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Russia Tests World's Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the big-boom dept.

Technology 632

mahesh_gharat writes "Russia has tested the "Father of all bombs," a conventional air-delivered explosive that experts say can only be compared with a nuclear weapon in terms of its destructive power.The device is a fuel-air explosive, commonly known as a vacuum bomb, that spreads a high incendiary vapour cloud over a wide area and then ignites it, creating an ultra-sonic shock wave and searing fireball that destroys everything in its wake."

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Who's your daddy? (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582327)

Who's your daddy? FOAB! :-)

Seriously though, Russia has for many decades going back to just after WWII had a predilection for one upping the West in terms of military hardware. They have often defaulted to building bigger engines than just about every other jet fighter (Mig-25), the biggest cargo plane I've ever been in, the An-224 (though there is a bigger 225), bigger submarines (Typhoon class), the Soviet KV Big Turret Tank of 1942 (exception for the German Landkreuzer) and more. Those Bear bombers are pretty damned big aircraft too...

I'm actually not surprised to see weapons like this developed given the nuclear weapon treaties of the past 40 years, but if the participating members including Russia and the US continue pushing nuclear ambitions, we will have lost all credibility here.

Re:Who's your daddy? (5, Funny)

BAlkyMAn (706412) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582369)

Hehe... They say it's environmentally friendly. That is of course, if your environment is not within a mile or two of the blast zone. http://parthian-shot.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Who's your daddy? (5, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582469)

Yes, environmentally friendly in this case means no readiation. So they can come in and rebuild as soon as it cools. With a Russian economy that is growing at 7-8% per year, they are capable of big rebuilding projects, so this is a rather useful weapon.

Re:Who's your daddy? (3, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582563)

Do not forget this beauty. [wikipedia.org] The bear bombers are not that big of a deal. Funny thing is that they tu-160 was a bigger version of the B1-A, and of course, the soviet shuttle was a pure copy of the shuttle, but with the engines better placed (on the fuel tank; basically what we are doing now with the Ares V). The soviets, and now Russia and China have long 1 uped us by "Borrowing" items from us. Sadly, many ppl are more than happy to sell out to them for a few million dollars.

Re:Who's your daddy? (4, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582609)

The Buran may have been cosmetically almost identical to the Space Shuttle, but functionally, the two couldn't have been more different.

Look at their feature sets, among other things- the Buran was designed later, had quite a few key design decisions made that increased its design effectiveness immensely, and, sadly, never really flew.

If the Soviets copied it, they did it by taking pictures of the outside and them using their imaginations to fill in what they thought the inside looked like.

Re:Who's your daddy? (5, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582733)

Actually, the russian came out and said that they did in fact have our plans. They were stolen in 75, and according to Russia, did play a part in building their shuttle. But as I pointed out, they made a number of intelligent choices, in particular the changes of the engine placement. I only wish that they had not killed off the energia.

Re:Who's your daddy? (5, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582805)

tu-160 was a bigger version of the B1-A

The Blackjack might look like the Lancer but it really is a completely different aircraft. Not only is it bigger, it's also heavier, faster and carries a lot more ordnance.

The Soviet Union designed the TU-160 as a counter weight to the US carrier groups. If WWIII had actually started, those birds were the only thing in their inventory that could effectively counter a Navy task force. In fact their entire strategy for a land war in Europe depended on them interdicting shipping from the US across the GIUK line. The bombers would attack the escort ships with massive conventional cruise missile swarms, or single nuclear ones.

Bears, Bisons, Backfires and Blackjacks. That's why the Aegis cruisers were designed, and that's why the F-14 Tomcat and the AIM-54 Phoenix were rushed into service.

Linus is right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582349)

I am with Linus on this one. For the life of me I can't understand what this sucking up to RMS is about. Linus himself does not think GPLv3 is a good thing. So why do people keep adopting it.
Without Linus FOSS is tossed. Not following Linus is dangerous for the survival of FOSS.

