MOAB, MOP--- Mo Bombs, Mo Bombs ---Bombing to Oblivion, Marching to Extermination...
Everyone is trying to figure out what we’re up to. Are we planning to blow the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran , Pakistan or North Korea; take your pick? One thing is for sure; we don’t build this stuff to just practice with…boom!!!
Click On The Photo Above For A Real Appreciation.
We have enough bombing power and ordinance to implement any crazed plan man come up with: Bombing to Oblivion, Answers for Annihilation, Marching to Extermination, General Genocide or Species Suicide
The US could be in the process of accelerating provisions for a possible attack on Iran, according to an ABC News report published Tuesday.
Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. | Photo: AP [file]
The report cited a recent Pentagon decision to push for funding to build a "gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)," originally planned for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Pentagon's 2009 request, which was approved last week, was published by ABC, as well as the previous 2007 request.
To explain why the bomb was needed at this juncture, the Pentagon only said, "The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON." ABC noted that the departments which requested the MOP had responsibility over North Korea and Iran.
The report also stated that this weapon would be "ideally suited" for a strike on Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, or the recently revealed plant at Qom.
US aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor McDonnell Douglas received a $51.9 million contract to build the four MOPs, the report said.
Oct 7, 2009 ... Is the US stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities? The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a ...
Well just what are these things? Well let’s just start with “the Mother Of All Bombs, and just why the Hell did we build this one? Simple; because if we used a nuke instead we would upset folks.
The GBU-43/B is large, powerful and accurately delivered. high explosive. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb [MOAB] weapon is a 21,000 lbs total weight GPS-guided munition with fins and inertial gyro for pitch and roll control. It is probable that this munition was initially nick-named the "Mother Of All Bombs" with the retronymic expansion of MOAB following later.
On 11 September 2007 the Russian military announced that it had tested what it called the "Father of All Bombs". Described as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered munition, the Russian military claimed it was four times more powerful than the American "Mother Of All Bombs." While the Russian bomb was reported to contain 7.8 tons of "thermobaric" explosive, compared to the more than 8 tons of explosives in the American bomb, the Russian bomb was said to use more highly efficient explosive, with a yield equivalent to 44 tons of TNT. The bomb was reported to have a blast radius of 300 meters, double that of the American bomb, while the temperature at the epicenter was also reported to be twice as high.
In 1991 Saddam Hussein conquered Kuwait and postured with threats to deliver the "Mother of All Battles". Mother of all Battles [Umm Al-Ma'arik / Um El-Ma'arek] -- the Arabic "mother of" is a figure of speech for "major" or "best". The original "Mother of All Battles" was the Battle of Qadisiya [Battle of al-Qadisiyya] in 637 CE, in which Islamic Arabs defeated the Persians. Saddam Hussein's "Mother of All Battles" turned intot, among other things, the "Mother of All Retreats", the "Mother of All Blowouts", "the mother of all Marine operations", 650-slide “mother of all briefings”, and so forth.
MOAB is a guided bomb which delivers the 18,700 lb BLU-120/B warhead bomb with KMU-593/B GPS/INS. The MOAB is the largest-ever satellite-guided, air-delivered weapon in history [not the largest ever, but the largest satellite guided]. The 21,600-pound MOAB is an improved replacement for the unguided 15,000-pound BLU-82 Daisy Cutter. It is 30 feet long with a diameter of 40.5 inches. The warhead is a blast-type warhead. It was developed in only nine weeks to be available for the Iraq campaign, but it was not used in combat.
The 21,700-pound [9,500 kilogram] bomb contains 18,700 pounds of H6, an explosive that is a mixture of RDX (Cyclotrimethylene trinitramine), TNT, and aluminum. H6 is used by the military for general purpose bombs. H6 is an Australian produced explosive composition. Composition H6 is a widely used main charge filling for underwater blast weapons such as mines, depth charges, torpedoes and mine disposal charges. HBX compositions (HBX-1, HBX-3, and H6) are aluminized (powdered aluminum) explosives used primarily as a replacement for the obsolete explosive, torpex. They are employed as bursting charges in mines, depth bombs, depth charges, and torpedoes. HBX-3 and H-6 have lower sensitivity to impact and much higher explosion test temperatures than torpex. The MOAB weapon produces a very large explosive blast, with lesser fragmentation effects due to a thin-walled aluminum casing.
