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The bomb itself was 2.5kg with 1.5 kg of explosives. The Il-2 was capable of carrying 280 2.5 kg bombs immediately on the bomb-bay folds, or 4x48 in four cassettes. The PTAB 2.5 was capable of penetrating 60 to 70 millimeter tank armor, sufficient at the time even for the top-armor of heavy tanks.
PTABs were widely deployed from Il-2 Ground Attack Aircraft and also, due to the bomb's very low weight, from Yak-9 fighters, specifically from the internal weapon bay in the Yak-9b (Fighter-Bomber) modification. The Po-2 was also capable of carrying and deploying PTABs. The use of PTABs was mostly from the Il-2, which accounted for a large part of the tanks destroyed by the PTAB. The weapon was first used in 1943.
The number of PTABs dropped in a given time period steadily increased thereafter. By the end of 1943, Soviet records show that 1,171,340 PTABs were dropped. In 1944, the number dropped was 5,024,822. In the first four months of 1945, a further 3,242,701 PTAB were used.
- Rastrenin, Oleg. IL2 Shturmovik Guards Units of World War 2, Oxford, Osprey Publishing, pp.61-65.
- Олег Растренин (2007) Штурмовик Ил-2. Летающий танк, ISBN 978-5-699-23791-3, p. 101