China has developed a massive bomb, said to be the country's answer to the US-built 'Mother of All Bombs', the most powerful non-nuclear weapon, official media reported on Friday. China's defence industry giant NORINCO for the first time showcased the aerial bomb, the country's largest non-nuclear bomb, state-run Global Times reported.
It is dubbed as the Chinese version of the "Mother of All Bombs" due to its huge destruction potential that is claimed to be only second to nuclear weapons, the daily said.
The bomb was airdropped by an H-6K bomber and caused a gigantic explosion, showed a promotional video released by China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) on its website at the end of December. This is the first time the new bomb's destructive powers have been shown in public, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Last year, while waging war against militants in Afghanistan, the US military dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon, more commonly known as the "Mother of All Bombs," on the Islamic State.
Although China is using the same nickname for its bomb, said to weigh several tonnes, the Chinese weapon is smaller and lighter than its American counterpart. Judging from the video and the size of the H-6K's bomb bay, the bomb is approximately five to six meters long, Beijing-based military analyst Wei Dongxu told the Global Times on Thursday.
"The massive blast can easily and completely wipe out fortified ground targets such as reinforced buildings, bastions and defence shelters," Wei said. It can also be used to clear a landing zone for troops on helicopters to rappel down, in case the area is covered by obstacles such as forests, Wei noted.
Wei said that the Chinese bomb is smaller and lighter than the US one, enabling it to be deployed on the H-6K bomber. "The US bomb is so large that it has to be carried by a larger transport aircraft rather than a bomber," Wei said, noting that a bomber can fly faster and is better at targeting than a transport aircraft, and the Chinese bomb's designer must have had this in mind when it produced the bomb to fit the H-6K.
To match the US weapon, Russia developed the "Father of All Bombs" which is both bigger and thermobaric, meaning it uses gas to create a huge fireball rather than a shockwave, Wired reported.
A NORINCO representative clarified that the bomb shown in the video is not a thermobaric weapon, but did not provide additional details, the Global Times report said.