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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Father of All Bombs' Tested by the Military

The military has successfully tested what it described as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb, state television reported, the latest show of the nation's military muscle.

Channel One television said the new ordnance, nicknamed the "Father 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," Colonel-General Alexander Rukshin, deputy chief of the military's General Staff, said in televised remarks late Tuesday.

Unlike a nuclear weapon, the bomb does not pose an environmental threat from the release of radiation, he added.

Channel One / AP
Undated television footage showing a test of the new thermobaric weapon.
The U.S. Massive Ordnance Air Blast, nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs, a large-yield satellite-guided, air-delivered bomb, had been described as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history.

Channel One said that while the Russian bomb contained about 7 tons of high explosives compared with more than 8 tons of explosives in the U.S. bomb, it was four times more powerful because it uses a new, highly efficient type of explosives developed with the use of nanotechnology. The report did not identify the explosives.

While the U.S. bomb is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT, the Russian one is equivalent to 44 tons of regular explosives. The new weapon's blast radius is 300 meters, twice that of the U.S. design, the report said.

Like its U.S. predecessor, first tested in 2003, the "Father of All Bombs" is a so-called 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 shockwave created by the airburst and high temperature.

Channel One said the temperature in the epicenter of the bomb's explosion was twice as high as that of the U.S. bomb.

The report showed the bomb dropping by parachute from a Tu-160 strategic bomber and exploding in an enormous fireball. It featured the debris of apartment buildings and armored vehicles at a testing range, as well as ground burned by the explosion.

It didn't give the bomb's military name or say when it was tested.

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."

"We have got a relatively cheap ordnance with a high strike power," Yury Balyko, department head at the Defense Ministry's institute in charge of weapons design, said on Channel One.

The report reflected the Kremlin's efforts to restore the country's global clout and rebuild its military might. The muscle-flexing comes at a time when ties with Washington and Brussels have become strained over accusations that Russia is backsliding on democracy, Moscow's vociferous protests against U.S. missile defense plans and rifts over global crises.

Last month, Putin ordered a resumption of regular patrol flights of strategic bombers, which had been suspended after the 1991 Soviet breakup.