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Thermobaric Missile Strike vehicle

The Thermobaric Missile Strike, also known as the Vacuum Bomb[1] and Fuel-Air Explosive Missile, is the WMD of the Russian Federation. It is deployed by the Russians from ground-mobile launchers. Of the three factions, Russia's WMD is the crudest but is just as effective as the Laser and Kinetic Strike of their rivals.


Russia doesn't have access to orbital-based kinetic energy weapons or advanced high energy orbital lasers, but it does have plenty of advanced thermobaric weapons (often incorrectly referred to as Vacuum Bombs). The Space-Land-Air-Missile Shield may have made ICBMs obsolete, but short-range, low-flying, high-speed missiles can still be used. It also appears that these missiles are mounted on ground-based mobile platforms, like some of late-Soviet/Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Russian arsenal in 2010s included tactical ballistic missiles with conventional warheads, regarded as a type of artillery.

The weapon itself works by spreading non-oxidized fuel (it can be coal dust, jet fuel or aluminum powder, but the most powerful mixes are classified) with a small explosion, then igniting the fuel-air mixture. The result is a lot of heat and a powerful shock wave, producing a very real mushroom cloud.

The effect was discovered by the Germans, weaponized by Americans in 1960s as "Daisy Cutter" bombs, and brought to the extreme by the Russians as the ATBIP a.k.a. "Father of All Bombs" on 9.11.2007, giving the yield of 44 tons of TNT with just 7.8 tons of explosive.



  • Cut content for written but unrecorded dialogue from the game files suggests that the Thermobaric Missile was originally going to be a short-ranged tactical nuclear warhead.[2] It was also mentioned that the missile could theoretically be targeted by the missile shield but, due to being fired at relatively short-range, the satellites would not have had time to lock onto it after it fired before the missile reached its target.[3]