Every Russian Su-34 deploys 4 FAB-500 planning bombs for a mission

It’s fairly evident that the Russian Air Pressure is leveraging the complete potential of their Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers. A bit of photographic proof, unveiled by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Protection, presents an Su-34 absolutely furnished with FAB-500M62 homing bombs connected beneath the wings, two on both sides. 

Picture credit score: Telegram

In current weeks, although the frequency of Russian assaults on Ukraine using air-to-surface cruise missiles has seen a decline, there was a substantial upsurge within the utilization of cruise bombs. The very fact of the matter is, that the {photograph} launched by Russia’s Ministry encapsulates the evaluation of a number of consultants stating that aircraft bombs represent a big proportion of the weaponry in Russian fighters. 

Glide bombs, outfitted with flight management surfaces, function standoff weapons. This means that launching these bombs doesn’t require direct neighborhood to the goal, as is the case with conventional gravity bombs. This helps to restrict the publicity of plane to the enemy’s anti-aircraft arsenal.

Each Russian Su-34 deploys 4 FAB-500 planning bombs for a mission
Picture credit score: Telegram

Tough to intercept

Glide bombs pose a big problem to intercept, owing to their swift flight instances, small radar footprint, and unpredictable flight paths. The priority voiced by Ukraine about these lethal weapons of warfare has confirmed to be well-founded in current months. 

Famend analysts from the ISW suppose tank shared of their evaluation, “In 2024, Russian forces escalated their use of each guided and unguided glide bomb assaults in opposition to Ukrainian ahead and rear positions. They used mass glide bomb assaults to realize tactical benefits, significantly noticeable within the seizure of Avdiivka in mid-February.” 

Russia has additionally made vital progress in understanding the best way to deploy intensive strike packages strategically, in a approach that maximally strains Kiev’s air defenses and their skill to reply. “Given the bandwidth limitations of Ukrainian air defenses, Russia has a bonus in deploying bomber strikes carried out by fixed-wing plane,” a protection analyst identified. “A extra strong air protection system may probably deter Ukraine from being focused by glide bombs by holding the attacking fixed-wing plane at a secure distance from the entrance line.”

Ukraine focused Su-34

It’s turn into clear why the Su-34 has been the first focus for Ukraine in current weeks. From Ukraine, we’ve heard {that a} minimal of twelve Su-34s have been downed inside a span of 14 to twenty days. The Su-34’s unmatched skill to deploy deliberate bombs throughout aerial raids means Russian pilots can ship these units to as much as 4 close by targets concurrently. When the goal is one thing of strategic significance, the mixed energy of 4 FAB-500s can wreak appreciable havoc. 

Each Russian Su-34 deploys 4 FAB-500 planning bombs for a mission
Picture credit score: Telegram

The choice to equip every Su-34 with 4 strategic bombs carefully aligns with the current feedback of a high-ranking Russian official. The directions from Moscow, he revealed, are to annihilate the underground army bunkers in Ukraine. Underscoring the harmful energy of those bombs, he added that every one may carry as a lot as 500 kg of explosives, sufficient to obliterate the bunkers utterly. 

The devastation wrought by these Russian glide bomb assaults is tough to overstate. One soldier likened it to staring into the “gates of hell,” emphasizing that the Russian Air Pressure “launches two salvos at a time, amounting to eight each hour…It feels such as you’re underneath a relentless aerial onslaught.”

FAB-500 next-gen

Russian FAB-500 bomb fell at 10:30am but detonated at 3:00pm
YouTube video screenshot

As the approaching menace of a potent weapon just like the FAB-500 Drel planning bomb looms, Ukraine is making ready to arm itself. Manufacturing of this weapon is projected to start out earlier than the top of the yr. Extra particularly, upcoming enhancements to some Su-34 fighter bombers in 2024 will largely be as a consequence of this new 500 kg planning bomb. 

The Su-34 fighter aircraft is noteworthy for its extraordinary endurance. It effortlessly outperforms each different international fighter when it comes to vary, and it additionally carries payloads akin to these of earlier nuclear-armed bombers slightly than trendy fighters. 

The Su-34 has been the stalwart within the Russian Air Pressure amidst the continuing Ukraine battle. Western sources at present estimate that round 24 of those have been misplaced all through the two-year marketing campaign [excluding the ten that Ukraine claimed to have shot down in February], indicating a tough common of 1 plane loss monthly. All recorded losses resulted from accidents or ground-based anti-aircraft intercepts.

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

About glide-bomb

A glide bomb, often known as a stand-off weapon, is a sort of precision-guided munition designed to be launched from an plane or ship after which glide in the direction of its goal. In contrast to conventional bombs, glide bombs don’t depend on propulsion after launch. As an alternative, they use their wings or aerodynamic design to glide towards the goal, guided by an onboard navigation system. 

Glide bombs are able to hitting targets with excessive precision, which reduces the chance of collateral injury. They’re outfitted with superior steering methods, equivalent to GPS or laser designators, which permit them to precisely hit their targets even from lengthy distances. This makes them significantly efficient in trendy warfare, the place precision is usually extra necessary than uncooked energy. 

Russia initiates mass production of 1.5-ton M54 planning bombs
Picture credit score: Twitter

One other key functionality of glide bombs is their stand-off vary. This implies they are often launched from a secure distance, permitting the launching platform, whether or not it’s an plane or ship, to remain out of vary from enemy air defenses. This stand-off functionality considerably enhances the survivability of the launching platform. 

Components can have an effect on its accuracy 

Moreover, glide bombs will be outfitted with various kinds of warheads relying on the mission necessities. This contains high-explosive warheads for destroying hardened targets, fragmentation warheads for focusing on personnel and lightweight automobiles, and even thermobaric warheads for inflicting intensive injury over a large space. 

Russian Su-34s bombed pro-Turkish positions in Idlib, Syria
Picture credit score: Wikipedia

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to notice that whereas glide bombs are extremely efficient, they aren’t infallible. Components equivalent to climate situations, the efficiency of the steering system, and countermeasures employed by the enemy can have an effect on their accuracy and effectiveness. Nonetheless, their skill to ship exact strikes from a secure distance makes them a worthwhile software in trendy warfare.


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