Just in time too (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582357)

Now that Putin's dissolved that pesky and meddlesome parliament, his plans for the Russian conquest can proceed apace.

First up: Ukraine! Ukraine is weak.

Re:Just in time too (4, Funny)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582473)

Now that Putin's dissolved that pesky and meddlesome parliament...


Indeed! The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away, and no star system will dare oppose Putin after this demonstration of the full power of FOAB. The Rebel alliance will be crushed in one swift stroke!

Re:Just in time too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582689)

Now that Putin's dissolved that pesky and meddlesome parliament, his plans for the Russian conquest can proceed apace.


Uh. Don't take alarmist Drudge/Fox headlines at face value. Putin dissolved the government to make way for his successor, in the same manner Yeltsin dissolved the government in 1999 to make way for Putin.

Re:Just in time too (2, Informative)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582853)

IIRC, Canada does the same thing. Parliment is formally dissolved by the Governor General (at the request of the Prime Minister) at some point before an election is held.

No need for bombs, Just shut down the gas pipeline (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582727)

Really, they can just shut down the gas pipeline in the middle of the winter and watch Europe surrender.

INVADE! (5, Funny)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582361)

They have WMD! They harbor terrorists!

Seriously? Isn't it ironic that MOTHER Russia built the FATHER of all BOMBS to outdo UNCLE SAM's MOTHER of all Bombs? Its almost mind-blowing...

Father of All Bombs? (5, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582493)

Don't worry - the US will soon respond with their "Alcoholic Step-Dad of All Bombs."

Re:Father of All Bombs? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582763)

And the only thing it fears, the mother-in-law of all bombs.

Re:Father of All Bombs? (0, Offtopic)

flacco (324089) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582789)

Don't worry - the US will soon respond with their "Alcoholic Step-Dad of All Bombs."


oh holy SHIT is that funny...

Re:INVADE! (4, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582543)

Russia refers to their inanimate objects as masculine, the US feminine, and Germany as "it". It has always been such, for whatever reason.

Re:INVADE! (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582889)

Russian culture vs Western culture. Russians tend to use masculine pronouns when referring to inanimate objects whereas Westerners use feminine pronouns.

Re:INVADE! (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582925)

It occurs to me that if they really truly have WMD, someone should be getting a Nobel prize in Physics pronto ;)

Buzzword compliant (5, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582365)

It is environmentally friendly, compared to a nuclear bomb, and it will enable us to ensure national security and at the same time stand up to international terrorism in any part of the globe and in any situation,
Two of the biggest buzzwords: "environmentally friendly" and "international terrorism". Neither of which apply to this bomb. Can you really fight terrorists with giant bombs?

Re:Buzzword compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582435)

Perhaps regimes which support them...

Re:Buzzword compliant (2, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582441)

'Can you really fight terrorists with giant bombs?'

You can if you bring the troops home.

And carpet bomb Iraq? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582917)

That's solid.

Re:Buzzword compliant (2, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582463)

Of course you can't fight terrorists with giant bombs. You'd also have a hard time being entertained by reality TV or by taking high doses of a CNS depressant, but America sure as hell tries.

Re:Buzzword compliant (4, Funny)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582475)

Of course! You can fight anything with bombs. Just have all the terrorists stand under it... including all the people who want this bomb to be really scary... and boom! You want to fight deer overpopulation? Just have the deer stand under it. You want to fight republicanism? Christianity? Kangaroos? -- You could have pretty much anything you want dead stand under this sucker and the problem would be done.

*Places all dishes under bomb*
*detonate*
The dishes are done man!

Speaking of Buzzwords... (1)

NuGeo (824600) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582521)

Cold War 2.0

Re:Buzzword compliant (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582607)

Can you really fight terrorists with giant bombs?

Hey, the infidel standing in the middle of that giant bullseye just drew a cartoon of Mohammed eating a BLT. Get him!

Re:Buzzword compliant (3, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582643)

"Can you really fight terrorists with giant bombs?"

