Russia Explodes 'Father of All Bombs'

| Wed Sep. 12, 2007 12:19 PM EDT

According to news reports (here and here), the Russian military has successfully tested what it hails as the world's most destructive non-nuclear bomb. The device—unofficially named the 'Father of All Bombs,' an apparent play on a similar U.S. device nicknamed the 'Mother of All Bombs'—relies on an initial explosion to disperse a cloud of explosive material that is then ignited by a secondary blast. The weapon contains 7.8 tons of high explosives, compared with more than 8 tons in its U.S. counterpart. But its explosive power is equal to 44 tons of TNT, about four times more powerful than America's MOAB. The BBC says the differential is due to "a new type of explosives developed with the use of nanotechnology."

General Alexander Rukshin, Russia's deputy armed forces chief of staff, described the new bomb as "relatively cheap" and effective, with explosive power "commensurate with a nuclear weapon." He went on to say the new bomb would allow Russia's military to "protect the nation's security and confront international terrorism in any situation in any region."

Sure, if there's one thing we've learned from Iraq, it's that the best way to dispose of a guy hiding in a roadside shack with his finger on an IED detonator is to blow up his entire city.

Best of all, though, Rukshin pointed out that fuel-air bombs don't emit radiation and therefore are environmentally friendly.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.