These are the thermobaric grenades developed by the Polish army

An event took place last week in the town of Zielonka, near Warsaw. More precisely at the Military Institute of Armament Technology (Wojskowy Instytut Techniczny Uzbrojenia, WITU). The latest thermobaric grenades developed by Zakłady Sprzętu Precyzyjnego Niewiadów Sp. (Poland) were presented there. Weapons that could be used in the Ukraine conflict.

During the demonstration, the capabilities of common RG-42 grenades were shown inside false bunkers and then the thermobaric weapon was shown in action against the same type of object. And the destructive power of the latter was evident. In this way, Poland not only shows potential to defend against possible Russian attackalso points out that it could lend this type of weapons to Ukraine.

Thermobaric explosives are not new. I used them the US military in Vietnam to create almost instantaneous landing strips and also in the Afghanistan conflict… just like the Russians. But it is not exclusive to these powers: Islamic terrorist groups have also used it. This type of weapon is capable of literally creating a fireball. Its size varies from a few meters in diameter to more than 500.

Also known as vacuum bombs or heat and pressure weapons, thermobaric grenades are a complex device. Basically, it consists of a container with a volatile liquid or gas at high pressure that in some cases is mixed with a pulverized explosive and has two separate explosive charges. The first step is to throw the grenade. When it is close to the target, the first charge explodes, which is what produces the dispersion of the volatile liquid or gas, creating a flammable cloud that mixes with the oxygen in the atmosphere. Once the fuel has been sufficiently mixed, the second charge is detonated, which is responsible for spreading the explosion taking advantage of the combustible cloud created by the first.

Simply put, the explosion of a thermobaric weapon is capable of create an explosive area to bring more destruction power. Thus, unlike conventional explosives that include a limited amount of oxygen in the charge, thermobaric weapons use what is present in the atmosphere, the explosion consumes it at will and creates the vacuum that gives them their name.

Despite their destructive power and numerous attempts to regulate their use, thermobaric weapons are not prohibited by international law.