Contrary to some published claims, it most certainly is not an Ethylene-Oxide Fuel-Air Explosive (FAE). Some initial reports had stated that this replacement for the BLU-82 bomb uses more of the slurry of ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum used in the BLU-82. Other reports indicated that the MOAB might use tritonal explosive as opposed to the gelled slurry explosive of the BLU-82. Contrary to some reports, it is not capable of deep ground penetration.
Like the BLU-82, the MOAB rests in a cradle on an airdrop platform inside a C-130 aircraft. Due to the size of the ordnance, the item is extracted from either an MC-130 Talon II or “Slick” C-130 Hercules by way of a parachute. A drogue parachute extracts the weapon, cradle and platform—and the weapon is quickly released to maintain maximum forward momentum. The grid fins then open and begin guiding the weapon to its target.
The MOAB weapon is based upon the same principle as the BLU-82 “Daisy Cutter”, except that it is larger and has a guidance system. The weapon is expected to produce a tremendous explosion that would be effective against hard-target entrances, soft-to-medium surface targets, and for anti-personnel purposes. Because of the size of the explosion, it is also effective at LZ clearance and mine and beach obstacle clearance. Injury or death to persons will be primarily caused by blast or fragmentation. It is expected that the weapon will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use. The massive weapon provides a capability to perform psychological operations, attack large area targets, or hold at-risk threats hidden within tunnels or caves.
The weapon is intended to have a high altitude release, allowing for greater stand-off range for the delivery vehicle. Following deployment from the aircraft via drogue parachute, the MOAB weapon is guided approximately 3 nautical miles through a GPS system (with inertial gyros for pitch and roll control), JDAM actuators, and is stabilized by series of fixed wings and grid fins. The weapon, which uses the aircraft’s GPS prior to launch, takes several seconds to reconnect to the GPS signal after it has been deployed, which is normal for GPS weapons.
The US Air Force developed the satellite-guided Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bombs (MOAB) as a successor to the the 15,000-lb. "Daisy Cutters" used in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Air Force is said to call MOABs (pronounced MOE-ab) the Mother Of All Bombs. As with the earlier Daisy Cutter, these huge bombs are dropped out of the rear of the C-130 cargo plane. Unlike the Daisy Cutter, the MOAB falls to the ground without the use of a retarding parachute. As a result, the aircraft releasing the bomb can fly at higher altitudes, thus making it safer for US pilots.
In early 2002, the AF Munitions Directorate began to investigate the possibility of upgrading the large BLU-82 weapon with a guidance and control capability. Such an upgrade would allow the delivery aircraft to fly higher for better survivability and safety from the weapon’s blast. It would also give the weapon greater range and accuracy, opening the door to additional target sets. After several design iterations gave the weapon a more aerodynamic shape, the current configuration of the MOAB was born. Work on the program began in 2002 and was set for completion in 2003.
Within nine months, the MOAB program went from development contract award to the completion of three highly successful flight tests. During the flight tests, the MOAB detonated upon contact with the ground. The program culminated in the successful demonstration of a suite of technologies supporting large weapons.
Testing began at Eglin as part of an Air Force Research Lab Technology Demonstration Project. With support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Natick Army Soldier Center, Naval Coastal Systems Station- Panama City, Air Transportation Test Loading Agency, Detachment 1 of the 46th Test Wing at Hurlburt Field, and Dynetics, Inc., directorate engineers rapidly and successfully designed, fabricated, integrated, and tested the huge MOAB weapon.
On 11 March 2003 he Air Force tested its Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon at the Eglin Air Force Base Air Armament Center's western test range, dropped from a C-130.
