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Russia tests “Father of All Bombs”

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September 17, 2007

The USA's Massive Ordnance Penetrator, pictured here, is no match for the latest Russian effort, which they've called the "Father of All Bombs."

The USA's Massive Ordnance Penetrator, pictured here, is no match for the latest Russian effort, which they've called the "Father of All Bombs."

September 18, 2007 Russia has just announced the completion of successful testing of what it dubs the “Father of All Bombs” – four times more powerful than the USA’s comparatively placid “Mother of All Bombs". Both devices are viewed - somewhat dubiously - as “environmentally friendly” alternatives to nuclear devices, as they leave no radioactive fallout.

Russia has made a pointed display of its most impressive piece of non-nuclear ordnance, claiming it to be the largest and most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the world. Russia released details of testing of the “Father of All Bombs” - an air-delivered thermobaric weapon that releases and then detonates a cloud of small explosive particles, creating a shockwave and fireball the equivalent of 44 tonnes of TNT. America's "Mother of All Bombs," by comparison, is the equivalent of only 11 tonnes of TNT.

During the field test, conducted on September 11, the bomb was dropped from a Tupolev Tu-160 heavy bomber, on a parachute. The mushroom cloud it creates would fool many enemies into thinking they had been the victim of a nuclear attack, adding to its psychological impact, and the pressure wave it creates can literally suck the air out of the lungs of people outside its blast radius.

While such bombs are considered alternatives to nuclear weapons, they’re still far less powerful. The “Little Boy” atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima, for example, was nearly 300 times more powerful than the new Russian device, putting out a blast equivalent to around 13,000 tonnes of TNT – and they all pale in comparison to Russia’s 1961 test of its "Tsar Bomba", a three-stage 50-megatonne hydrogen bomb equivalent to some 50 million tonnes of TNT. The Tsar Bomba, which caused a seismic shock that could still be measured on its third trip around the world, is regarded as the most powerful device ever used in the history of mankind.

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About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain
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3 Comments

Who\'s trying to compare the two? The US\'s penetrator is designed to go deeply into the earth and destroy buried bunkers and command posts, structures designed to thwart bombs the size of the Russian\'s latest lerger version of an already existing weapon. The Russian\'s nuke delivery capability have always lacked the accuracy of US systems, therefor the need for things like the Tsar Bomb. Once their delivery systems became more accurate their yields decreased just as ours did. Thermobarics have a rapidly expanding flame front caused by the burning metalic particles contaoined in the mix, and those fronts don\'t do well in penetrating solids like deeply buried bunkers, and neither does the overpressure unless there is some kind of opening it can get into. This is most likely the Russian\'s attempt to propagansize their squishy military capabilities (how\'s it going in Chechnya, guys?) and to try and remind the world that the Us stole the thermobaric design from Russia and made it an effective battlefield weapon.

Bob Welch

The best kill for a single bomb will be achieved by a genetic bomb. The weapon will target a single species.

Stewart Mitchell

What is sad is with technology we don\'t need this stuff anymore. This is when when mad men control these powerful countries. You want peace in the world? Make all the big countries break down and none any bigger than France. This would stop these huge countries from bullying the world.

Right now these is a certain country tat\'s probably working on viruses that can attack a certain genome. They could go around releasing mosquitoes by the million and this virus takes out certain people.

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