Talk:Father of All Bombs

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Nothing scientific about this bomb[edit]

"high explosive developed with the use of nanotechnology". All hail our new Russian nanowarriors. Give me a break. "ultrasonic shockwave". FYI: "ultrasonic" means "sound with frequency higher that humans can hear (somewhere >20kHz)". Shock waves are supersonic (travel faster than sound), not ultrasonic.

IMHO, this was a political stunt aimed to woo neo-Russian nationalism. (talk) 11:33, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Because there couldn't be something lost in translation? They probably meant hypersonic and "hyper" is not a word they use (giper). As for nanotechnology, don't be an idiot, it is not a new science. People have been using nanotechnology since the middle ages and both MOAB and FOAB use it. Just because you watch star trek and think nanotechnology "sound futuristic" does not mean it discredits this weapon. Keep your bias out if it (talk) 03:47, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Ultrasonics may be a mistake, but nanotechnology was present as in any thermobaric munition: aluminium powder is milled to about 50nm, small enough to call it 'nano'. And 'nano' is the new fashion trend in Russia.

How is that 'nano' tech, the way the article is written could make it sound like the interior of the bomb is constructed by nanites, a technology decades if not centuries away. Milling aluminium powder is not new tech at all, it's used for thermite if I'm correct, yes? (talk) 21:24, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Please see WP:V. LokiiT (talk) 22:02, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

The whole legitimacy section is slated, quoted DoD officials instead of independent researchers. DoD is not to be trusted regarding russian military power. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps the "nanotechnology" in question is an unusually thin layer/coating on the outside of the aluminum powder particles, that has allowed the milling of the powder to much smaller particle sizes without the problem of their corrosion or self-activation. While seemingly trivial, the process of making nanodots isn't much more complex.. Zaphraud (talk) 18:55, 1 May 2011 (UTC)


Are there any indications that there are other more powerful but not-publicly-known non-nuclear bombs? If not, the "publicly-known" is redundant. Sijo Ripa 14:47, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I suppose that the fact that really, the only limit to the group of really-big non-nuclear bombs is transport limitation and effectiveness per mass or volume, means that at any given time, somebody could be working on a bigger one. And they all pale compared to the Halifax Explosion anyway, though "Random Shipping Accidents" is probably in a different category. -FrYGuY 03:34, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

What about this: U.S. develops 14-ton super bomb, bigger than Russian vacuum bomb? Dated October 13. V8Cougar 15:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Davy Crockett comparison incorrect[edit]

"However, bombs such as this do have yields equal to or superior to smaller nuclear weapons, such as the M-388 Davy Crockett, which has a maximum yield equivalent to 20 tons of TNT."

According to the M-388 Davy Crockett article, 10-20 tons is the minimum yield, not the maximum for that weapon. The max is 500 tons (0.5 kilotons), which is much bigger than this Russian bomb. --Howdybob 15:44, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, but thats still nuclear isnt it so it doesnt count. --Climax-Void Hammer and sickle.svg Chat or My Contributions

Huh? That's the point. It's one of the smallest nuclear weapons, and its maximum yield is more than ten times that of the "FOAB". Right now the article says the M-388 has a maximum yield of 20 tons, which is incorrect. --Howdybob 20:42, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Fixed. Still, I think that the comparison to tactical nukes makes sense; the yield is at least comparable, so this bomb is capable of doing things that would otherwise require nuclear weapons. GregorB 21:42, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, my bad. CeeWhy2 21:43, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

What I thought is that the majority of nuclear weapon yield is in the form of fast neutron, damage environment, biological cell, electrical equipment, huge range, extremely short duration. For conventional bomb, it is mostly in blast shock and heat form, damage is much more localize with greater effect on infrastructure than nuclear weapon of the same yield —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hereiam3 (talkcontribs) 16:14, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Most of the effects you listed are not factored into yield. How do you measure biological cell damage in tons of TNT? How much TNT does it take to make an EMP? No, yield is a measure of the blast effect. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 21:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I removed a lot of unsourced info, as it's considered original research not suitable for wikipedia. Feel free to find some credible, verifiable sources with the information and re-add it to the article. Krawndawg (talk) 18:00, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


