detonated the largest non-nuclear weapon in history. The bomb is currently dubbed the “Father
of all Bombs” as a play on the American Massive Ordnance Air
Burst or “Mother of all
Bombs.” Russia has not cited an official designation for the
bomb, but it has already solidified its nickname.
The American MOAB is air dropped from
the back of a C-130 cargo plane. MOAB uses 8 tons of high explosive
to produce an explosion of roughly 11 tons of TNT. This was up until
yesterday the most powerful conventional bomb in the world. Today it
looks like Russia now holds that title.
The “FOAB” is dropped
from a Tu-160 Strategic Bomber and uses just 7.8 tons of a new high
explosive that produces an explosion equivalent to 44 tons of TNT.
That is 4 times that of the American MOAB. The Tu-160 Strategic
Bombers are the same ones that Russia restarted last month.
Both bombs are Thermobaric based. They
use a “Fuel air burst” to scatter a cloud of fine explosive
particles and then using a super heated explosion in the center cause
a massive detonation in mid air. This process causes a massive
shockwave that can destroy roughly 9 city blocks on the MOAB. The
Russian “FOAB” has roughly twice the blast radius at 990 feet.
Both bombs consume all oxygen in the area during detonation, ensuring
that even if you survived the blast, you will likely die from oxygen
deprivation before the oxygen can fill the gaping space left by the
bombs. Russia quotes the "FOAB" as environmentally friendly
as it does not leave any fall out or radiation, but the explosion
still would surely decimate the area it is dropped in.
Televised remarks from a Russian
General state the new “FOAB” is comparable
to a nuclear weapon in efficiency and capability. By comparison, the nuclear device dropped on Hiroshima had an explosion
rated at 13,000 tons of TNT. Nevertheless, as far as anyone has
confirmed, Russia now has the largest and most powerful air burst
weapon in the world.
The U.S. military claims to possess several larger
air burst weapons but none have been demonstrated publicly.