Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Father of All Bombs

Probably the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) weapon in the world today is Russian “Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power” (ATBIP, Russian: Авиационная вакуумная бомба повышенной мощности (АВБПМ)), nicknamed "Father of All Bombs" (FOAB) (Отец всех бомб). It is a Russian-made air-delivered / land activated thermobaric vacuum bomb with the same destructive power as a small tactical nuclear weapon. 

FOAB overview

Blast yield of 44 tons of TNT produces just 7.8 tons of a new type of high explosive (explosive that produces supersonic velocity “shock front” and higher temperatures), developed with the use of nanotechnology. The bomb contains a 6,400 kilogram (6.4t) charge of a liquid fuel such as ethylene oxide, mixed with an energetic nanoparticle such as aluminium, surrounding a high explosive burster.

The bomb was successfully field-tested in the late evening of September 11, 2007. In describing the bomb's destructive power, Russian deputy armed forces chief of staff Alexander Rukshin was quoted as saying, "all that is alive merely evaporates". According to the Russian military, the new weapon will replace several smaller types of nuclear bombs in its arsenal.

Comparing to U.S. military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (official military acronym "MOAB" is often colloquially said as the "Mother of All Bombs"), the FOAB is 4 times more poberful (44t compared to 11t of TNT) beside it’s smaller size and weight (7.1t compared to 8.2t). FOAB also have larger blast radius (300m compared to 150m) and twice higher temperature at the centre of the blast is due to nanotechnology.

How vacuum bomb works?

Vacuum bomb (high impulse thermobaric weapon or fuel–air explosive) differ from conventional explosive weapons by using oxygen from the outer air. As result, they produce more energy than normal weapons but are harder to control. Their reliance on atmospheric oxygen makes them unsuitable for use underwater or in adverse weather, but they have significant advantages when deployed inside confined environments such as tunnels, caves, and bunkers.
This bomb produces two blasts, the first being the dispersion of a cloud of liquid or powder explosive using a small detonating charge, and then the main explosion, when a second charge ignites the cloud, producing the actual deflagration.

A typical thermobaric weapon contains a mix of a monopropellant fuel explosive and a highly energetic material, like powdered aluminum, and usually consists of a container packed with a fuel substance, in the center of which is a small conventional-explosive "scatter charge". Fuels are chosen on the basis of the exothermicity of their oxidation, ranging from powdered metals such as aluminium or magnesium, or organic materials, possibly with a self-contained partial oxidant. The most recent development involves the use of nanofuels.

For more details check these links:   Father of All Bombs wikipedia   Vacuum bombs wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Never says never - there's always room for improvement ... Nanotechnology (also improving thermite and other stuff) works by increasing the surface of the reactants million-fold. So it is actually surprising, that the yield is not even higher.