Is this thing on youtube yet? They had the footage on the news, a bit weeny compared to the ending montage on Dr Strangelove, heheh.Comradeash 10:57, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes. GregorB 16:25, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Having watched the video, I would say that the test drop was done out of the back of a transport. However, that does not mean that the bomb cant be deployed from a Tu-160. The stated payload for a 160 is 44000kg. The FOAB comes in at just under 8000kg. The 160 has 2 bomb bays, so thoretically, it can carry at least 2. Of course to be absolutely sure you'd need to have the dimensions of the bomb bays and the actual bomb itself. Also there would be the problem of designing a clamping system to hold 7.8 tons suspended in a single mass for a long period of time. (talk) 10:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Highly efficient[edit]

Has anyone discussed other uses of this "highly efficient" explosive (five times better than TNT)? I'd like to see whether you can adapt the technology for the space program or perhaps even for use in low-weight storage batteries. Does anyone have a guess what it is? Wnt (talk) 16:38, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Batteries don't tend to work via explosive chemical reactions... --OuroborosCobra (talk) 16:48, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Admittedly, the odds are against it being applicable; nonetheless bear in mind for example that a lithium battery often uses lithium perchlorate, for example. You might say that batteries include only those explosives that you can insert an electrode into, chemically speaking. Wnt (talk) 22:10, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


Surely the yield of the weapons must be in kilotons, not tons? The Hiroshima bomb was over 10 kilotons... Causantin (talk) 09:02, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Ok I checked the sources and it seems to be 11 / 44 'tons' of TNT... but isn't it a bit underwhelming? This supposedly amazing new weapon is (in the case of the MOAB) 1.6 times better than TNT ... a 19th century tachnology... Causantin (talk) 09:12, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


Can someone please take the time to more accurately detail how this bomb functions? Specifically, how does nanotechnology help this bomb achieve what no others have? Daniel Musto (talk) 13:40, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure we can. I've never seen anything released explaining the "nanotechnology" claims, and the Russians don't seem to be rushing to tell anyone how their weapon works in any detail. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 01:51, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not an expert but I think the idea is simple. The energy comes from the combustion of the metal (e.g., aluminum) powder (as in the solid fuel rockets). The smaller the powder particles the more intense is the explosion. Thus it is necessary to make the size of the powder particles as small as possible (that's why nanotechnology is mentioned). There are of course a lot of other problems — how to properly prepare a cloud of particles with desirable density before initiating explosion, how to store the powder in the bomb so that particles dot not stick together etc etc. 19 April 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Based upon the shape and delivery method of the weapon (cargo sled, NOT by bomber as the Russians claim), the Wired articles postulates that this is a fuel-air explosive rather than a thermobaric. Rather primitive and finicky... Djma12 (talk) 03:54, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
The wired article is complete speculation and not based on any facts at all regarding the actual technology (because obviously they were not able to inspect the bomb). In my opinion it's just the typical "no you can't have anything better than us" response that the Americans and Russians always throw out at each other with every new piece of military equipment. Besides, that article has been contradicted by other reputable military experts (Janes, GlobalSecurity). As for how it works, as Cobra said, it's unlikely they're going to advertise their secret military technology and how it functions, so it's unlikely we will ever have a solid answer to that inquiry. There is some speculation though, for example this article says: "the new bomb is smaller than the MOAB but much deadlier because, due to nanotechnology, the temperature at the epicentre of the blast is twice as high." You likely need to know a thing or two about how nanotechnology works to understand exactly how that's possible. LokiiT (talk) 22:13, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
That's a completely fair comment. The wired article is obviously speculation. However, it is not uneducated speculation. That and the only other source of into is Russian propaganda. Given that the Russians fairly obviously lied about one capability for the weapon ("bomber launched" when it's obviously a sled-based device from a rear exit), there are fair questions to exactly how "nanotechnology" can be used to generate the force the Russians claim. Add on the long history of Russian exaggeration for weapon systems (see MIG-31, see the original Russian H-bomb test, see Bulova missile, etc...), I don't think that it's unlikely that some level of exaggeration exists. Djma12 (talk) 23:18, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the opposite is more correct. The Russian's kept the Mig-31 hidden during development and a single pilot defected to Japan, and told the USA of the project. As a result the USA exagerrated the potential of the Mig-31 for the purposes of entertainment and also, to justify massive US defence spending in the 1980's. In the meantime the military kept much lower expectations. When the Mig-31 went into service though their expectations were blown out of the water. What NATO thought was numerous squadrons on their radar detectors turned out to be a single Mig-31 with an immensely more powerful radar then had ever been developed. They'd produced an aircraft that could do everything the Mig-25 could do plus shoot down aircraft 300km away, satellites in medium and possibly even high orbits and outperform the radar of an AWACS in range. The USAF went into damage control and shock. And this has been a consistent pattern with aircraft and aircraft ordinance. I could cite numerous examples, but won't bother.--Senor Freebie (talk) 04:26, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

