The twentieth century was the century of the birth of the nuclear bomb, but the excitement and enthusiasm about this quickly subsided when humanity realized the threat they pose. Indeed, in addition to the destruction that occurs during its explosion, it also leaves radioactive contamination due to which the territories on which the explosion took place will be uninhabitable for tens or even hundreds of years. This makes a nuclear bomb practically useless if the enemy is already on your territory, and this is what prompted scientists to develop new types of bombs that are not inferior in power, but are not sources of radiation hazard. At the moment, in these studies, Russia has advanced the farthest and it is she who has the most powerful of the non-nuclear bombs, the so-called volumetric explosion bomb, sometimes mistakenly called a vacuum bomb.
The principle of operation of a volumetric explosion bomb is significantly different from the explosion of a conventional bomb. In these warheads, not a solid explosive, but a gaseous one is used, which makes it 5-6 times more powerful than usual. When the bomb reaches the required height, this gaseous substance is sprayed and when the gas cloud reaches its maximum size, the detonator is triggered, which leads to an explosion. The explosion forms a shock wave, followed by a rarefaction of air (a low-pressure zone is created), then the surrounding air is directed to the low-pressure zone, due to which a second shock wave is formed, even stronger than the first. In addition to the shock wave, the damaging factors in the explosion of a volumetric explosion bomb are: high temperature and burnout in a large amount of oxygen. Thus, no vacuum is created at the explosion site, so it is wrong to call this type of charge vacuum, as the press often says.
As mentioned above, Russia has the most powerful such bomb, which was successfully tested in 2007. Its official name is still classified, as is most of the information about it, and in the Russian media it was called the "Daddy of all bombs" (by analogy with the most powerful until recently American GBU-43 / B "Mom of all bombs"). The power of the Russian bomb is about 44 tons of TNT, and the guaranteed hit radius is about 300 meters. According to these parameters, it is several times superior to the American GBU-43 / B, and therefore the information that appears from time to time that the CIA is actively interested in our bomb seems quite real.
But for all their advantages, volumetric explosion bombs also have a number of disadvantages. So, due to the large mass, the only means of its delivery are heavy bombers, which means that the bomb can be destroyed both directly with the aircraft and during its descent to the ground. However, work to reduce the mass of the bomb is already underway and it is likely that in the next 5-10 years the warhead will be able to be placed in the rocket, which will significantly increase the chances of its guaranteed delivery to the explosion site.
In addition, this bomb also depends on meteorological conditions, for example, in a strong wind, its power decreases slightly. But, despite these shortcomings, it is obvious that with the current trend towards nuclear disarmament, volumetric explosion bombs are exactly the type of weapon that in the future will allow maintaining parity in the military capabilities of the largest countries of the world. And since at the moment Russia is ahead of the rest of the planet in this direction, it is necessary to continue the work further with a vengeance.