The “Father of All Bombs”

bomb1.jpgWhen I say the word “bomb”, what comes to your mind?
Well, do not worry because this article is not just another piece of news about yet another bomb blast in some part of the world. Nor is it a moral lecture on the use and misuse of bombs. This article is about vacuum bombs, a completely new dimension in the arms industry.

If I have to describe what a vacuum bomb is, to a layman, I will say that a vacuum bomb is basically a fuel air explosion.The ultrasonic shock wave and extremely high temperatures assure that everything alive simply evaporates without contaminating the environment because there is no residue unlike in the case of a nuclear bomb, which has highly dangerous radioactive isotopes as side products.

The idea of vacuum bombs can be dated back to the “flamethrower”, introduced in World War I. It could suffocate people who were protected from direct weapon attacks inside a bunker.
The current model of the vacuum bomb is the one designed in the 1960s and used by the US in the Vietnam War. Basically, the vacuum bomb is a thermo baric weapon, which uses atmospheric oxygen, instead of carrying an oxidizer in the explosives. The bomb contains either a volatile liquid or finely powdered solid packed in a container. The solid can be an explosive metal powder or a reactive organic compound. A high explosive charge is placed in the middle of the solid. The bomb is initiated by dropping or firing, and the explosive charge bursts open. The fuel then comes in contact with atmospheric oxygen and the explosion follows.

In September 2007, Russia tested the largest bomb ever made. It leveled a multi-storey block of an apartment building with the power, greater than that of the smallest yield nuclear weapon, at the lowest yield setting. It was named the “Father of All Bombs”. Before it, MOAB, i.e. Massive Ordnance Air Blast, made by the USA and incidentally known as the “Mother of All Bombs” had been the most powerful bomb.

Critics will say that the vacuum bomb will just bring the world closer to Armageddon, but I say that it is the lesser evil that we would be choosing.
Nuclear disarmament is a long shot, a hypothetical quest which does not seem possible in the near future. Mankind will still kill its own kin with every weapon possible. With the vacuum bomb, we can at least ensure that our future generations are not born with six toes or three eyes. The beauty of the vacuum bomb lies in that fact that it is more powerful than a nuclear bomb and yet, it does not lead to environmental or human mutations.

So, all those of you who think hydrogen bomb or nuclear bomb, or even Angelina Jolie are the biggest bombs ever, think again…

Akanksha Bali

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