Eglin Air Force Base's Air Armament Center conducted the second live test of the largest conventional bomb in the US inventory at approximately 2:30 p.m. EST 21 November 2003. Designated the GBU-43/B, the 21,700-pound bomb was launched from an MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft flown by a crew assigned to Eglin's 46th Test Wing. One objective was to collect more data and provide it to the user to assist in targeting. Also, the Air Force wanted to certify MOAB on the Combat Talon I aircraft as previous launches had been made from the MC-130 Combat Talon II.
Boy do have bombs: A Bomb, H Bomb, Carpet Bomb, Napalm, Daisy Cutter, Car Bombs, Roadside Bombs, pipe bombs, satchel bombs, bombs and more bombs, some of them we can’t even use, you know..the nuke stuff. So let’s build a better bomb, a big no-nuke!!! So we did.
Moab Is The Mother Of All Bombs. Bigger than a daisy cutter this puppy going off will cause a bad day on the fearless of men. 21,000 lbs, 8 Kilotons of pure ...HELL!!!
But Now We Have Something Up Our Sleeve And We Can Only Guess Who Is The Target Of “Operation Obliteration”.
But Now We Have Something Up Our Sleeve And We Can Only Guess Who Is The Target Of “Operation Obliteration”.
We Have MOAB Now We’re Going For MOP-Up---
We Have MOAB Now We’re Going For MOP-Up---
The MOP has 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor, the 2,000-pound BLU-109, which carries 535 pounds of explosive.
by Staff WritersWashington (UPI) Aug 17, 2009
Amid continuing tension over political upheaval in Iran, the U.S. Defense Department says it wants to accelerate production of a 30,000-pound "ultra-large bunker-buster" bomb designed to destroy deeply buried installations.
The Pentagon has requested Congress to provide the necessary funding to ensure that the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a next-generation bomb known as MOP and built by Boeing, would be ready by July 2010, spokesman Bryan Whitman said on Aug. 3.
The non-nuclear weapon will be the biggest conventional bomb the United States has ever deployed. It carries 5,300 pounds of high explosive inside a 25.5-foot bomb casing of hardened steel and would be delivered by the radar-evading Northrop Grumman B-2 stealth bomber. The B-2 can carry two of the bombs.
The GPS-guided MOP is believed to be capable of blasting through 200 feet of reinforced concrete before exploding. It is seen as a potential weapon against nuclear facilities in Iran and North Korea.
It has 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor, the 2,000-pound BLU-109, which carries 535 pounds of explosive.
The MOP is about one-third heavier than the 21,000-pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, known as the "mother of all bombs," that was dropped twice in tests at a Florida range in 2003.
Whitman declined to comment on whether the accelerated production schedule was linked to either of those countries' nuclear programs.
But according to Kenneth Katzman, an Iran expert at the Congressional Research Service, both the Central Command, which covers Iran, and the Pacific Command, which covers North Korea, have endorsed the Pentagon's efforts to speed up production of the MOP, a project launched in 2004.
The administration of President Barack Obama has sought to engage Tehran in a diplomatic dialogue to eliminate Iran's nuclear program, which the Americans and Israelis say contains a clandestine drive to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.
But given the upheaval in Iran triggered by the disputed re-election of firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12, it is unclear whether such a dialogue is possible within the next few months.
Israel, which has threatened to launch pre-emptive strikes against what it sees as an existential threat, wants Obama to place a time limit on his dialogue effort.
The Americans are pressing the Israelis not to take action on their own, and the MOP plan could be a message to Israel that the United States still has the militaryoption in play if the diplomatic initiative does not succeed.
It was probably also a message for Tehran that U.S. patience is not inexhaustible.
On the same day the announcement on the MOP was made, The Times of London quoted Western intelligence sources as saying that it would take Iran six months to enrich enough uranium to weapons grade and another six months to assemble a warhead for its Shehab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Iran's elite military force that controls missile and nuclear production, was reported to be only waiting for the go-ahead from the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to put together a nuclear weapon.
The projected date given for the operational deployment of the MOP would tally with that Iranian timeframe. Most of Iran's nuclear facilities are buried deep underground.
"Even if the MOP only comes close to achieving its design objectives, it will represent a significant leap in the U.S. ability to threaten hardened and deeply buries targets, and destroy them if necessary," according to the Texas-based security consultancy Strategic Forecasting.