"That and the only other source of into is Russian propaganda." - What do you consider non-Russian propaganda then? Do you consider everything the US military reports as American propaganda, and only listen to what Russian media says about it? There will only ever be one single primary source for military developments, and that's the military. And lets not forget that the Soviet Union is no more.

"Given that the Russians fairly obviously lied about one capability for the weapon ("bomber launched" when it's obviously a sled-based device from a rear exit)" - How is this obvious? What proof do you have that they lied? You can believe the claims in wired if you want, but whether you do or not shouldn't make a difference in what goes into this article. That's no different than watching one of those 9/11 conspiracy videos and saying "Oh it's obvious that the buildings were detonated, look at the way the buildings collapsed" can even find many "experts" who agree. Yet most people with common sense know how convincing conspiracies which are based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence can be, even without ever presenting any solid proof. We can only present this as what it is - speculation by a few individuals - not factual, and not a widespread belief.

"Add on the long history of Russian exaggeration for weapon systems (see MIG-31, see the original Russian H-bomb test, see Bulova missile, etc...)" - Everyone exaggerates their capabilities, don't think America is an exception. Again, it's up to you whether you believe the "American propaganda" or the "real truth - Russian media", we shouldn't really be arguing about who's right and who's wrong, it's impossible to know and there are two viable sides to an argument that can't be won. LokiiT (talk) 16:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Again, I think the comments are completely fair. I was just airing my personal opinions, but I think the article should be confined to what can be sourced. Djma12 (talk) 17:55, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
For the record, you probably should read Wikipedia's rules. Adding sources for ALL information is one of the most important rules! In fact it is so important there are lengthy explanations of what constitutes a legitimate source!--Senor Freebie (talk) 04:26, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Expanded comparison to MOAB[edit]

Added a bit on the MOAB accuracy compared to the FOAB.Aseidave (talk) 19:16, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


I noted that this quotation in the article;

'He questions if it was what some experts call a "fuel-air explosive," or if it was a "thermobaric" weapon. "Fuel-air and thermobaric bombs differ in usefulness". Burky says that the weapon depicted in the video appears to be a fuel-air explosive, based on its shape.'

References a difference between Fuel-Air weapons and Thermobaric weapons and suggests that this would be relevant to the FOAB's capabilities, each type of weapon is wikilinked to their respective article. However, Fuel-Air bomb is a redirect to the Thermobaric weapon page, and the latter page explicitly states that a Fuel-Air bomb is simply another name for a thermobaric weapon. So there's a bit of a contradiction there, I don't have a thorough enough knowledge of the subject to clear it up, but it's a bit of a glaring problem either with the quote in question or the Thermobaric weapon article. (talk) 05:46, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that when I was fixing the article up some months ago and found it a little strange. I don't know enough about it either, but I just left it in word for word. Wikipedia isn't required to be factually correct, only supported by reliable sources. Meaning, if someone makes a misinformed comment to a credible source, we should still put it in the article. People can take it for what it is, an honest mistake, an ignorant "analysis" trying to discredit something and fool uninformed people, or a mistake by the editors of wiki. LokiiT (talk) 14:00, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


