Flame tanks have been superseded by thermobaric weapons such as the Russian TOS-1. The idea for this tank was developed during World War I by British and French.
This is used in a form of machinery such as internal combustion engines and in thermobaric weapons.
Most conventional explosives consist of a fuel–oxidizer premix (gunpowder, for example, contains 25% fuel and 75% oxidizer), whereas thermobaric weapons are almost 100% fuel, so thermobaric weapons are significantly more energetic than conventional condensed explosives of equal weight.
Many types of thermobaric weapons can be fitted to hand-held launchers.
The term thermobaric is derived from the Greek words for "heat" and "pressure": thermobarikos (θερμοβαρικός), from thermos (θερμός), hot + baros (βάρος), weight, pressure + suffix -ikos (-ικός), suffix -ic. Other terms used for this family of weapons are high-impulse thermobaric weapons (HITs), heat and pressure weapons, vacuum bombs, or fuel–air explosives (FAE or FAX).
Thermobaric weapons were developed in the 1960s in the Soviet Union and US; however, the first attempts had previously been undertaken during the Second World War by the German Luftwaffe.
A dedicated carrier of thermobaric weapons is the purpose-built TOS-1, a 24-tube MLRS designed to fire 220 mm (8.7 in) thermobaric rockets.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Russian military forces used ground-delivered thermobaric weapons in the storming of the Russian parliament during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis and also during the Battle for Grozny (first and second Chechen wars) to attack dug-in Chechen fighters.
It is theorized that a multitude of handheld thermobaric weapons were used by the Russian Armed Forces in their efforts to retake the school during the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, British military forces have also used thermobaric weapons in their AGM-114N Hellfire missiles (carried by Apache helicopters and UAVs) against the Taliban in the War in Afghanistan.
The US military also used thermobaric weapons in Afghanistan.
Thermobaric weapons have been condemned by human rights groups.
This rule has been challenged, however, by military development of thermobaric weapons, which employ a combination of negative shock wave effects and extreme temperature to incinerate objects within the blast radius.
The fuel-air bomb is one of the best-known types of thermobaric weapons.
Thermobaric weapons have been fielded in Afghanistan by the United States.
They can be caused by powerful conventional weapons, like thermobaric weapons, including the ATBIP and GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast.
It is so flammable and extremely explosive that it is used as a main component of thermobaric weapons;
Submunition and thermobaric weapons are often used to clear landing zones (LZ) for helicopters.