On the evening of April 20, during the flight of a Russian Su-34 frontline bomber over Belgorod, an explosion occurred in a residential area of the city. The reason for this was “an abnormal gathering of aviation ammunition” – this statement was made by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Russian media understood how this could happen.
How could a bomb “abnormally come down from the plane”
“The military prosecution and investigators are now looking for an answer to the question ‘how could this happen’. Technically, this is possible and happens from time to time in all armies around the world. There can be several reasons for the “descent of ammunition”: a faulty suspension at the factory, an incorrect suspension of an air bomb, a defect in the ammunition itself, an emergency maneuver of the pilot in the air, etc. . “, Vladimir Evseev, a military expert and deputy director of the Institute of CIS countries, told Russian media.
According to him, a guided aerial bomb weighing about 500 kilograms could fall on the residential areas of Belgorod. However, the reliability of this version still needs to be verified by the investigation, as well as the causes of the drama – a human factor or a technical malfunction.
According to Yevseev, the key problem is that the frontline bomber flew over an area with dense urban development.
“Air flight routes to the combat zone must be changed. I personally saw last summer how front-line bombers flew with full ammunition over Sevastopol in the special operation zone. Such a decision will lengthen the route and duration of the combat mission, but for Su-34 aircraft this is not a problem, ”added the analyst.
At present, according to the expert, the military can do only one thing – change the route of front-line and strategic aviation, bypassing areas with high housing density when flying on assignments of fight.
Atomic bombs have insurance against self-detonation
Evseev pointed out that such incidents occur in all armies of the world. Including – during flights with nuclear weapons. One of those incidents happened 60 years ago in the US state of Georgia, near the city of Savannah.
During the exercise, an F-86 Saber fighter collided in the air with a B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber carrying a The Eastern Herald-15 thermonuclear bomb with a capacity of 1.7 megatons. For comparison, this ammunition is 85 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
During this incident, the F-86 Saber fighter crashed into the ground. But the B-47 Stratojet bomber managed to return to its base airfield. Certainly, without a nuclear bomb on board. She must have been dropped over the Atlantic, where she still rests.
“This is just one of many documented cases of aerial bombardment. A nuclear weapon is not detonated solely because, unlike a conventional aerial bomb, it has a detonation shielding and blocking system during such systems are found on all tactical atomic warheads of the “nuclear club” (the unofficial name of states that possess nuclear weapons; among them are Russia, the United States, Great Britain, Britain, France, China and India).However, they are not used for conventional weapons: guided and unguided bombs, high-precision missiles, etc.,” Evseev said.
Aftermath of the explosion
Governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov on the morning of April 21 informed that three people were injured. According to him, an injured man was diagnosed with a concussion, an elderly woman was hospitalized with pressure issues and another person was refused hospitalization.
The five-storey house that suffered from the explosion has been completely relocated and the building itself will be restored after the construction expertise of the supporting structures. The damaged road should be restored by the start of the work week.
As a result of the fall of ammunition at the intersection of Vatutin Avenue and Gubkin Street, a crater with a radius of 20 meters was formed. According to eyewitnesses, just before the explosion they heard a “hiss”, and a few seconds later – a roar and an explosion.
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