Massive Ordnance Penetrator Ready For Fielding
The Air Force’s 30,000lb Massive Ordnance Penetrator is finally ready to go…
The military’s huge 30,000-pound bomb is finally ready for fielding. Based on the Massive Ordnance Air Burst (or ‘Mother Of All Bombs’), the 21,000-pound bomb that was shown off during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The OAB was only a prototype and never made into productions, but aside from serving a nice bit of propaganda during conflict, it also paved the way for the modified Massive Ordnance Penetrator.
The 30,000lb bomb is designed to penetrate reinforced underground bunkers and any other targets that are too deep for current weapons to destroy. Depending on the density of the concrete the MOP can penetrate through 60-200 ft.
Massive Ordnance Penetrator Bomb
Previous bombs designed for the same purpose had focused more on explosiveness than weight, the MOP however flips that thinking on its head by making warhead just 10 percent of the entire bomb, compared to the MOAB’s explosive that made up around 90 percent.
The smaller warhead allows more room for the immensely thick casing needed to survive the effects of impact. Heavy-metal ballast work has also been done to increase the density of penetrating bombs; some have speculated that depleted uranium could have been used to do this, although Tungsten would make an equally good ballast material.
So far, the 30 bombs order by the Air Force have cost $200 million to develop, and as always there are still those few who doubt the bombs ability to penetrate hardened underground bunkers. Going on the OABs past record its not hard to see why, however the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, told Jeff Schogol of Air Force Times, that this time round there’s simply no question:
“If it needed to go today, we would be ready to do that. We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing. We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today.”
- Spencer Ackerman: Air Force’s Mega-Bunker-Buster Bomb Is Finally Ready. Danger Room, 07/27/2012.
- David Hambling: Bump: Mother Of All Bunker Busters Detonated. Danger Room, 03/27/2010.