got to this area.

        Also I looked for similar anomalies in surrounding fields and found similar “patches”, likely chunks of carbonate bedrock or carbonate glacial erratics in a field just to the SE of this field (approx. 48.6715, 37.9311) so it shows this is not an unusual phenomenon.

        • TTG says:


          Geoconfirmed gave the coordinates of that aerial photo as 48.688554, 37.907810. That places it just south of the M3/E40 road, a mile NW of the village of Orikhovo-Vasylivka. Both Russian and Ukrainian sources have claimed heavy fighting for the villages of Orikhovo-Vasylivka and Dubovo-Vasylivka for weeks.

          As for whether those are bodies or rock formations, like I said, I can’t confirm one way or the other.

  9. Jimmy_W says:

    Ukraine using cluster weapons will decrease support from the European Greens. They might not actively support Russia instead, but increasing Green apathy will gradually reduce general European support. Greens don’t like thinking about “lesser evils”.

    So that is another clock Ukraine is racing against now.

  10. Chrisitan Chuba says:

    We have sold cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia for bombing Yemen. We revel in hypocrisy.

  11. Zoe Brown says:

    This is a tragic and sobering reminder of the devastating impact that war can have on human life. It’s concerning to hear that Turkey is supplying DPICM cluster munitions to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. While it’s understandable that countries want to support their allies in times of conflict, it’s important to consider the long-term consequences of such actions. The use of cluster munitions is widely considered to be unethical and inhumane, as they pose a significant risk to civilians and can remain active long after the conflict has ended.

    My question is, what steps can we take to encourage countries to refrain from using cluster munitions in their military operations? Is there a way to hold nations accountable for their actions and prevent the export of these dangerous weapons? It’s clear that this is an issue that requires global cooperation and attention, and I hope that we can come up with effective solutions to prevent further loss of life.

    • TTG says:

      Zoe Brown,

      The replacement for DPICM cluster munitions uses tungsten BBs around an explosive core as improved fragmentation rounds. They are as deadly as the cluster munitions, but leave no unexploded submunitions behind. We’ve provided rockets for HIMARS that use this technology. Turkiye produces similar rockets and are providing them to Ukraine, as far as I know, along with the older, dud producing, cluster rounds for 155mm artillery.

      That tungsten BB rounds are replacing the older cluster munitions is a good thing. But only because this will reduce the killing and maiming of civilians long after the fighting stops, as you acknowledge, not because cluster munitions are effective and deadly weapons.

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