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[VIDEO] Russia Deploys Modified “RBK-500” Cluster Munitions as Glide Bombs

According to information from the Russian military Telegram channel, Moscow has reportedly conducted a sequence of extensive aerial bombardments in southern Donetsk using RBK-500 cluster bombs that have been modified to function as glide bombs.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — As Moscow initiated the deployment of adapted conventional bombs transformed into glide bombs in southern Ukraine, it appears to indicate a heightened demonstration of the formidable capabilities of the Russian air forces, posing a more significant challenge for the Ukrainian military on the battlefield.

Russia is reported to have started using modified cluster bombs as glide bombs against Ukrainian military positions for the first time, as shown in viral video clips on social media.

In the viral clips circulating on the Telegram application closely related to Russian military communities, cluster bombs believed to be dropped by Russian fighter planes were seen exploding at an unidentified location in Ukraine.

The Russian military Telegram channel stated that Moscow had carried out a series of massive bombings using RBK-500 cluster bombs adapted to become glide bombs in southern Donetsk, according to the Institute for the Study of the War (ISW).

The RBK-500 bombs were used against Ukrainian military forces in the village of Staromayorske in Donetsk, near the southern Zaporizhia region.

According to the Russian military Telegram, the attack on Staromayorske was the “first large-scale use in Ukraine of the weapons (RBK-500) adapted as glide bombs.”

Similar to American-made bombs like JDAM or JDAM-ER used by the Ukrainian military, Russian glide bombs have the capability to hit enemy targets tens of kilometers away when dropped by fighter planes from high altitudes.

International defense media reported that Russia has started using more “intelligent” glide bombs with higher explosive power to enable them to destroy Ukrainian defense strongholds located deeper underground.

These winged bombs are called “Unifitsirovannyi Modul Planirovaniya i Korrektsii” (UMPK) in Russia.

According to studies, these winged bombs are modified from conventional bombs commonly used by the Russian Air Force, such as FAB-250, FAB-500, and FAB-1500, by equipping them with UMPK launch and correction kits.

The winged bombs have been modified by the Russian military to include “wings” and a new guidance system to enhance their precision compared to before.

Russia cluster bomb


According to the institute, the winged bombs are equipped with laser guidance and satellite guidance systems to improve their accuracy up to 16 feet compared to the previous 160 feet.

All these smarter winged bombs can be dropped by Su-30, Su-34, and Su-35 fighter planes.

“These winged bombs can ‘fly’ almost 200 km once dropped by fighter planes to the target they want to hit,” the institute said, adding that at such a distance, the involved planes can avoid being targeted by Ukraine’s air defense systems.

The institute gave an example of how a winged bomb using the FAB-250 bomb with a weight of 100 kg could cause destruction with a radius of 400 feet, while for the FAB-500 bomb with a weight of 500 kg, the destruction radius is 800 feet.

For the FAB-1500 bomb with a weight exceeding 1,500 kg, the destruction radius due to its explosion is 1,600 feet.

“With the FAB-1500 bomb, it can cause destruction to underground strongholds at a depth of about 20 meters from the ground surface,” the analyst said, adding that it is very difficult for Ukraine’s air defense system to handle these winged bombs.

Air defense systems operated by the Ukrainian military were not developed to deal with winged bombs originally dumb bombs without any guidance system carried by Russian fighter planes.

Cluster bomb submunition

“The Ukrainian air defense system fails to intercept winged bombs dropped by Russian fighter planes. This is a new threat to Ukraine, 500-kilogram bombs that can ‘fly’ for a certain distance after being equipped with wings,” said Yuriy Inhat, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, as reported earlier.

High-powered winged bomb strikes have had a severe psychological impact on the population due to the massive destruction caused by such bombs.

Russia is said to be increasingly using smarter winged bombs against Ukrainian cities and military positions.

Last October, Russian fighter planes dropped about 40 winged bombs in one night on Ukrainian military targets in the Kherson region.

“In one night on October 2, Russian fighter planes dropped 40 winged bombs in just one Oblast,” he said, adding that Russia has increased air attacks on Ukraine by 36 percent recently, also witnessing an increase in the use of higher-powered winged bombs.

There are also reports stating that Russian fighter planes dropped more than 80 winged bombs with UMPK guidance on targets in the Kherson region in one night.

Using new aerial tactics, Russian fighter planes are also found to be increasingly difficult to shoot down by air defense systems. — DSA




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