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Russia develops worlds most powerful bomb?

September 11th, 2007 . by Matt

vacuum bomb

Russia is claiming to have tested a bomb that is as powerful as a nuke, without any nuclear materials.

Russia said today it had tested the world’s most powerful vacuum bomb.

“Test results of the new airborne weapon have shown that its efficiency and power is commensurate with a nuclear weapon,” Alexander Rukshin, deputy head of Russia’s armed force chief of staff, told Russia’s ORT First Channel television.

“You will now see it in action, the bomb which has no match in the world is being tested at a military site,” the report said. It showed a Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber dropping the bomb over a testing ground. A large explosion followed.

A vacuum bomb, or fuel-air explosive, causes widespread devastation.

A typical bomb of that type is dropped or fired, the first explosive charge bursts open the container at a predetermined height and disperses the fuel in a cloud that mixes with oxygen.

A second charge ignites the cloud, which can engulf objects or buildings.

“At the same time, I want to stress that the action of this weapon does not contaminate the environment, in contrast to a nuclear one.”

Of course, nukes come in different potencies, so we don’t know how many tonnes of TNT the blast from this bomb is. If it is true that this bomb is as powerful as even the one dropped on Hiroshima, then it is only a matter of time before other countries including the US develop their own version. Without the taboo of using nuclear weapons, it is quite possible that this kind of weapon might be used in the near future.

5 Responses to “Russia develops worlds most powerful bomb?”

  1. comment number 1 by: T_K

    At least it just kills with shock and heat instead of inflicting cancer.

  2. comment number 2 by: MarkA

    Copy cats.

  3. comment number 3 by: T_K

    Ha, the MOAB is a firecracker compared to this baby.

    There’s something hilarious about two militaries competing in bomb sizes, though.

  4. comment number 4 by: mattrosencrance

    I wish that the article had talked specifically about tonnage yielded.

    The fact that it doesn’t purport numbers makes me wonder how what sounds like a process of combustion can yield a blast greater than that of a thermonuclear device.

    I guess that it’s good that it has no fallout.

    I understand the rationale that a lack of carcinogens is better… but that assumes that you don’t want to give your enemies children cancer.

  5. comment number 5 by: T_K

    Read the Wiki page of that one. Apparently, the yield is still only 0.3% of the bomb used on Hiroshima.