Of course you can, very easily. But then you end up with another of those catch phrases: collateral damage.

Re:Buzzword compliant (1)

Loopy (41728) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582655)

Actually, yes. But A) it only earns its keep in niche situations and B) squeamish only applies when hitting back, apparently.

Re:Buzzword compliant (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582895)

Can you really fight terrorists with giant bombs?

Yes. Let's look at a typical example. A terrorist manages to sneak in a crowded place.
Say US airport, you know they don't check a lot just to enter an airport, it's only hard to get to the plane.
Now, the terrorist reveals he's all dressed up in explosives and threatens to activate them.

Solution: drop FOAB on the airport, this will surely kill the terrorist.

Soviet Russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582367)

This should make for great "In Soviet Russia..." replies. I can't wait to see them!

Re:Soviet Russia (0)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582571)

In Soviet Russia, the military-industrial complex pays YOU?

Enough with the hyperbole (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582383)

It's only about 5% of the smallest nuclear warhead in existence. Equivalent to 44 tons of TNT. It's a big bomb, sure, but nothing even close to what leveled Hiroshima.

Re:Enough with the hyperbole (5, Interesting)

chebucto (992517) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582467)

If the Father of all Bombs is only 44t, it's dwarfed by the Halifax Explosion. Admittadly, the Halifax Explosion was an explosion of a munitions ship, not a single bomb, but it's far closer to a nuclear explosion than that firecracker the Russkies set off. If you trust Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , the explosion set off 2.9kt of explosives, and consisted of:
  • 223,188 kilograms benzol
  • 56,301 kilograms of nitrocellulose (guncotton)
  • 1,602,519 kilograms of wet picric acid
  • 544,311 kilograms of dry picric acid (highly explosive, and extremely sensitive to shock, heat and friction), and
  • 226,797 kilograms of TNT
The Explosion leveled [wikipedia.org] Halifax, and caused over 10,000 casualties.

Re:Enough with the hyperbole (4, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582817)

The Explosion leveled Halifax, and caused over 10,000 casualties.

And thus, Halifax's urban growth was stunted, causing it to be one of the smallest cities in the West today, (under 200,000 people), and yet because it is placed on a huge natural shipping harbor and has a nice climate, it has all the benefits of a major metropolis. --Yet it suffers from none of the congestion and other big city problems the rest of the nation has to deal with. It still has a small-town feel. Having visited, I must say it's easily one of the most wonderful cities I've ever seen. Cleanest city air I've ever breathed.

I bet New York, Chicago, Toronto and all the rest could have benefited from a city-leveling whollop a century ago as well. It'd be far, far nicer if people would just stop having so many babies and treat the land with a bit of reason and respect, but failing that, a ship full of munitions appears to do a fair job.


-FL

Sorry...But... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582387)

In Soviet Russia, bomb vacuums you!

In Soviet Russia... (0, Redundant)

digitalhallucination (313314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582389)

ah, never mind, too easy.

N bomb! (4, Funny)

etherelithic (846901) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582393)

It just might be enough to destroy the Angels that are a'comin' in 2015!

Re:N bomb! (1)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582431)

What!? How the hell do you get past the AT Field!? We'll just have to pray for Japan to come up with an Eva really quick ;D

Re:N bomb! (1)

Macrosoft0 (1128625) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582531)

use the prog knife! the prog knife!

Re:N bomb! (1)

siyavash (677724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582601)

Hm... don't you mean 2012 ?

A cloud of explosive material?? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582397)

The fuel part is toxic as some use ethylene oxide and propylene oxide (more like a chemical agent cloud).

Re:A cloud of explosive material?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582449)

What about after it's all exploded?

Re:A cloud of explosive material?? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582927)

Google Chechnya and vacuum bomb. You can see the results on civilians and homes.

Just getting it out of the way. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582405)

In Soviet Russia bomb tests you!

i for one (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582409)

welcome our hugeass bombing wielding overlords.

