Schematic, RBK-250 Cluster Munitions Dispenser.
The RBK-250, as configured here, carries 42 PTAB 2.5M submunitions. Each submunition, which is also finned, carries a shaped charge designed to cut through steel. The submunitions’ fins orient the bomblet so it typically descends and strikes the ground or its target (to the extent you can say any individual bomblet has a target at all) nose first. The bodies of the submunitions also fragment, and fly away from the blast as shrapnel. So, typically, do the fins.
Designed decades ago by Soviet engineers for use against Western armored vehicles and tanks, this air-delivered weapon is both powerful and inherently indiscriminate.
So what would happen if a pilot lined up his aircraft for an attack run on a town, and released multiple dispensers onto the streets and homes below? More soon, on the NYT.