The Russian military said its "father of all bombs" is the most powerful thermobaric bomb of its kind, four times more powerful than the American "mother of all bombs," the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal and the largest non-nuclear bomb the United States has ever used in combat.
Born in Russia in 2007, the "father of all bombs" [FOAB] may be holding a title surpassed by no other.
Based on the specifications released by the Russian military, analysts say Russia could be right.
"We believe it's real," said retired Col. Rick Francona, military analyst and former US military attache in Syria. "The Russians have been among the pioneers of these thermobaric bombs."
"I don't have any doubt that they could build this," Francona said. "It falls under their technological capabilities."
"The FOAB, if what has been reported about it is true, is the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the world," said retired Col. Cedric Leighton, military analyst and former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
FOAB has never been used in combat.
"The FOAB is a thermobaric bomb, which means that its payload explodes at much higher temperatures," Leighton said.
"The result is that living things within the area of detonation are vaporized, making the FOAB a spectacularly terrible weapon."
Russia announced that the bomb was first tested in 2007. In a national broadcast that aired on September 11, 2007, deputy chief of the general staff of the Russian Armed Forces at the time, Alexander Rukshin, said the first test of a new bomb, capable of sending shock waves with the power of a nuclear bomb, was completed.
"The results of the tests of this air ammunition have shown that it can be compared with a nuclear weapon by its efficiency and capabilities," Rukshin said. "At the same time, I particularly want to emphasize that the impact from this ammunition does not pollute the environment in any way compared to a nuclear munition," he added.
A Channel 1 broadcast, as well as other recent publications in Russian state media, claim that FOAB is four times more powerful than MOAB, with explosion power equivalent to 44 tons of TNT, compared to 11 tons for the MOAB. FOAB is also reportedly lighter, weighing 7,100 kilograms, compared to 8,200 kilograms, while its blast radius is double that of the MOAB, at 300 meters, or about 984 feet.
Leighton said analysis conducted by his group supports those claims but there are some questions whether the explosion shown in the specific video was produced by a weapon like FOAB.
Alexander Mozgovoy, editor of Russian magazine National Defense, said he believes the Channel 1 video is accurate and he thinks Russia may have developed more than one FOAB, just like the United States has built several MOABs.
"I don't think there is only one bomb [of this kind] but definitely not a lot of them," he said. "This bomb doesn't leave anything alive. It turns everything in ashes."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team