Mostly useless (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582411)

This type of bomb is mostly ueseful for chest-thumping. It cannto be used in any situation were you cannot commit atrocities. It has unreliable yield. This seems to be manly a gesture by the current primitives in the Kremlin that is intended to tell the world, that they still are a global power. Pathetic, really.

Mostly useful (3, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582479)

Has it ever occurred to you that Russia could be using these bombs to:

a) Sell to other countries.
b) Act as a counter-balance to U.S. global hegemony.

No, of course you haven't.

As for Russia being a superpower, they're getting closer to that status everyday, now that they actually have a competent leader.

Re:Mostly useful (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582663)

a) Most contries don't need or can't use the boms of this size
b) You are thinking of nukes here; this fuel-air 0.04 kT bomb is a tiny firecracker compared to even a small tactical nuke

Superpower? The only thing they are getting closer to is becoming a faux Saudi Arabia, what with their increasing reliance on the oil revenues, the disregard for civil rights, the poor uneducated proles, and the emerging DearLeader type dictator. Superpower my ass.

Re:Mostly useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582913)

haha

let me guess, when you were a little boy (girl?) someone told you that hiding under a desk will save your ass from a nuke.
well guess what ... nukes being all the rage, it is the only determining factor of who remains a superpower and who is not.

btw, i may be wrong but shouldn't you like Russia, what with all the help Russia gave to the US wrt terrorism

Re:Mostly useful (2, Informative)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582681)

>..now that they actually have a competent leader.

Putin's a thug. Murdering Russian Journalists [cbsnews.com] and anyone [msn.com] else who dares criticize him are the marks of a mafioso thug, not a statesman. The only reason Russia is resurfacing is the high price of oil. It has very little to do with his leadership.

Communism is evil. A harsh statement, granted. But when you see the 100s of millions of people it has enslaved for the benefit of the few people at the top, there's no other word for it but evil.

a small mistake... (3, Insightful)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582877)

Fixed that for you:

***Capitalism*** is evil. A harsh statement, granted. But when you see the 100s of millions of people it has enslaved for the benefit of the few people at the top, there's no other word for it but evil.

Re:Mostly useful (2, Informative)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582887)

You keep using the word communism. I don't think that word means what you think it means. I think the word(s) you're looking for is totalitarian dictatorship.

Re:Mostly useless (1)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582709)

So you're saying that politicians aren't mature, thoughtful diplomats? They have pissing contests like little children? And they're always trying to one-up each other to show whose country has the biggest penis^Warsenal?

SAY IT ISN'T SO!

Non-Radioactive Stratigic Deterent (NRSD) (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582899)

Continued development of this technology may enable the creation of a Non-Radioactive Stratigic Deterent. This would be very inexpencive and is not so heavy that it could not be attached to any of their current breed of stratigic missles. An inexpencive, relativly low tech, mass producable first strike weapon.

Russia: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582419)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Pics? (1)

pabrown85 (1128059) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582517)

Is video acceptable? FOAB [youtube.com]

Not that big a deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582423)

It's just a fuel air bomb. Granted, a big one.

Ohhh, shiny (3, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582439)

This is nothing more than a large thermobaric device. Very few people call them "vacuum bombs" anymore. It's not the same technology as the US Air Force's "MOAB", which uses semi-conventional explosives. I bet it's also unstable as hell.

These weapons are nothing more than grandiose show-offs with alleged dubious psychological effects. They're not going to launch one of these on an ICBM any time soon, unless Russia started using Antonovs as ICBMs while I was on vacation.

This is the military equivalent of having a nuclear warhead that has to be set off with a match. Flashy but completely useless.

Re:Ohhh, shiny (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582769)

Russian TV has video, [flightglobal.com] with more technical details. They put a drag chute on the bomb, which they need if it's a fuel-air explosive - those don't work well if they're moving too fast. It doesn't seem to have a guidance system, so it's more of an area weapon than a bunker-buster. It's dropped from a bomber, so it can be delivered into hostile airspace.