So although fuel-air explosives are extremely effective at destroying buildings (particularly from the inside), they're not so useful against other targets. Thermobaric explosives or TBX lie somewhere between pure fuel-air and condensed explosives. A thermobaric explosive can be solid but 'fuel rich', for example such a mix of regular explosive with powdered aluminum or similar material. When it is set off, the thermobaric explosive produces an expanding fireball, with the leading edge containing white-hot aluminum particles which add to the explosive effect as they come into contact with the air and burn.

Djma12 (talk) 14:47, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't know enough about these contraptions to make corrections either, but the contradictory statements between this article and the Thermobaric weapons/fuel-air bombs article still persist ('fuel-air bomb' redirects to 'thermobaric weapon'). According to the thermobaric weapon page, a fuel-air bomb is a form of thermobaric weapon.

I note LokiiT's point that 'Wikipedia isn't required to be factually correct, only supported by reliable sources', but it seems specious in this situation. Where we are aware of glaring inconsistencies in WKP entries it is surely best for editors to take action. Perhaps there is enough technological progress and analysis available by now to solve the apparent contradiction now without introducing original research. Centrepull (talk) 12:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Oxidizers / Explosives[edit]

Fuel-air-explosives (FAE) are low explosives or fuels. They "combust" and release the wanted energy through rapid oxidation of a fuel, mush like the gasoline in your car. RDX, TNT, etc., are high explosives. They "detonate" and release energy through the rapid decomposition of molecular chains (nitrate chains are known to be particularly energetic, the "N" in TNT for example). Detonation and combustion are not related! Combustion is the energetic combining of a fuel with an oxidizer; detonation is the breaking apart of a molecule. THAT MEANS high explosives do NOT carry their own oxidizers! The advantage of an FAE lies in the very high energy density of many fuels. Gasoline has more energy then TNT. Hard to believe, I know, but it's true. The difference is, TNT releases what energy it has waaaaay faster. So, can you make an FAE that's more powerful then the same amount of high explosives? No, the release rate greatly favors the high explosive, but the FAE could release significantly more energy (over a longer period of time) and do more damage to certain types of targets while doing so. So, can the FOAB concievably be more destructive then the MOAB? Sure, but it depends on the hardness of the target. Regardless, it's not more destructive then MOAB because the MOAB has to "carry its own oxidizers". Detonation is not combustion!Nwilde (talk) 23:24, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes but the shockwave still propagates through the fuel cloud at supersonic velocities. The cloud will sustain the velocity of the wave used to initiate the combustion. The bomb isn't just spreading around some gas and lighting it on fire, its much more controlled and deadly than that - one might say it is a 'detonating cumbuston' as opposed to a 'deflagrating cumbustion.' --Nebarnix (talk) 23:15, 30 October 2009 (UTC)


It's hard to make comparisons to MOAB because the Russian device seems to be created only to showcase a better explosive (larger explosion for less weight), rather than to 1up America on an actual bomb. This is why the FOAB will not be entering production, the explosive used to make it will probably be copied over to RPG32 thermobaric warheads, Smerch thermobaric rockets etc (talk) 06:34, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

[citation needed] LokiiT (talk) 06:39, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Why does that make it harder to make a comparison? --OuroborosCobra (talk) 22:33, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

-they already produced 100 of these--Crossswords (talk) 07:17, 11 April 2014 (UTC)


I am a little surprised that a bomb carrying 7000 kgf of explosives weighs only 7100 kgf. MOAB has 8500 kgf of explosive and weighs 10300 kgf. Greglocock (talk) 22:55, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

The article simply says 'about seven tons' - which could well be taken to mean short tons (about 6,300kg) which would sound roughly correct. Jellyfish dave (talk) 13:57, 7 May 2015 (UTC)