"The centrifuge halls at the Natanz enrichment site in Iran, for example, are unlikely to be able to withstand a direct hit (though admittedly just how hardened the facility is has been a matter of speculation). Fitting the MOP to the B-2 also makes delivery in a high-threat air-defense environment more credible."
Man Are We Ever In A Hurry To Get This Baby Up To Bang!
From correspondents in Washington
October 08, 2009 02:11pm
THE Pentagon claims a giant "bunker buster" bomb will be ready within months, adding a powerful weapon to the US arsenal amid tensions over Iran's nuclear program.
The 30,000lb (13,607kg) massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) is designed to knock out fortified sites buried deep underground, like those used by Iran and North Korea to protect its nuclear work.
"It is under development right now and should be deployable in the coming months,'' press secretary Geoff Morrell said.
The Defense Department had said in August it wanted to speed up production plans for the super bomb, asking Congress to shift funds to the project.
Congress approved the request and the Pentagon today announced it awarded McDonnell Douglas Corporation a US$51.9 million ($57.5 million) contract to enable B-2 aircraft to carry the enormous MOP.
The bomb, which holds 5300lb (2404kg) of explosives, is designed "to defeat hardened facilities used by hostile states to protect weapons of mass destruction'', Mr Morrell said.
But he declined to comment whether the weapon's development was in response to Iran's disputed nuclear program.
Related Coverage : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator
"I don't think anybody can divine potential targets or anything of that nature," he said.
"This is just a capability that we think is necessary given the world we live in these days.
"The reality is that the world we live in is one in which there are people who seek to build weapons of mass destruction and they seek to do so in a clandestine fashion.''
The United States has refused to rule out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails though President Barack Obama's administration has played down the possibility.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last month that a military strike against Iran would only "buy time'' and delay a nuclear weapons program by about one to three years.
The earth-penetrating MOP is often cited as a potential weapon to take out Iran's underground centrifuge facilities in Natanz.
Iran admitted last month it had been building a new uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, sparking international outrage.
In subsequent talks with world powers, Tehran has adopted a more conciliatory stance and agreed to UN inspections of the new plant.
Aerospace Giant Boeing Manufactures The MOP, Which Could Become The Biggest Conventional Bomb Ever Used By The US Military!
During the Second World War, attacking heavily protected targets like U-boat pens and protected “V-weapon” facilities was a key challenge. Enter a brilliant British engineer named Barnes Wallis, fresh off the dam-busting “Upkeep” bouncing bomb. His next trick was a 12,000 pound weapon called the “Tallboy,” a streamlined, spin-stabilized bomb with an estimated terminal velocity of over Mach 3.5 when dropped from 20,000 feet. That mass, at that speed, carrying 5,200 pounds of Torpex D1 explosive, made a crater 80 feet deep x 100 feet across when it hit. By 1945, Wallis’ next “Earthquake bomb” was in production – the 22,000 pound “Grand Slam.” They made short work of U-boat pens.
These bombs went out of fashion with the advent of nuclear weapons, but if you wait long enough, fashion comes around again. It may even be accelerated, as concerns rise about Iran’s nuclear program…
The MOP Program | Contracts And Key Events [Updated]
With the demise of the RNEP nuclear bunker-buster program, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency has stepped out of its usual verification and WMD detection/ destruction programs to fund a project called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). This 30,000 pound weapon is approximately 31.5 inches in diameter and 20.5 feet long, with about the same amount of explosives inside as Wallis’ Tallboy (5,300 pounds). It isn’t the biggest bomb the USA has ever built – the 44,000 pound T12 has that distinction – but it could well become the biggest conventional bomb ever used. Even the famous GBU-43 MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) fuel-air explosive weighs in at only 21,000 pounds.
Unlike the MOAB, however, this project’s goal is a GPS-guided, penetrating weapon that can be carried aboard B-52 Stratofortress or B-2 Spirit bombers to defeat “a specialized set of hard and deeply buried targets” like bunkers and tunnel facilities. Some graphics show expectations of over 60 feet of concrete destroyed, and a USAF article stated that the bomb was meant to penetrate 200 feet underground before exploding.