The US's GBU-43/B bomb is GPS/inertial guided, using fins but no drag chute. It's not quite as powerful, but usually hits on target. It's dropped from a C-130 transport, which is not too hard to shoot down, so you have to have total air superiority to use the thing.

Neither has anywhere near the power of even a small tactical nuclear weapon.

Re:Ohhh, shiny (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582865)

Yes, The GBU-43 is also designed as an earth penetrator, whereas this one being a thermobaric device is necessarily an airburst.

And yeah, I wouldn't want to be the guy in charge of flying a Mack truck with wings at 120kts over a hot target to drop a 6-ton device. Someone with a BB gun might shoot me down.

in soviet russia (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582453)

bomb explodes you!

So how big is this thing? (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582461)

One of the great military advantages of modern nuclear devices is that they pack an enormous amount of power into a relatively small space. A small nuke can be made to sizes no bigger than conventional bombs, so the bombers/missile/icbm can carry a lot of them. They also scale very well, every small amount you can increase in size allows for a huge increase in power, normal bombs have a more linear scale. This thing must be huge since there has to be more conventional explosive packed into it to get the same effect, this limits the amount they can produce and carry. It's probably too big to be easily fit onto an ICBM, and if you could there'd probably be just the one warhead instead of the dozens that can be carried with a nuclear configuration.

This is just another example in Russia's long history of impressive, unwieldy, and impractically large weapons. The Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever created and tested by man (even at half it's theoretical strength) broke windows hundreds of miles away and registered on seismic instruments all over the world even though it was detonated in Northern Russia.

Re:So how big is this thing? (3, Informative)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582677)

It must be somewhere around 7-8 metric tons or so. I believe they dropped it from a bomber, which they must have had to modify to carry something like that - either the external hardpoints would have to be re-inforced or the internal bomb bay mechanisms pretty much ripped out. I wonder if they had a guy back there with scissors, ready to cut the strings holding it up.

And you're right, large devices are mostly useless, whether they are nuclear or conventional. That's why both the US and USSR stopped making multi-megaton bombs and started creating MIRVed payload ICBMs and SLBMs to deliver multiple smaller devices.

A radial airburst of 6-7 nuclear warheads in the 200-300KT range is *much* more destructive than a single 20MT bomb. That's the nuclear doctrine for both Russia and the US for large counter-population or counter-value targets, and has been for the past thirty years or so. The large bombs went out of style in the late 60s along with the hippies.

Re:So how big is this thing? (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582695)

Wasn't that bomb too big to fit on most planes and they even had to create a special mod on one of their big bombers just to carry 'Tsar Bomba'?


Many argue that the bomb impractical, however, imagine what would happen if a series of them would be deployed by submarines in the Atlantic Ocean close to the New York shore. And then detonated simultaneously, creating a tsunami wave. -- Practical? No. But a good scenario for a movie..

Re:So how big is this thing? (1)

piojo (995934) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582841)

Many argue that the bomb impractical, however, imagine what would happen if a series of them would be deployed by submarines in the Atlantic Ocean close to the New York shore. And then detonated simultaneously, creating a tsunami wave.
This bomb won't function underwater, it needs air. Of course, it could still destroy the submarines, if they were close enough.

Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582465)

Greetings, here from Ground Zero....

Typical Luck (0, Offtopic)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582499)

Everytime I buy something it seems that only a month later a cheaper, faster, or larger version will appear. So I find it typical that as soon as an agreement is struck with North Korea, to identify and dismantle their nuclear programs, that in less than a month Russia is displaying a newer, cleaner (no radioactive contamination), and more powerful bomb.

Maybe if enough of us complain, then we'll get $100 store credit. [slashdot.org]

Another artifact of Bush's policies (4, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582541)

Having a President who gleefully revels in anti-intellectualism has its consequences, fellow citizens.

