Source : Indian Defence Analysis
Indian Air Force to get 500 Thermobaric Explosives for its fighters
Thermobaric Explosives (TBE) are one of the recent advances in the field of high explosives. HEMRL – DRDO’s laboratory has developed the technology of Thermobaric Explosives (TBE).
The TBE compositions are capable of generating not only high blast impulse but also high thermal impulse with a duration varying from a few hundreds of milliseconds to few seconds.
TBE compositions are oxygen deficient in nature and require additional oxygen from atmosphere to achieve complete combustion of fuel. Hence, these explosive formulations are optimised to partition energy release in multiple stages (anaerobic and aerobic reactions) leading to the total energy output significantly higher than conventional high explosive compositions.
The enhanced blast and thermal output makes TBE more effective against soft targets especially in enclosed spaces like tunnel, bunker, field fortifications, underground structures, buildings, machine gun posts, etc.
1000lbs Thermobaric bombs
During Aero India 2023, DRDO has showcased a 1000lbs Thermobaric bombs. It makes use of advanced fuel rich explosive filling capable of sustained terminal effects with enhanced lethality. Thermobaric explosive technology is based on polymer bonded explosive class of energetic formulations with enhanced energetics. The TB composition with enhanced performance parameters is developed as one to one replacement of existing bombs which uses TNT based conventional filling.
TB bombs are capable to defeat soft and medium hard targets in open / confined environments with high impulse blast (TNT equivalent of 1.6) and thermal output. TB bombs are capable to generating 30% more blast impulse, long duration thermal effects – greater than 400ms and temperature more than 1600C. The bombs are adaptable to NATO and Russian origin aircrafts.
500 Thermobaric Bombs for IAF
During Aero India 2023, the Thermobaric Bomb was also showcased integrated with LCA Tejas. As per the report from Janes, the munition has been qualified in flight tests, including a demonstration of its blast capability. The technology transfer to produce the 1,000 lb thermobaric bomb has been transferred to the MIL(Munition India Limited). An initial order of 500 units from the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be delivered by the end of year 2023.