- Thermobaric weapons is also known as aerosol bombs, fuel air explosives, or vaccum bombs which use oxygen from the air for a large, high-temperature blast.
- A thermobaric weapon causes significantly greater devastation than a conventional bomb of comparable size.
- The weapons, which go off in two separate stages, can be fired as rockets from tank-mounted launchers or dropped from aircraft.
- As they hit their target, a first explosion splits open the bomb’s fuel container, releasing a cloud of fuel and metal particles that spreads over a large area.
- A second explosion then occurs, igniting the aerosol cloud into a giant ball of fire and sending out intense blast waves that can destroy even reinforced buildings or equipment and vaporize human beings.
- Thermobaric explosives apply the principles underlying accidental unconfined vapor cloud explosions, which include those from dispersions of flammable dusts and droplets.
- International law does not specifically prohibit the use of thermobaric munitions, fuel-air explosive devices, or vacuum bombs against military targets.
- Their use against civilian populations may be banned by the United Nations (UN) Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), however they are not explicity mentioned.
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