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British intel: Russia increases use of 500kg cluster munitions

While Russian glide bomb kits have struggled with accuracy, the numerous submunitions contained in a single RBK-500 glide bomb kit increase the chances of inflicting significant damage far from the intended target.
RBK-500, a Russian 500 kg cluster bomb. Credit: Defence Security Aisa
British intel: Russia increases use of 500kg cluster munitions

The Russian air force started more frequently employing the RBK-500 500kg cluster munition bomb during November 2023, the UK Defense Ministry reported.

According to UK intel, Russia’s glide bomb kits have generally achieved poor accuracy. However, with its large number of sub-munitions, a single RBK-500 can cause effects over an area of several hundred metres, increasing the chance of inflicting at least some damage on the intended target.

  • “Depending on the variant, each RBK-500 ejects between approximately 100 and 350 sub-munitions. In turn, each sub-munition typically detonates with either hundreds of high-velocity fragments, or a single, larger anti-tank charge,” the UK intel tweeted.

The British intel reported that RBK-500 have been deployed against Ukrainian forces on the Vuhledar axis and near Avdiivka, both in Donetsk Oblast.

  • “Russia has likely recently integrated a UMPC guided stand-off glide kit with RBK-500. This allows the carrying aircraft to release the munition many kilometres away from the target,” the UK Defense Ministry concluded.

On October 2023, the police evacuation unit “White Angels” came under Russian cluster munition fire near Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported on Facebook.

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