World

Russia says its 'dad of all bombs' dwarfs American 'mother'

The Russian military has successfully tested what it described as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb, Russia's state television reported Tuesday.

The Russian military has successfully tested what it described as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb, Russia's state television reported Tuesday.

Channel One television said the new weapon, nicknamed the "dad of all bombs" is four times more powerful than the U.S. "mother of all bombs."

"The tests have shown that the new air-delivered ordnance is comparable to a nuclear weapon in its efficiency and capability," said Col.-Gen. Alexander Rukshin, a deputy chief of the Russian military's General Staff, said in televised remarks.

Unlike a nuclear weapon, the bomb doesn't hurt the environment, he added.

The statement reflected the Kremlin's efforts to restore Russia's global clout and rebuild the nation's military might while ties with Washington have been strained over U.S. criticism of Russia's backsliding on democracy, Moscow's vociferous protests of U.S. missile defence plans, and rifts over global crises.

The U.S. Massive Ordnance Air Blast, nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs, is a large-yield satellite-guided, air-delivered bomb described as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history.

New type of explosive not named

Channel One said that while the Russian bomb contains just overseven tonnes of high explosives, comparedwith more than7.25 tonnes of explosives in the U.S. bomb, it's four times more powerful because it uses a new, highly efficient type of explosive that the report didn't identify.

While the U.S. bomb is equivalent to 10 tonnes of TNT, the Russian one is equivalent tonearly40tonnes of regular explosives. The Russian weapon's blast radius is about 300 metres, twice as big as that of the U.S. design, the report said.

Like its U.S. predecessor, first tested in 2003, the Russian bomb is a "thermobaric" weapon that explodes in an intense fireball combined with a devastating blast. It explodes in a terrifying nuclear bomb-like mushroom cloud and wreaks destruction through a massive shock wave created by the air burst and high temperature.

Thermobaric weapons work on the same principle that causes blasts in grain elevators and other dusty places— clouds of fine particles are highly explosive. Such explosions produce shock waves that can be directed and amplified in enclosed spaces such as buildings, caves or tunnels.

American version tested in 2003

When the U.S. sent troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, military officials said they might use thermobaric weapons in the country's mountainous regions where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was believed to be hiding.

The U.S.Air Force went on to test the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, which became known as the "mother of all bombs," ata Florida base in March 2003.

Channel One said that the temperature in the epicentre of the Russian bomb's explosion is twice as high as that of the U.S. bomb.

Tuesday's report showed the bomb dropped by parachute from a Tu-160 strategic bomber and exploding in a massive fireball. It featured the debris of apartment buildings and armored vehicles at a test range, as well as the scorched ground from a massive blast.

Rukshin said the new bomb would allow the military to "protect the nation's security and confront international terrorism in any situation and any region."