◆ Thermobaric weapons are explosives optimised to produce heat and pressure effects instead of armour-penetrating or fragmentation damage effects.
◆ Use and development of thermobaric weapons have increased over the last decade.
◆ The weapons are particularly effective in enclosed spaces such as tunnels, buildings and field fortifications. Fireball and blast can travel around corners and penetrate areas
inaccessible to bomb fragments. Blast waves are intensified when reflected by walls and other surfaces.
◆ The primary injury mechanisms are blast and heat, with secondary effects through flying fragments and toxic detonation gases.
◆ The kill radius for blast is usually greater than the kill radius for burns, so that protection against thermal injuries has little benefit.
◆ Blast injuries include internal injuries that can be difficult to diagnose and treat without sophisticated medical support.
◆ With the wide proliferation of thermobaric weapons it is important to gain a better understanding of the injury mechanisms, which will help in medical support
Aspects of thermobaric weaponry