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1.5-Ton FAB-1500 Became a Guided Glide Bomb with UMPK Kit, russian Sources Claim

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FAB-1500-M54 unguided air bomb / Open source illustrative image
FAB-1500-M54 unguided air bomb / Open source illustrative image

It is not confirmed whether they really managed to enhance the enormous bomb with gliding and precision guidance capabilities but if true, it becomes a serious threat for Ukrainian forces

Military blogger Fighterbomber stated that mass production of UMPK-empowered FAB-1500 high-explosive air-dropped bombs has been launched in russia. He noted that it took a lengthy development but finally, the first successful application had been carried out.

In particular, the UMPK had to be redesigned from scratch to fit onto an FAB-1500-M54 bomb, the glider and all mechanisms were altered.

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FAB-1500-M54 unguided air bomb
FAB-1500-M54 unguided air bomb / Open source illustrative image

The blogger says the new UMPK kit created for FAB-1500 has shown a greater flight range than the UMPK's applied to smaller bombs FAB-250 and FAB-500 (the numbers show their respective weight in kilograms).

On a note from Defense Express, the verified range of those UMPK kits is 60 to 65 km (35-40 miles), the maximum is supposed to be around 70 or 80 kilometers (45 or 50 mi).

Fighterbomber mentions that the UMPK FAB-1500 is carried by a Su-34 tactical bomber, and the latter can lift up to two bombs and will be able to carry three at once in the future.

There is no data to either verify or refute the claims. Defense Express is currently preparing an article with our assessment of how possible it is to apply UMPK to this type of bomb in general. However, if it turns out to be true, it will become a serious threat to the Ukrainian Defense Forces. The russian aviation can safely drop them from a standoff distance, and options for Ukraine on how to counter it are limited.

FAB-500 with UMPK gliding and guidance kit
FAB-500 with UMPK gliding and guidance kit / Open source photo

If the supported caliber of UMPK has grown up to big 1,500-kg bombs, it means russians found a cheaper and more stockpiled analog to the UPAB-1500V – a weapon that was designed as a glide bomb from the start but wasn't produced in large quantities.

UPAB-1500V
UPAB-1500V / Open source image

We should not forget that an FAB-1500-M54 is 675 kg of explosive which, once exploded, leaves a crater 20-25 meters (65-80 ft) wide and 6 meters (20 ft) deep.

The impact is not only the crater, as personnel get shellshocked in a huge radius from the epicenter. Serious damage is caused within 70 m, medium damage 140-150 m, light injuries 300-350 m.

Even if the accuracy of FAB-1500 with UMPK will be not impressive, the russian will get a chance to use them in the first place. Earlier it wasn't possible due to dense air defenses not allowing russian bombers to approach. But glide bombs can be deployed from out of reach of most Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems, apart from very scarce Patriot and SAMP/T.

That is why the only episode when russians weren't holding and used big dumb bombs was back during the blockade of Mariupol in 2022. Even more massive Stalin-era FAB-3000s were deployed against the Ukrainian garrison and residents of the city at that time.

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