China has showcased a powerful new weapon that’s been dubbed Beijing’s version of the “Mother of All Bombs”.
China has showcased a powerful new weapon that’s been dubbed Beijing’s version of the “Mother of All Bombs”.

China drops explosive new weapon

China's got a brand new bomb - and it's huge.

The rising superpower has showcased a powerful heavy weapon that's been dubbed a Chinese version of the United States' "Mother of All Bombs".

China's arms industry giant NORINCO has showcased a new type of massive aerial bomb with massive destructive potential, according to local media outlets.

The company released a video on its website last month showing the bomb being air-dropped by an H-6K bomber and appearing to create an enormous explosion.

This is the first time the new bomb has been revealed to the public, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The report described it as China's most powerful non-nuclear bomb, and said the H-6K bomber could only carry one at a time due to its size.

Experts have estimated the bomb to be around five to six metres long, and claimed it could completely wipe out fortified ground targets such as buildings and defence shelters.

"The massive blast can easily and completely wipe out fortified ground targets such as reinforced buildings, bastions and defence shelters," Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told The Global Times.


The weapon is similar to the United States' Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), which was dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs", but the Chinese model is said to be smaller and lighter - a possibly intentional move to ensure the weapon could be dropped from a 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 can target with more precision.

The MOAB was developed in 2003 in preparation for the US invasion of Iraq, with a $US16 million ($A22.4m) price tag, but the weapon proved too risky to use in Iraq's more densely-populated areas.

It was first dropped in combat in 2017, in an attempt to destroy a tunnel network being used by the Islamic State group in Afghanistan's east. The strike was described as successful and praised by Donald Trump, but then-Defence Secretary James Mattis declined to reveal casualty figures. Afghan officials estimated that between 36 and 92 IS fighters were killed.

The weapon is similar to the "fuel-air explosive", a class of weapon that spreads and ignites a cloud of flammable gas. US troops made use of fuel-air bombs during the Vietnam War.

Such bombs can be either thermobaric or fuel-air explosives. A NORINCO representative told The Global Times that its bomb is not thermobaric, suggesting it's the latter.

According to National Interest, fuel-air bombs are less reliable than thermobaric bombs, due to a highly randomised mixing process that makes fuel-air bombs difficult to control on the battlefield.

To put this type of weapon's power into perspective: in 1991, Newsweek reported on the US military's use of the 7.5-ton BLU-82 during the Gulf War. The bomb was reportedly so destructive that one British SAS commando team mistakenly reported to their headquarters that "the blokes have just nuked Kuwait!"

Now that's powerful stuff.