Su-34 may have ‘anomalously dropped’ a FAB-500M62 bomb on Belgorod

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — On April 20, an explosion occurred in the Russian city of Belgorod. A state of emergency was immediately declared in the city. According to the information spread, on the same day at the intersection of one of the central streets, the explosion formed a 20-meter crater. The authorities in the city report that no one was injured.

Su-34 may have 'anomalously dropped' a FAB-500M62 bomb on Belgorod
Photo credit: Telegram

The outburst was near the Belgorod 110/10/6 kV South electrical substation. Photos from the blast site and nearby show damage to cars parked nearby. The mayor of the city, Valentin Demidov, the head of the regional security department, Yevgeny Vorobyov, and all operational and emergency services immediately arrived.

Initially, speculations of a Ukrainian attack began to come. Initial speculation was that a Ukrainian Swift kamikaze drone had attacked the area and was the cause of the blast. The Russian Ministry of Defense later issued a statement that an “anomalous aerial bomb drop” had occurred.

Kremlin statement

“During the flight of the Su-34 VKS aircraft over Belgorod, an anomalous descent of aviation ammunition occurred,” reads part of the distributed press release. Since there is no official confirmation of the type of blast, many social media users, mostly Russian, have speculated that it could be the FAB-500M62 aerial bomb.

Russian Su-34s bombed pro-Turkish positions in Idlib, Syria
Photo credit: Wikipedia recalls that this bomb just recently received a new planning and correction module. There is no information whether, if this model dropped a bomb, it was precise with the new module.

Earlier there was also such a case, which turned out to be the first material confirmation of the use of these bombs. We remind you that on April 12, a FAB-500M62 aerial bomb was discovered on one of the streets of the Kuibyshev district of Donetsk. The investigation concluded that it was the bomb after distinctive wings from the control and correction unit were found not far from it.

These modules are new and somewhat rough development, so there may be such emergencies, some Russian experts commented. Thus, they acknowledge that despite the striking and chilling power of the FAB-500M62, the munition is still risky, and sometimes unsuccessful. Fortunately, neither then in Donetsk, nor now in Belgorod, anyone died.


Most likely, the Russian Su-34 fighter bomber took off to perform a night mission in the war zone of Ukraine. In the last few months, Russia has been actively using this type of aerial bomb. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also confirmed this information. At some point, Kyiv even said that they could not counter this ammunition at the moment.

FAB-500M62 bomb's blast wave ejects a Ukrainian all-terrain vehicle
Video screenshot

According to experts, the US Patriot system would cope with the interception and destruction of FAB bombs. To do so, however, these systems must be closer to the conflict zone. This puts them at risk as it increases the chance that Russian armed forces will attack and destroy them.

In addition to the Su-34, there are reports that the Su-35 has also several times carried out missions with the release of this type of aerial bomb.

About FAB-500M62

FAB-500M62 is a general-purpose air-dropped bomb with a high-explosive warhead. This bomb is a Soviet Union design and development. It has been in production since the mid-1950s and the most surprising thing is that it is still in production today. It is a 500 kg bomb with a 300 kg warhead.

Su-34 may have 'anomalously dropped' a FAB-500M62 bomb on Belgorod
Photo by VitalyKuzmin

The last two digits in the bomb designation FAB-500M62 [62] mean that this bomb was manufactured in 1962. Then, its intended purpose was to be carried by external transport of fighter-bomber emplacements.


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