  • Increased military aggressiveness by the US abroad has scared Russia into reactionary military posturing.
  • Building bases in Eastern Bloc countries has made Putin's militarism popular with its citizens and a source of nationalism.
  • US attempts to expand our missile shield closer are negating Russia's nuclear deterrence. The only rational response is for Russia to expand its nuclear arsenal.
  • Insane Iraq policies driving up oil prices have given Russia the cash flow to not have to worry about democratic and economic reforms. The economic pressure is what led to the collapse of the USSR in the first place.

But, hey who cares! Freedom's on the march!

Re:Another artifact of Bush's policies (4, Funny)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582659)

Son, I can't for the life of me understand a word of whatever it is you're going on about. All your M's and W's look the same to me.


-FL

Re:Another artifact of Bush's policies (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582953)

Blaming Putin's returning Russia to old-school Imperialism on Bush distracts from the real issues facing Russia. You could blame Putin's crackdown on the media and the murders of journalists and other opponents on Bush too if you wanted, but it'd be just as short sighted. There are many things to attack Bush for, but the decline of Russia isn't one of them.

Link to FOAB's explosion video (5, Informative)

snikulin (889460) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582569)

It's on Russian TV news channel web site:
http://www.1tv.ru/news/n108915 [1tv.ru]
To play, click on a bomb's image in the right upper corner shown after flash loading.

Oh I get it... (3, Funny)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582573)

The Russians are gearing up for their own version of "Shock and Awesky"

Is Russia still a nuclear power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582589)

Anyone else get the feeling that the two items - flying strategic bombers and air-fuel bombs (they admitted it was important for the bomb to be cheap, apparenty due to the poor economy) - might be an indication of lack of readiness in their nuclear missile capability?

Re:Is Russia still a nuclear power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582699)

Do you really want them to prove that their nuclear missile capability still exists?

Mexico tests La Abuelita de Todas las Bombas (4, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582611)

France is planning to test Le Grand-père de Toutes les Bombes next week.

The week after that North Korea is threatening to test indoor plumbing.

Environmentally Freindly? (5, Funny)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582617)

It doesn't pollute the environment... it just incinerates it!

Re:Environmentally Freindly? (2, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582669)

That may have been the scariest part of the whole article. Since when do the Russians care about the environment?

Re:Environmentally Freindly? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582721)

The same reason Bin Laden cares about the environment all of a sudden.

Re:Environmentally Freindly? (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582863)

Just to piss on our leg?

In fairness to Bin Laden, the 90% of his men who died in combat under him fighting the Russians are probably the only fertilizer Afghanistan has seen since the Mongols salted the earth while passing through. And since many of the fighters were foreign, it did in fact represent a net gain for the country.

quite possibly the cruelest weapon made (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582667)

preads a high incendiary vapour cloud over a wide area and then ignites it, creating an ultra-sonic shock wave and searing fireball that destroys everything in its wake.

Here's a slightly more accurate description of what it does....to people.

  • People unlucky enough to be within the actual fuel-air mixture area are set on fire, both internally (lungs- they breathe in the fuel/air mixture) and externally (the infrared radiation immediately ignites their clothing, hair, and skin) while suffocating. That's pretty much the most painful way to die, hands down, that I can think of.
  • Anyone within the shockwave and following vacuum is liable to either be thrown against other objects or be crushed by them, or structures that collapse. This is the greatest hope you have, as it is the quickest potential way to die.
  • Anyone unfortunate enough to not be burned alive or crushed, will suffer from the pain of blown eardrums and collapsed or burst lungs, while simultaneously suffocating because all the air around them is devoid of oxygen; the fire consumed it. Oh, and everything around you that is flammable is burning whatever oxygen might be left.

They're indiscriminate and quite possibly the cruelest way of killing people save WW1-era chemical attacks.

The fact that the US and Russia are the only countries to use and develop them should speak volumes.

Re:quite possibly the cruelest weapon made (2, Informative)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582819)

most bombs are indiscriminate to anything in the blast zone. just these bombs have a really big blast zone.

