Avdiivka is a Ukrainian town located near Donetsk. The city has been heavily bombed in recent days by Russian strike aviation. Videos of the alleged bombing of the city have even surfaced on the internet.
According to open sources, Avdiivka is a city of regional significance for the Donetsk region. Prior to the war, the city was economically prosperous. The Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant [AKHZ] is located on its outskirts. It is Ukraine’s largest coke producer. In addition to coke, the plant produces a variety of complementary products such as coal, tar, gasoline, coal oil, and so on.
Powerful bomb blasts, on the other hand, deafen and devastate Avdiivka. There is no information on whether active Ukrainian air defenses exist in the Avdiivka area. The bombs, however, fell with little resistance from the Armed Forces of Ukraine [AFU]. According to recent reports, the Russian Air Force is employing a new bomb that was first revealed to the public in 2019. In the following lines, we will explain what this bomb is and how it works.
The Russian aviation planning bomb UPAB-1500B. According to several experts from “both sides of the barricade,” this is an extremely dangerous weapon. Following its official presentation to the general public at the Russian exhibition MAKS-2019, the manufacturer State Scientific and Production Enterprise Region announced that tests will begin in 2019.
That year, tests were completed successfully, and the UPAB-1500B was put into serial production. According to Russian sources, production for a foreign client has already begun. There is no information as to whether this particular production and, as a result, the delivery were completed. However, the bomb officially entered service with the Russian army in 2019-2020.
The UPAB-1500B is capable of being carried by any Russian attack aircraft, including older Soviet designs. The bomb measures 400 mm in diameter and at least 5 meters in length. It has been classified as a large-caliber guided planning bomb. The primary targets are small and medium-sized stationary objects, as well as bunkers or defensive facilities.
It weighs slightly more than a ton and a half. The bomb’s firepower is concentrated in 1,010 kg, which falls on the bomb’s warhead. The UPAB-1500B has a cone-shaped oval shape that runs the length of it. It is distinguished by four large wings in the middle and four smaller wings on the tail.
The UPAB-1500B is a guided bomb with inertial and satellite navigation built in. The bomb is a ‘fire-and-forget’ device with a three-mode contact fuse. The UPAB-1500B can be activated when it comes into contact with the enemy position or after a delay. The second mode is used when the bomb has broken through its opening due to inertial forces and the building or fortification must be detonated from within.
The navigation system is what makes the bomb so dangerous. Russian attack aircraft can drop the bomb and activate its guidance system from up to 50 kilometers away. Russian aircraft avoid enemy anti-aircraft missile systems in this manner. As a result, the likelihood of a front-line combat or attack aircraft being hit is reduced.
To maximize efficiency, the UPAB-1500B carrier must reach an altitude of at least 14 kilometers. According to analysts, the bomb is extremely accurate due to satellite and inertial navigation. The second (inertial navigation) aids the bomb’s noise resistance.
According to Russian and Ukrainian sources, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) began using the UPAB-1500B in recent weeks. This, however may be incorrect.
There is photographic evidence that the UPAB-1500B was first used in March of last year. This is confirmed by a photo released by the Russian Ministry of Defense. A close-up shot of the bomb can be seen on one of the wings of a Russian fighter jet. “Z – for the Kuryans!” it says on it.
However, extensive damage to buildings and sites in the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka in recent weeks is thought to be the reason for the bomb’s first use. According to sources, the UPAB-1500B was responsible for a significant portion of the defeats in Avdiivka.
Designed for Static Targets
Despite the bomb’s great destructive power, which can pierce ceilings and undermine the interior of a structure, it has limitations. One of them is the bomb’s target – it cannot attack moving targets. The inertial-satellite correction keeps the bomb from doing this.
The type of stationary target is another limitation. When used on protective concrete structures, the bomb is extremely effective. The most desirable bomb targets are bunkers and fortifications. Anything else, such as civilian buildings and small unfortified structures, is a redundant and economically unprofitable use of the bomb.
Because of the specifics of its application, the bomb cannot be considered a universal means of air operation. The bomb is intended to destroy fortified structures. Only then does it become effective and realize its full potential.