Author Topic: how did Thom know?  (Read 9714 times)

Offline PFC joe

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how did Thom know?
« on: November 16, 2005, 01:34:30 PM »
FAEweapons as described in the EDD's weapons profile exist and are in use today.

I've pitched a pretty serious tent just thinking about the potential uses of one of those systems.

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« Last Edit: November 16, 2005, 09:06:22 PM by PFC joe »
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Offline Veez

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 06:37:57 PM »
The concept has been around for a number of years.  He probably took it from published defense sources.  Now if he had talked about thermobaric systems he would be a visionary.
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Offline PFC joe

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 09:10:37 PM »
Fuel Air Explosives  are Thermobaric weapons.   They use atmospheric Oxygen as opposed to an onboard, carried oxidizer.

What i'm curious to know, is how Thom knew about the development and use of a man (EDD) portable slightly less explodey version of the famed Daisy Cutter and MOAB's.


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Offline Pietia

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 10:57:38 PM »
Because they were around for some time? Russians used thermobaric warheads for their RPGs since nineties.

Offline PFC joe

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 11:17:45 PM »
Huh.

I knew that they'd used a vehicle mounted MLRS styled FAE delivery system in Grozny, but I completely missed the RPG/shoulder fired setup...

interesting.

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Offline Pietia

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2005, 12:45:28 AM »
Not only Russians - Polish army also has such system (although only in small numbers - but it is our development, not bought from Russians). RPG-7s, considered obsolete and inadequate for anti-armor duties, were turned into FAE delivery system. The warhead is not big, but it is much more powerful than 40mm grenades.
The russian delivery system is not exactly MLRS style - it is direct fire only, with very limited range. Oh - and it is mounted on MBT chasis.

Offline PFC joe

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2005, 01:04:58 AM »
If i recall correctly, I remember seeing  it mounted on a T-72.  Damn good tanks for the time.  Too bad they can't take a depleted Uranium slug.  Of course, then again, not much can.


I'd imagine that the concussive effect coupled with the complete pervasiveness of the fuel, it gets everywhere, would be just as devastating to exposed engine housings and enclosed troop carriers as it  would be to harded facilities.    What most surprised me about the US using them is the talk of retrofitting the gajillion LAW's we have in storage and turning a sandbag buster into a building demolisher.

We're almost to the Starship Troopers days where every man can hold a sector by themself.

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Offline Pietia

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2005, 04:38:22 AM »
The big problem is, that the development of this type of weapons may be a very big advantage for low-tech forces (insurgents/guerillas/terrorists - however you prefer to call them) rather than the high-tech western (or Russian for that matter) armies. This gives the low-tech forces high firepower, that may be easily concealed and is relatively easy to manufacture. The big guys already have a lot of stuff that delivers big enough bang.

Just try to imagine the effects of an attack on a military base or convoy in Iraq or Afganistan with a couple of RPGs or mortar rounds with thermobaric warheads. It would be MUCH worse than similar attacks with classical HE ordnance.

At the same time, armies concerned about collateral damage may not be so trigger-happy with this type of weapon (at least in MOUT).

Modern IFVs and MBTs probably could be protected (or already are protected) to some degree against this type of warhead - the NBC protection they usually have should be enough - high resistance to shockwave should protect against effects of explosion outside the vehicle and overpressurized hull should prevent the fuel from entering the vehicle (not sure about the engine compartment).

Offline Griefbringer

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2005, 05:52:47 AM »
I have somewhere the good old Iron Crown Enterprice role-playing game Cyberspace (published around 1989) which already features FAE (Fuel Air Explosive) grenades, as well as some stranger weapons. And they probably borrowed the idea from some other source. Got to dig up that book and check it out.

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Offline Coil

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2005, 01:59:44 PM »
Didn't the EDD have that already back in 1st ed? Too lazy to go and dig up the book ...

Offline Veez

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2005, 09:43:21 AM »
Fuel Air Explosives  are Thermobaric weapons.   They use atmospheric Oxygen as opposed to an onboard, carried oxidizer.


Wrong.

Conventional munitions cause damage by the heat, pressure, and fragmentation caused by the detonation of explosive.
FAE causes damage from the heat and pressure of the initial eplosion.
Thermobaric weapons cause destruction from overpressure.  They do not use fuel like FAE (the exact composition is classified but is probably more about how conventional explosives are used that what).

They are effective against enclosed spaces such as caves and bunkers and depending on how they are employed (i.e. such as 200lb rocket travlelling at mach something or other [force = mass x acceleration] will penetrate armor to a certain extent but a grenade will not) can be used against armor.

Theromobarics (heat pressure):
NBC overpressure will not prevent them from causing damage.

They are not nuclear style weapons that devastate large areas.

They are highly effective in MOUT due to their ability to cause great damage in confined areas without significant collateral damage.

FAE:
FAE weapons would cause widespread damage but would have to be large enough to spread a decent amount of atomized explosive.

Their delivery is fairly complex and frankly terrorists can cause just as much damage with off the shelf items they already have at their disposal. 

Trust me on that one.
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Offline Pietia

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2005, 11:00:15 AM »
Thermobaric weapons are a result of further development of FAE weapons. Since modern warheads do not use fuel anymore and work on a slightly different principle, the term FAE was no longer accurate and is not used. They, however, both work on a principle similar enough - cause damage from overpressure - for most people to use these terms interchangeably when discussing the problem.

Quote
NBC overpressure will not prevent them from causing damage.
They will still cause damage - but it will prevent the fuel or other reagent used in FAE weapon from entering the vehicle before explosion - so the vehicle will suffer from external explosion, not internal one (thus giving the vehicle better odds of survival).

Quote
Their delivery is fairly complex and frankly terrorists can cause just as much damage with off the shelf items they already have at their disposal.
Of course, since all you need to cause widespread destruction is a gas station in a densely populated area and couple of matches... The problem is, that some of the currently used/developed portable thermobaric weapons can cause more destruction than HE weapons of similar size, their delivery is fairly simple (Polish and Russian ones are designed to be used by conscripts) and may become widely available in no time.

Offline PFC joe

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2005, 03:30:29 PM »
If you want to get nitpicky, then even Flamethrowers are Thermobaric weapons as they cause Primary heat damage and then a vaccuum effect as they burn off the available oxygen leading to an asphyxiation effect in relatively closed spaces.

and an extreme overpressure (and subsequent  equally destructive Vacuum) would be even more damaging to the soft bits (personell) inside sealed vehicles.  For a practical demonstration, place your hand (or head if you don't like your hearing) inside a good sized drum and beat the skin sternly.   

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Offline Sylvas

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2005, 05:25:32 PM »
How many message boards out there can you talk freely and openly about hobbies and explosives and not be on a website that is banned by the FBI?

learned something new today.

B.
Although the fact that y'all know that much about these real-life weapons kind of frightens me.
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Offline Veez

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Re: how did Thom know?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2005, 09:39:19 PM »
With a FAE, the damage is in the huge fireball (and yes the pressure but that is not the entire focus of the weapon), so the little fuel that is going to get inside a vehicle is negligable.

With thermobarics, the warhead does not use atomized fuel so the overpressure protection is moot.  It is primarily an anti-personnel weapon but a very specialized one.

You are correct that delivery is just as easy, construction is difficult however.  Not the sort of thing you want floating around the internet although it proabably is such as:

www.defensetech.org (via boingboing.net)
www.fas.org

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