The western media may be gushing about the dropping of the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast or “Mother of All Bombs”) on a bunker in Afghanistan (which the US itself built), but the MOAB is actually not the largest conventional bomb ever built.
That distinction goes to the FOAB (Father of All Bombs) – it has 4 times the power and Russia built it 10 years ago.
It can inflict a 44 ton-yield when detonated, compared to the 11-ton-yield of the mother. Unlike its US counterpart though it’s less hefty, weighing in at 7,100kg compared to 8,200kg.
The FOAB explodes mid-air, combining with atmospheric oxygen to extend the blast radius as it vaporizes targets and collapses structures. Gases are burnt within the vicinity of the blast producing a vacuum, which can drag objects in towards the center of the explosion.
Following its 2007 test, the location of which is unknown, the targeted area was left with scorched earth described as looking “more like the surface of the moon.”
Alexander Rukshin, a deputy chief of the Russian armed forces, said at the time it showed “its effectiveness and capabilities are comparable to nuclear weapons. At the same time use of this weapon does not damage or pollute the environment, like a nuclear weapons.”