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12 Mar, 2024 16:28

WATCH Russia deploy ‘game changer’ weapon against Ukraine

Moscow’s forces have been using FAB gravity bombs fitted with modification kits that turn them into guided glide munitions
WATCH Russia deploy ‘game changer’ weapon against Ukraine

Russia’s Defense Ministry has released footage of an Su-34 bomber dropping FAB-500 glide munitions, which have been hailed as a game-changer in the Ukraine conflict for their destructive potential and deployment range of up to 80km. 

In a video that appears to be shot from a camera attached to the side of an aircraft, several bombs can be seen dropping and then deploying their wings shortly thereafter. 

The bombs are equipped with a unified planning and correction module (UMPC), which turns regular free-falling bombs into guided glide munitions. The high-explosive aerial FAB-500 bombs seen in the video each carry a 300-kilogram payload. 

The UMPC system has also been used on other older Soviet aerial gravity bombs such as the FAB-1500 – a 1.5-tonne weapon, nearly half of which consists of high explosives – to turn them into highly destructive and effective glide munitions. 

These modernized bombs have proven to be “dramatically” effective against Ukrainian forces, as noted by Western experts and media outlets such as the Washington Post and CNN, because Kiev’s troops cannot effectively defend against such munitions. 

With their ability to traverse long distances with accuracy, the UMPC-fitted bombs can be fired from Russian jets well outside the effective range of Kiev’s existing aerial defense systems, leaving Ukrainian forces unable to defend against them. 

Ukrainian commanders have also noted the “very high destructive power” of these munitions. Dmitry Lykhoviy, a Ukrainian military spokesman, told the Post that the Russian bombs are capable of completely demolishing houses and foundations that are used for defense fortifications. 

“These bombs completely destroy any position. All buildings and structures simply turn into a pit after the arrival of just one,” recalled one fighter of a Ukrainian assault brigade operating near the stronghold town of Avdeevka, which was captured by Russian forces last month. 

Russia has reportedly “significantly” increased the rate at which these  bombs have been used on Ukrainian positions, particularly around Avdeevka, leading to heavy casualties. 

According to the Russian Defense Ministry’s latest estimates, Ukraine’s losses of military personnel since the start of the conflict in 2022 have surpassed 444,000 people.

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