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  1. #1
    heart on fire
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    Default Thermobaric or Vacuum Weapons

    An interesting topic.

    Thoughts?


    The Sunday Times
    June 22 2008

    Army 'vacuum' missile hits Taliban

    Michael Smith

    British forces in Afghanistan have used one of the world’s most deadly and controversial missiles to fight the Taliban.

    Apache attack helicopters have fired the thermobaric weapons against fighters in buildings and caves to create a pressure wave which sucks the air out of victims shreds their internal organs and crushes their bodies....

    The weapons are so controversial that MoD weapons and legal experts spent 18 months debating whether British troops could use them without breaking international law.

    Eventually they decided to get round the ethical problems by redefining the weapons.

    “We no longer accept the term thermobaric for the AGM-114N as there is no internationally agreed definition” said an MoD spokesman. “We call it an enhanced blast weapon.”

    The redefinition has allowed British forces to use the weapons legally, but is undermined by the publicity of their manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, which markets them as thermobaric....more at link.

  2. #2
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Default

    Very badass weaponry, but that's the part of me that grins when watching 300. I'm curious about the physics involved in this because "sucking" the air out of an area is a lot harder than pushing it out with a large concussive blast, but maybe the journalists don't know what they're talking about

    As for makign them illegal, it sounds like they have too much utility in clearing well fortified positions, so I wouldn't expect to see the US rule these out as long as we live. Shit, we don't even rule out using land mines and those are just as problematic for the users as the intended targets.

  3. #3
    only bites when provoked
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    It doesn't suck anything; it consumes the air and burns them inside and out in the process, then the consumption of the air allows the outside atmospheric pressure to return the area to equilibrium.
    I 100%, N 88%, T 88%, J 75%

    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  4. #4
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    so it sounds like a large, slowly growing firestorm? then as the fuel finally is entirely consumed the atmospheric air rushes in....

    I'm trying to imagine it. The article says the targets die of asphyxiation, which takes a couple minutes, so it must be a really slow reaction

  5. #5
    only bites when provoked
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    It can be done with just about any fuel that can be dispersed in the air, ignited, and that burns rapidly. Fill any structure with the right mixture of oxygen and something that rapidly reacts with it but doesn't create carbon dioxide, then light it and you'll get the same effect.
    I 100%, N 88%, T 88%, J 75%

    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Senior Member 6sticks's Avatar
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    The United States has already been using fuel-air explosives for years, so that part of it isn't remarkable. But nuclear weapons are pretty much being made obsolete by thermobaric weapons, especially the Russian "Father of All Bombs". It may seem odd, but it's probably for the best that countries are developing these weapons, since the threat of the larger thermobaric bombs aren't much lower than nuclear bombs in the military sense, but there isn't lasting radiation damage. On the other hand, there would be less restraint in using them in any war with two countries both possessing this technology.

    Pretty interesting how they're being used by unmanned drones.
    No offense.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sling's Avatar
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    This is why war is so great. Any other time of the season, weapons makers would have to experiment on ballistic gel dummies and garden sheds.

  9. #9
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Here is what Russia has done whit this tehnology.


    Video

  10. #10
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Funny isn't it, how blowing someone's head off with a bullet is fine, but blowing them up en masse with a bomb, isn't. Ethics are weird things.

    I'm also a little amused, in that the thread is about the British using the technology, yet a number of responses are about the US having them, owning them or using the american "we". Noone has commented on the Brits, heh.

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