A massive aerial bomb is airdropped by an H-6K bomber and causes a gigantic explosion at an unknown location. (Photo: NORINCO's website)
China's arms industry giant NORINCO for the first time showcased a new type of massive aerial bomb, which it dubbed the Chinese version of the "Mother of All Bombs" due to its huge destruction potential that is claimed to be only second to nuclear weapons.
The bomb was airdropped by an H-6K bomber and caused a gigantic explosion, a promotional video China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) released on its website in December shows.
This is the first time the new bomb's destructive powers have been shown in public, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday on its mobile application.
Calling the several-ton-weapon a Chinese version of the "Mother of All Bombs," the report said that it is China's most powerful non-nuclear bomb, and that the H-6K bomber could only carry one at a time due to its size.
Judging from the video and the size of the H-6K's bomb bay, this bomb is approximately five to six meters long, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.
"The massive blast can easily and completely wipe out fortified ground targets such as reinforced buildings, bastions and defense shelters," Wei said.
It can also be used to clear a landing zone for troops on helicopters to rappel down, in case the area is covered by obstacles such as forests, Wei noted.
The weapon will also spread fear among enemies if a weapon of this caliber is deployed, military observers noted.
The US wields a similar weapon, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB,) which was first to dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs" because of its acronym and power.
A MOAB was dropped on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan in 2017, the New York Times reported.
The bombing was very successful, but no casualty totals were given.
Wei said that the Chinese bomb is smaller and lighter than the US one, enabling it to be deployed on the H-6K 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 is better at targeting than a transport aircraft, and the Chinese bomb's designer must have had this in mind when it produced the bomb to fit the H-6K.
To match the US weapon, Russia developed the "Father of All Bombs" which is both bigger and thermobaric, meaning it uses gas to create a huge fireball rather than a shockwave, Wired reported.
Some military observers speculated that the Chinese bomb is also thermobaric.
However, a NORINCO representative told the Global Times that the bomb shown in the video is not a thermobaric weapon, but did not provide additional details.