Re:quite possibly the cruelest weapon made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582827)

Oh, I can think of quite a number of more cruel ways to kill people than that. Of course if I actually told you them you would think I was a sick fuck.

Work on your imagination (2, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582871)

"They're indiscriminate and quite possibly the cruelest way of killing people save WW1-era chemical attacks."

I'd imagine being slowly hacked to death with machetes in Rwanda or fed into a paper shredder in Baghdad by Uday and Qusay might have been a little less pleasant.......

Re:Work on your imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582937)

fed into a paper shredder in Baghdad by Uday and Qusay might have been a little less pleasant.......

Feet first! Remember, they fed them in feet first so every last scream, gasp of air, and bloody gurgle could be heard from their victems.

Uhh.. (0, Flamebait)

doyoulikeworms (1094003) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582705)

"It is environmentally friendly, compared to a nuclear bomb..."

Is this a joke? Kind of like "it's stable, compared to Windows."

A "vacuum bomb"? (4, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582741)

The device is a fuel-air explosive, commonly known as a vacuum bomb...


Nah...that type of thing is more widely known as a fuel-air explosive. Even my old flight sims from the late 1980s called them that. (Even back then the common target was Iran...)

It's nothing like a nuke (4, Informative)

Von Rex (114907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582783)

Comparing these things to nukes really underestimates the power of a nuke. Consider the wikipedia entry on the Moab [wikipedia.org] .

It's got a yield of 11 tons of TNT. That means the Hiroshima bomb, at approximately 15 kilotons, was about 1300 times stronger. And a Minuteman ICBM, at 1.2 megatons, is 109,000 times stronger. The Tsar Bomba weapon had a yield equal to about 40 Minutemen, or around 4.4 million Moabs.

I know there's additional factors when it comes to amount of destruction inflicted, but still, it's clear that these fuel-air devices are a drop in the ocean compared to a nuke.

The phrase "weapon of mass destruction" annoys me because it equates so many lesser things with nukes, which are, in my opinion, the only WMD, other than perhaps a really vicious plague weapon the likes of which we haven't yet seen.

Re:It's nothing like a nuke (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582905)

a bunch of chemical warheads airburst over a city. tell me if its not a WMD then. just because no one has pulled off a 'hiroshima' with chemical/biological weapons doesn't mean it can't cause mass destruction. cause if you have a hundred nukes aimed at someone, and they have a hundred chemical warheads pointed right back at you, your still going to think twice about nuking them.

In Russia some things never change (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582793)

They spend all their resources making weapons but have yet to be able to make a decent washing machine.

mod Down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582797)

Fuck The Baby in 4 head spinning I burnt out. I From a technical house... pathetic. dying' crowd -

plough shares (1)

Robowally (649265) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582803)

If the Americans beat their swords into plough shares, the Russians would follow suit. Yeah, right!

Creed

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy's OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes,
UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same -
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behaviour that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
and the flowering of individual thought.

Chance

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

Steve Turner, from Up To Date (London: Hodder & Stoughton), quoted in Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated).

Nothing new (4, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582809)

Hollywood has built far larger bombs. One of the largest was named Pluto Nash. Not many people have heard of it inspite of it not being a secret project. Smaller tactical bombs were created by the likes of Pauly Shore. Not as powerful but equally devasting at killing 90 minutes of your life.

Soon to follow (1)

kturner (1154521) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582831)

Soon to follow are the American's fatter, flashier, and more politically correct "LENUTKI" (aka Large Explosive NOT Used to Kill Iraqis) and Japan's smaller, but more convenient "Pocket Bomb".

Correlation? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582891)

The US has the MOAB and Soviet Russia has the FOAB. What's next? The Child Of All Bombs?

How (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582941)

Does anyone wonder. How do they fire such a bomb?
Looking at the article. The bomb will be airborne. Attach a balloon? Make it helicopter like?
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