The FAB-500 is a Soviet-designed 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) general purpose air-dropped bomb with a high-explosive warhead, primarily used by the Russian Aerospace Forces, former Soviet republics and customer countries. The original M-54 model was rolled out in 1954, shaped for internal carriage by heavy bombers, a low-drag M-62 version in 1962 was intended for fighter bomber external hardpoint carriage.[2][3] The bomb is unguided, features a single nose fuze, and is compatible with most models of Soviet aircraft.[4]

FAB-500 M-62 General Purpose (GP) Bomb[1]
FAB-500 M62 aerial bomb in Park Patriot 01.jpg
FAB-500 M-62, first in foreground
TypeHigh-drag and low-drag general-purpose bomb
Place of originSoviet Union
Production history
Produced1954–present (M-54); 1962–present (M-62)
Mass500 kilograms (1,100 lb)
Length2,470 millimetres (97.2 in)
Diameter400 millimetres (15.7 in)

FillingHigh explosive
Filling weight300 kilograms (660 lb)
FAB-500 M-54 General-purpose bomb (high drag version)
up to 18 FAB-500 M-54 general-purpose bombs on two underwing pylons and internal bay of a Tu-22M
FAB-500 with gliding system (Prototype)

Operational historyEdit

The FAB-500 was largely employed over Afghanistan by Soviet and allied Afghan forces during the 1980s and saw use during the Syrian civil war where it was carried by both Russian and Syrian warplanes.[5][6][7] The M62 variant of the FAB-500 was used by Russian military forces in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[8] On 13 March 2022 and 14 May 2022, FAB-500 bombs were found in Ukrainian cities Chernihiv[9] and Odesa.[10]

In March 2023, Russian Su-35s have launched a number of FAB-500M-62, wreckage of which indicates that these have been fitted with a JDAM type kit, involving pop-out wings and satellite navigation. It's unknown whether it has an internal navigation system. Another theory is that the bomb has been fitted with wings simply to extend its range. It also is believed to give Russian aircraft a stand-off ability to hit Ukrainian targets without risking exposure to Ukrainian air defences.[11][12][13]

On 4 April, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said of these weapons: "Enemy aircraft are active. The enemy is deploying guided bombs, which can travel dozens of kilometres (up to 70). The enemy deploys 10–15, and up to 20, such bombs each day along the entire line of contact, dropped from Su-35 and Su-34 jets outside the range of our air defence systems. This is a threat to us, and we have to urgently respond to it. For now, we have no equipment that would allow us to effectively respond [to this threat]. In order to push those jets further away from our borders, we need long-range air defence systems like Patriot, as well as, of course, modern multi-purpose fighter jets." He further added that such bombs were "normally not very precise and thus pose a great threat to civilian facilities."[14]

In May, converted FAB-500 glide bombs are something Ukrainian air defences cannot intercept. They are only airborne for up to 70 seconds at most. Appearing on the radar as “little dots”. Ukrainian officials claim that it is easier to interpret Kinzhal missiles. Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said: “Trying to intercept these bombs isn’t effective. It’s not even rational. The only way out of this situation and the only way to stop it is to attack the planes that launch these bombs.”[15]

Operational envelope (FAB-500 M-62)Edit

  • Release altitude: 570–12,000 metres (1,870–39,400 ft)
  • Release speed: 500–1,900 kilometres per hour (311–1,180 mph)[16]


  • FAB-500 M-54 (ФАБ-500 М-54) – 1954 model, original high-drag model intended for internal carriage on heavy bombers, featuring a ballistic ring on the nose of the bomb to act as a vortex generator to aid the bomb's stabilizers.[17][18]
  • FAB-500 M-62 (ФАБ-500 М-62) – 1962 model, low-drag model designed for external carriage on hardpoints on fighter-bombers.[19][20]
  • FAB-500 M-62T – heat-resistant, capable of withstanding high-temperature aerodynamic heating, arising during flight at high speeds. Developed for the MiG-25RB.[20]
  • FAB-500 M-62 MPK (ФАБ-500 М-62 с МПК)
  • FAB-500T (ФАБ-500Т)[21]
  • FAB-500TA (ФАБ-500ТА)
  • FAB-500ShN (ФАБ-500ШН) – parachute retarded thin cased bomb[19]
  • FAB-500ShL (ФАБ-500ШЛ) – parachute retarded high explosive bomb[19][22]
  • FAB-500 M46 (ФАБ-500 М46)
  • FAB-500 M44 (ФАБ-500 М44)
  • FAB-500 M43 (ФАБ-500 М43)
  • FAB-500-300 (ФАБ-500-300) – thick cased high explosive
  • FAB-500TS (ФАБ-500ТС) – thick cased high explosive and fragmentation[21][22][23]
  • FAB-500TSM (ФАБ-500ТСМ)
  • OFAB-500 (ОФАБ-500) – general purpose high explosive fragmentation bomb (contains 3 x 150 kg submunitions)[24]
  • OFAB-500U (ОФАБ-500У) – delayed action fragmentation bomb
  • OFAB-500ShR (ОФАБ-500ШP) – parachute retarded fragmentation bomb

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "FAB-500 M-62 high-explosive bomb". Rosoboronexport.
  2. ^ U.S.S.R. BOMB, FAB-250 M46, General purpose
  3. ^ "Russian Aviation Bombs".
  4. ^ "FAB-500". Guide to Military Equipment and Civil Aviation. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Afghanistan Ordnance Identification Guide" (PDF). Center for International Stabilization and Recovery. 2004.
  6. ^ "DFID funded EOD team defuses 500kg aircraft bomb in Herat city". The HALO Trust.
  7. ^ "The Su-22 Is Syria's War-Weary Warhorse". War Is Boring. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Three FAB-500 aerial bombs found in Chernihiv". news 24. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  9. ^ "In Chernihiv, three unexploded 500kg bombs discovered in residential areas". ukrinform.net. 13 March 2022. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Rescuers defuse two 500-kg aircraft bombs in Odesa Oblast". english.nv.ua. 14 May 2022. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  11. ^ "Mystery Surrounds Appearance of Russian Aerial Bombs Fitted with Wings". kyivpost. 31 March 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  12. ^ "UMPK guided bomb". globalsecurity. 27 March 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Russia uses its own kind of "smart" bombs in Sumy Oblast". Yahoo. 24 March 2023. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  14. ^ "Russia deploys up to 20 guided bombs each day – Ukraine's Air Force". Yahoo. 4 April 2023. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  15. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey; Schmitt, Eric (26 May 2023). "Russia's Old Bombs Elude Ukraine's Modern Defenses". Yahoo. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  16. ^ "High-explosive bomb FAB-500 M-62 | Catalog Rosoboronexport".
  17. ^ Gordon, Yefim (2004). Soviet / Russian aircraft weapons : since World War Two. Hinkley: Midland Publishing. p. 158. ISBN 1857801881. OCLC 56650196.
  18. ^ "ФАБ-500М-54". aviaros.narod.ru. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  19. ^ a b c "United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) – Ammunition Identification Guide – Libya" (PDF). 2015.
  20. ^ a b "ФАБ-500М-62". aviaros.narod.ru. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  21. ^ a b "FAB-250 General purpose Bomb". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  22. ^ a b "Авиационное бомбовое вооружение". www.militaryparitet.com. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  23. ^ "ФАБ-250ТС/500ТС". www.airwar.ru. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  24. ^ "General-purpose HE fragmentation bomb OFAB-500U | Catalog Rosoboronexport". roe.ru. Retrieved 13 March 2022.