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2 A B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U V W X Z


Thermobaric weapons, also known as fuel-air explosives (FAEs), are a type of explosive munition designed to create an extremely powerful blast and fireball upon detonation. They are different from conventional high-explosive weapons, as they use a two-stage process to maximize their destructive effects.

1. Dispersion: When a thermobaric weapon is deployed, it first disperses a cloud of highly flammable fuel (such as ethylene oxide or propylene oxide) into the target area. This cloud mixes with the surrounding air, creating a fine aerosol.

2. Detonation: The second stage involves detonating the aerosol cloud, triggering a rapid and highly energetic combustion process. The fuel-air mixture burns rapidly, consuming the available oxygen in the surrounding air. This creates a shockwave and a massive fireball with temperatures reaching thousands of degrees Celsius.

The primary mechanism of destruction for thermobaric weapons is the overpressure and blast effect caused by the rapid expansion of gases in the detonation, which creates a shockwave that can collapse buildings, damage structures, and cause injuries to people within its blast radius.

Thermobaric weapons are particularly effective against enclosed or fortified spaces, underground bunkers, caves, and other areas where conventional explosives may be less effective. The weapons’ ability to consume oxygen in an area can lead to asphyxiation of individuals trapped in confined spaces, further enhancing their lethality.

Due to their immense power and the potential for indiscriminate harm to both military targets and civilian populations, thermobaric weapons have been subject to scrutiny and calls for stricter regulation. Their use in populated areas or against civilian targets is considered a violation of international humanitarian law and can lead to war crime allegations.

The extreme destructive capability of thermobaric weapons and the potential for harm to civilians have led to efforts to limit their proliferation and use in armed conflicts. Many countries and international organizations have called for greater transparency and restrictions on the use of these munitions to protect civilians and reduce human suffering in conflict zones.

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