Last week, from June 24th to 30th, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS or RuAF) gained attention for using the rare FAB-500T aviation bombs equipped with UMPK modules in two separate incidents in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian reports indicated that in the first incident, one of these bombs struck a private house in a Kharkiv village but thankfully did not explode. In a subsequent event, a similar bomb hit Kharkiv city, again without detonation, according to Ukrainian sources. This marked the first known use of the FAB-500T with UMPK modules during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

In contrast to the standard FAB-500M62, typically modified by Russians with UMPK to create a guided bomb, the FAB-500T has a slightly lower explosive weight (260 kilograms versus 300 kilograms) and features superior aerodynamic performance during flight.

Most notably, the FAB-500T bomb is usually employed with reconnaissance and attack aircraft like the MiG-25RB, capable of speeds up to 3000 km/h. The “T” in FAB-500T denotes “heat resistant,” designed to withstand the thermal stresses of carrier aircraft traveling at such speeds. Additionally, it is reported that the FAB-500T can glide distances of 30-40 kilometers due to its unique aerodynamic design.

In March 2024, the Russian Ministry of Defense, under Sergei Shoigu’s direction, resumed production of the FAB-500T, marking a strategic effort to modernize aerial bomb production beyond Soviet-era munitions.

The integration of the FAB-500T with the UMPK module appears driven by the need for extended range capabilities, enhancing effectiveness in strikes on Ukrainian territory compared to the standard FAB-500M62 with the same module.