Russia Resurrects Soviet-Era Bombs to Gain Edge in Ukraine Conflict

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.11 - 2024 11:11 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Russia Resurrects Soviet-Era Bombs to Gain Edge in Ukraine Conflict.

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In the midst of escalating military losses, the Kremlin is deploying some of its most formidable weapons. In an effort to cut production costs, Russia is reaching back into its Soviet-era arsenal, retrofitting old weapons with new capabilities. The FAB-1500 bomb, the subject of recent reports, weighs as much as a car, boasts high precision, and instills terror among Ukrainian soldiers. According to a recent CNN report, Kyiv finds itself nearly defenseless against this threat.

Media outlets have highlighted the Russian military's tactical edge in Ukraine, attributed to its increased use of guided aerial bombs. As CNN reported on Sunday, Kyiv's defense capabilities against these weapons are virtually non-existent.

The FAB-1500-M54, a modern iteration of the 1970s Soviet-era KAB-1500 bomb, weighs approximately 1.5 tons, with explosives constituting 675 kg of that weight. Capable of covering a distance of 40 km and adjusting its course via satellite or laser navigation, this bomb can hit targets with up to 20 m accuracy.

Its design allows for deployment from 60 to 70 km away, enabling it to bypass Ukrainian air defenses. Small wings grant the bomb a notable precision, creating craters 15 m wide.

Russian military bloggers have claimed that the bomb's range exceeds 70 km, though evidence to substantiate these claims remains absent.

In an interview with CNN, Ukrainian Air Forces spokesperson Jurij Ihnat confirmed the Kremlin's increased deployment of Soviet-era glide bombs in recent battles around Avdiivka.

"Within 24 hours, 250 of them were deployed," Ihnat stated.

Russia is converting its old bombs into a new, controlled type of weapon at a factory near Moscow.

"This conversion is neither cheap nor quick, but it still costs less than missiles worth millions," Ihnat added.

"This weapon is hell," said one Ukrainian soldier fighting in Krasnohorivka, referring to the Kremlin's new arsenal causing "very serious" damage.

"It puts a lot of pressure on the soldiers' morale. Not all of our people can withstand it," the soldier from Kyiv remarked.

"Ukrainian soldiers were somewhat accustomed to the Soviet FAB-500, but the FAB-1500 is hell," added a military official.

Since September, Russian military bloggers have viewed this weapon as key to victory. On Telegram, one pro-Russian blogger reported that "after many months of trial and error, the FAB-1500 bomb hit its target precisely for the first time."

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