The B-2 will be able to carry 2 MOPs: one in each bay, mounted to the existing forward and aft mounting hardware.
According to GlobalSecurity.org the MOP, also callled or “Big BLU” or “Direct Hard Target Strike Weapon” program in some documents, required a total of $11.4 million for development. If so, that’s a very frugal program.
Northrop Grumman is the B-2A prime contractor, and leads the MOP integration effort. Boeing Company is the prime contractor to produce the MOP, and will also be the B-52 fleet integrator. They serve as a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman for the B-2 integration effort.
Contracts And Key Events
The program would appear to be in the late stages of weapon development and testing.
Oct 2/09: Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corporation of St. Louis, MO received a $51.9 million contract to provide Massive Ordnance Penetrator Integration on B-2 test aircraft. At this time $32.15 million has been committed by the 708 ARSG/PK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL (FA8681-09-C-0280, P00002)
Aug 18/09: Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, MO received a $12.5 million cost plus fixed-fee contract with performance incentives to provide for 3 Massive Ordnance Penetrator separation test vehicles, associated aircraft and handling equipment, and technical support for one single and one dual release separation and de-conflict test on the B-52 aircraft.
In English, they’re going to test MOP drops on the B-52, in order to ensure safe and dependable drops when releasing either 1 or 2 MOPs. At this time $6.2 has been committed by the AAC/708th ARSG PK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL (FA8681-09-C-0280, P00001).
Aug 17/09: UPI reports that the U.S. Defense Department says it wants to accelerate the MOP program, asking Congress for the necessary funding to ensure that it would be ready by July 2010. UPI hadds that both US Central Command, which covers the middle east, and the Pacific Command, which covers North Korea, have endorsed the speed up.
July 16/09: Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, MO received a $12.1 million contract “to provide massive ordnance penetrator on B-2 platform.” At this time, $6 million has been obligated. The AAC/708th at Eglin Air Force Base, FL manages the contract (FA8681-09-C-0280).
April 28/09: A USAF team, a Northrop Grumman-led aircraft contractor team, and a Boeing-led weapon contractor team verify that the equipment required to integrate the new MOP on the B-2 will fit together properly inside the aircraft. This includes the hardware that holds the MOP inside the weapons bay, the weapon itself, and the hardware used by the aircrew to command and release the weapon.
The checks were conducted at Whiteman Air Force Base, MO using a high-fidelity MOP mockup and the B-2 Weapons Load Trainer, a device that simulates the interior size and shape of the aircraft’s weapons bays. Northrop Grumman release.
Oct 23/08: Boeing announces a July 2008 test, in which a new fuze well design allowed a Small Diameter Bomb fuze in an 1,800-pound warhead to survive “a supersonic impact into high-strength reinforced concrete and soil” at Holloman AFB. Research partners included Applied Research Associates (ARA), L-3 KDI Precision Products, and Ellwood National Forge Co.
The design is the result of data collected from a 2006 test at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, when Boeing propelled a 1,800-pound penetrator warhead at more than 2,300 feet per second through high-strength reinforced concrete. Steve Vukelich, director of Special Programs at Boeing says that “This design concept can be incorporated into existing weapon fuzes and [is] currently being considered for a number of advanced weapons.”
Feb 6/08: The Register reports that the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) will now be dropped for the first time from a B-52 Stratofortress bomber in June 2008, in a test originally scheduled for August 2007.
The problems apparently stem from the bomb rack. It has proved impossible to hang the MOP from existing racks, and a whole new subsystem has had to be designed, reportedly pushing program costs up by $10 million and causing a 10-month delay.
Dec 18/07: A team of weapons specialists at Whiteman AFB, home of the USA’s B-2 sealth bomber fleet, loaded a 20-foot long, 700 pound mock MOP into a B-2 bomb bay replica that’s used for training purposes. Interesting comment by weapons loader Tech. Sgt. Jason Hermann of the 509th Maintenance Group:
“I couldn’t help but notice how enormous the bomb was hanging in the weapons bay. It looked much larger once we had loaded it into the weapons bay than when it was on the loading adapter.”
