The creation of alternative weapons, comparable in power to nuclear bombs, belongs to the most promising areas of defense departments of advanced countries. The high risks of an ecological catastrophe make it necessary to look for other principles of defeat, which at the same time have a massive destructive effect. Ideas of thermobaric and vacuum weapons correspond to these parameters, since they do not presuppose the creation of radiation effects. The first tests and even the use of volumetric bombs already took place in the middle of the last century, and today active work is carried out to improve them. Russian developers in recent years have made significant progress in this direction, which makes it possible to create effective thermobaric weapons that are not inferior to Western analogues.
The principle of volumetric explosion
To understand how a thermobaric bomb works, it is possible to study in detail its composition and chemical reactions occurring at the time of activation. Clearly, the result of the operation of these weapons was repeatedly demonstrated at domestic enterprises, when factories and combines with mines for coal mining, processing of sugar raw materials and even in ordinary carpentry workshops were exploded. In general, the technique of explosion can be imagined as the ignition of accumulated explosive dust, which floods the space. Moreover, a gas explosion in ordinary apartments can be put on a par with such phenomena - and so does the thermobaric bomb. Weapons of this type form an aerosol cloud, which subsequently produces a deadly effect.
Differences from nuclear weapons
Large-caliber ammunition to ensure the action of a vacuum bomb in terms of power can be compared with nuclear weapons of tactical designation. However, thermobaric bombs do not leave a radiation field after the defeat. In addition, the large volumes of the explosive mixture used in vacuum bombs provide a high degree of negative half-wave pressure. In this indicator, nuclear weapons, whose damage is concentrated on the radiation effect, also loses thermobaric analogues.
In addition to the shock wave, during the explosion of volumetric bombs there is a high level and burnout of oxygen. Such an explosion does not form a vacuum in the zone of action - this factor causes the ambiguous attitude of experts to the positioning of volumetric explosions as vacuum ones.
The force potential of vacuum bombs
By their strength, vacuum bombs are not inferior to advanced models and modifications of traditional weapons of mass destruction. Warheads in such complexes are capable of forming shock waves in which the gauge of excess pressure is of the order of 3000 kPa. If we talk about how the principle of a vacuum bomb differs from the action of thermobaric analogues, it is important to note the creation of a practically airless environment after the explosion. Such a pressure drop is capable of breaking everything that is in the epicenter: structures, equipment, hardware, people, etc.
In warheads used in thermobaric bombs, solid components are not used. They were replaced by gaseous substances, which provide a shock wave that is several times greater than an explosion of a nuclear bomb equipped with ultra-small charges. The following substances are used as fuel fillings:
- Varieties of combustible gases;
- Products of evaporation of fuel based on hydrocarbon;
- Other combustible substances, ground to the state of fine dust.
In some cases, atmospheric air is required to activate a warhead. Despite a number of advantages over nuclear bombs, this powerful weapon does not require the same serious investments and labor costs to obtain the optimal composition.
Principle of detonation
The explosion is created after the filing of a fire in the gaseous filling. At the same time, the consumption of components is several times less than that required for blasting bombs of similar power. When the charge reaches the desired height, the finished mixture is sprayed. At the moment of finding the optimal size for a gas cloud, the detonator is activated. Then a volumetric explosion is realized, which also attracts the shock wave. It is noteworthy that a second blow from the air flow exceeds the first one in power - this happens after the vacuum was formed.
Factors of defeat
The damaging effect of the ammunition depends on the fireball formed during the explosion. When using vacuum weapons, the thermal effect in the open area, as a rule, occurs directly in the attack zone with a fatal outcome (burn effects) at a distance that is determined by the parameters of the fireball. In this regard, the explosion of a nuclear bomb is not so effective, since it provides for a less intense impact after implementation (of course, not to mention the effect of radiation). The area where fatal wounds from a shock wave is unavoidable, usually exceeds the radius of thermal damage. Nevertheless, it is quite natural that the decrease in the effectiveness of the impact force is proportional to the increase in the distance from the epicenter of the explosion. Reducing the pressure reduces and lethal lesions.
Application in a confined space
The vacuum bomb demonstrates the greatest efficiency in conditions of limited space. The force of the shock wave, supplemented by the defeat of the fireball, is able to overcome corners and pass to where it is impossible to spread the fragments. Personal protective equipment, various barriers and barricades, not to mention the walls, can act as an obstacle to traditional bombs, while thermobaric weapons bypass such barriers. Moreover, the force of action is amplified when the wave is reflected from the surfaces. Another thing is that the effect of defeat can vary depending on various factors.
Thus, in a confined space, the destructive effect of the bomb increases due to the growing pressure of the shock wave. Consequently, it is advisable to use such weapons when bunkers, caves, fortifications and other closed objects are affected.
