Russia used rare FAB-500T aviation bombs that didn’t explode

Last week, between June 24th and 30th, the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS or RuAF] made headlines by deploying the rare FAB-500T aviation bombs, equipped with UMPK modules, in two separate attacks on the Kharkiv region. 

Russia used rare FAB-500T aviation bombs that didn't explode
Photo credit: Ukrainian MoD

Ukrainian sources reported that in the initial incident, a bomb of this type struck a private house in a Kharkiv village but fortunately did not detonate. In a second occurrence, a similar bomb hit Kharkiv itself, but again, no explosion was triggered, according to Ukrainian sources. The use of the FAB-500T with UMPK modules marked a significant first during the full-scale conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. 

Unlike the standard FAB-500M62, which Russians typically modify with UMPK to create a guided bomb, the FAB-500T has a slightly lower explosive weight [260 kilograms versus 300 kilograms]. Additionally, it boasts a design that offers superior aerodynamic performance during flight.

SEAD MiG-25BM could have won the Ukraine war, but Russia retired it
Photo credit: Wikipedia

But most importantly, the FAB-500T bomb stands out because it’s usually paired with reconnaissance and attack aircraft like the MiG-25RB, capable of reaching speeds up to 3000 km/h. The “T” in FAB-500T denotes “heat resistant.” These bombs are designed to endure the thermal stresses associated with carrier aircraft traveling at speeds up to 3000 km/h. Moreover, some sources suggest that the FAB-500T, owing to its unique aerodynamic, design can glide distances of 30-40 kilometers without needing additional attachments. 

The Russian Ministry of Defense, under the direction of Sergei Shoigu, resumed the production of the FAB-500T, as highlighted in video footage released in March 2024. This move signifies a deliberate effort by Russia to rejuvenate its aerial bomb production, leaving behind the remnants of Soviet-era munitions. 

One might infer that the integration of the FAB-500T with the UMPK module was driven by the need for a bomb with an extended range. This adaptation aims to facilitate more effective strikes on Ukrainian territory compared to the standard FAB-500M62 paired with the same module.

Extremely rare close-up photo of the FAB-500 bomb before it was used
Photo credit: Telegram

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Russia's MiG-25 is fastest high-speed military fighter in the world, japanese analyst said
Photo credit: National Interest

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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