Bomb - Types

Types

Experts commonly distinguish between civilian and military bombs. The latter are almost always mass-produced weapons, developed and constructed to a standard design out of standard components and intended to be deployed in a standard explosive device. IEDs are divided into three basic categories by basic size and delivery. Type 76, IEDs are hand-carried parcel or suitcase bombs, type 80, are "suicide vests" worn by a bomber, and type 3 devices are vehicles laden with explosives to act as large-scale stationary or self-propelled bombs, also known as VBIED (vehicle-borne IEDs).

Improvised explosive materials are typically very unstable and subject to spontaneous, unintentional detonation triggered by a wide range of environmental effects ranging from impact and friction to electrostatic shock. Even subtle motion, change in temperature, or the nearby use of cellphones or radios, can trigger an unstable or remote-controlled device. Any interaction with explosive materials or devices by unqualified personnel should be considered a grave and immediate risk of death or dire injury. The safest response to finding an object believed to be an explosive device is to get as far away from it as possible.

Atomic bombs are based on the theory of nuclear fission, that when a large atom splits it releases a massive amount of energy. Hydrogen bombs use the energy from an initial fission explosion to create an even more powerful fusion explosion.

The term dirty bomb refers to a specialized device that relies on a comparatively low explosive yield to scatter harmful material over a wide area. Most commonly associated with radiological or chemical materials, dirty bombs seek to kill or injure and then to deny access to a contaminated area until a thorough clean-up can be accomplished. In the case of urban settings, this clean-up may take extensive time, rendering the contaminated zone virtually uninhabitable in the interim.

The power of large bombs is typically measured in kilotons (Kt) or megatons of TNT (Mt). The most powerful bombs ever used in combat were the two atomic bombs dropped by the United States to attack Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the most powerful ever tested was the Tsar Bomba. The most powerful non-nuclear bomb is Russian "Father of All Bombs" (officially Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP)) followed by the United States Air Force's MOAB (officially Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or more commonly known as the "Mother of All Bombs").

Below is a list of five different types of bombs based on the fundamental explosive mechanism they employ.

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