Aviation vacuum bombs
The concept of vacuum warheads at the current moment shows the highest results in the class of aircraft bombs. In such devices, the following design is assumed: the nasal region contains a high-tech sensor that serves to activate and separate the combustible mixture. The process of forming an explosive cloud begins immediately after the electromagnetic device is reset. The aerosol thus activated passes into a state of gas-air substance, which subsequently explodes after a fixed time.
Russian samples of thermobaric weapons
To date, the thermobaric arsenal of Russian troops (except prototype bombs) includes a rocket flamethrower "Shmel", grenades TBG-7, a system of the rocket complex "Cornet", as well as rockets Rshg-1.
Separate attention deserves the flamethrower heavy system "Buratino". It is a mixture of a tank and a rocket launcher. The action is implemented on the same principle of atomization and explosion of a combustible mixture, during which a shock wave is formed. Although the activation of an explosive filling in this complex is incomparable with the potential of a thermobaric weapon with other combustible substances (3000 vs 9000 m / s), its quality and the result of the defeat justify this shortcoming. In comparison with analogues, the flamethrower system operates with a large radius and decays more slowly.
The filling of "Pinocchio" includes liquid and light metal (a combination of propylnitrate and magnesium powder). In the flight of the projectile, substances are mixed up to a uniform state, which ultimately ensures the creation of an air-gas mixture.
Improvement of nuclear weapons
Despite the desire of the world community to take measures to control and reduce the total nuclear potential, the importance of these weapons is still relevant.
The directions of future development are mainly focused on the neuronal impact, which affects living organisms. Also, experts are exploring the possibilities of using gamma radiation, which eliminates the need to ensure nuclear fission processes. For example, from the nuclei of hafnium, the most powerful bomb can turn out, which at the same time will have miniaturized dimensions. Such a high power potential is achieved due to the fact that at the time of the explosion the particles are in a high-energy state-for comparison, according to the combat power, 1 gram of hafnium in an optimally charged state is equivalent to tens of kilograms of trinitrotoluene.
The family of modern nuclear weapons include kinetic, X-ray and microwave laser systems. They also use nuclear pumping to expand the methods and extent of the damage.
The development of nuclear potentials in a number of countries, coupled with the improvement of characteristics and the increase in their damaging effect, necessitates the creation of better defensive systems. This part of the work takes into account the principles by which new bombs are created, as well as the effects of defeat. For example, the use of neutron fluxes, parameters of gamma and electromagnetic radiation are taken into account. The development of new means of notching explosions, devices for measuring and monitoring the radiation background, methods of deactivation and prevention of neuronal irradiation are being carried out.
At the same time, work on improving the quality of collective and individual security facilities does not stop. Especially this applies to protection against chemical weapons. Depending on the characteristics of the poisonous substances , methods of decontamination and subsequent processing of the terrain are developed in order to maintain environmental safety. The high-tech deadly weapon poses more complex tasks. For example, there are problems in organizing measures to ensure the safety of industrial complexes from precision weapons. In this regard, the main emphasis is on masking objects and minimizing the possibilities of their declassification.
At the moment, there are different areas of military developments to create fundamentally new approaches to combat operations. Among them, acoustic, beam, laser weapons, as well as other concepts of high-tech devices that can affect the human body, overcoming concrete and metal barriers.
Among the promising concepts can be noted accelerating deadly weapons, a feature of which is the special preparation of particles by acceleration, which will expand its scope. This is one of the projects designed not only for use within the atmosphere, but also in outer space. Prototypes of such devices may be tested for commissioning in the coming years.
In one category with high-precision weapons it is necessary to include electromagnetic weapons. Their action is also aimed at eliminating specific objects, as a rule, the enemy's energy complex. Together with this they can be used as weapons against a person, causing painful effects.
The last decades, nuclear weapons are perceived by mankind as the most terrible. This is indeed the case, and only careful control, coupled with containment measures, excludes even the theoretical possibility of a global catastrophe as a result of its application. In this regard, the thermobaric weapon becomes the more real instrument of force influence, which can rightfully be considered a powerful non-nuclear means of destruction.
The concept of volumetric explosions finds application in small arms, but at the expense of effective action in confined spaces becomes an unbeatable assistant in special operations, on the principles of which tactical actions are built in modern conflicts. Of course, new developments are not limited to this direction - neural, laser, electromagnetic and ultrasonic prototypes of weapons, undoubtedly, in the coming years will change the notion of tactical actions on the battlefield. Russia in terms of technological military progress is not inferior to Western competitors, covering all the advanced directions and developing adequate protection mechanisms for the new time .