See USAF article: “B-2, MOP A Devastating Combo.”
March 14/07: Boeing announced that on a MOP bomb body successfully completed a static tunnel lethality test (i.e. “there’s supposed to be an earth-shattering ka-boom!”) on this day at White Sands Missile Range, NM.
The USAF has revealed detailed photos of the Boeing Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bomb, being developed for the B-2 bomber - at a point where the service is moving towards a decision to deploy the bomb operationally.
More than 24,000 pounds of the bomb's weight is solid metal, most likely including a high-hardness, dense tip (likely made from a tungsten alloy). It carries a 5,300 pound explosive charge. The bomb is unpowered but will have a supersonic terminal velocity, and it is expected to penetrate as much as 200 feet underground.
The bomb's sizable wings and lattice tails (which provide high control authority and fold neatly for carriage) suggest that it will have a reasonable standoff range and agility - allowing it to change its course and present a less predictable target for defense systems. Control authority also permits precise adjustment of impact angle.
Funding to develop at least a limited MOP capability on the B-2 was included in October's Global War of Terrorism supplemental budget. Before that, according to the basic FY2008 budget, the program had been supported by Congressional plus-ups but these were not adequate to complete development. Northrop Grumman stated this summer that the USAF was expected to choose, late this year, between a full integration program and a quicker, limited operational capability. Well; they have their bucks now!!!
June 12, 2009: After three years of effort, the U.S. Air Force has developed a new bomb rack for the B-2 bomber, so it can drop the new, 13.6 (30,000 pound) Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). Six years ago, MOP replaced the proposed nuclear bomb penetrator. MOP can be carried by a B-52, but a B-2 is more likely to get through an intact, modern, air defense system. The MOP is finally entering production, and a number (not announced) will be stockpiled.
The MOP is 20.5 feet long, with a 31.5-inch (80 cm) diameter. The MOP contains 2.4 tons of explosives. This is more than 10 times the explosive power of, the BLU-109 (2,000 pound bomb). The MOP can penetrate about 65 meters before exploding.
It’s a giant GPS guided exploding drill bit. Ok, sure, the G-43 MOAB is physically larger at 30 feet long and 40 1/2” in diameter, but the MOP weighs 4 tons more. The whole bomb is made out of extra dense super hardened metal, so that it can go through almost anything. Including 60 feet of reinforced concrete.
More than 24,000 pounds of the bomb’s weight is solid metal, most likely including a high-hardness, dense tip (likely made from a tungsten alloy). It carries a 5,300 pound explosive charge. The bomb is unpowered but will have a supersonic terminal velocity, and it is expected to penetrate as much as 200 feet underground.
The bomb’s sizable wings and lattice tails (which provide high control authority and fold neatly for carriage) suggest that it will have a reasonable standoff range and agility - allowing it to change its course and present a less predictable target for defense systems. Control authority also permits precise adjustment of impact angle.
The US Air Force plans to launch a project later this year to develop an experimental ultra-large 30,000lb (13,608kg) penetrating munition, according to service officials.
It will be optimised against hardened and deeply buried targets that existing air-delivered weapons cannot destroy, they say.
The Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is leading the three-phase technology demonstration, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) programme. It builds on design studies that Boeing has conducted for the laboratory. Flight testing is envisaged around 2006.
Although the air force has no formal requirement for an ultra-large bomb, it has a concept for a 'Big BLU' family of massive-sized penetrator and blast munitions. The MOP demonstration will mature the technologies so that they are "on the shelf, ready to go" if a requirement emerges for a Big BLU penetrator, said Steven Butler, director of engineering at the Air Armament Center at Eglin. He told JDW that the MOP is "unlike anything" that the air force has ever built.
Interest in a big penetrating bomb is growing in some US defence circles, including the Defense Science Board (DSB), the senior policy advisory panel to the Secretary of Defense. It recommended in its February 2004 report on 'Future Strategic Strike Forces' that the Department of Defense "immediately undertake" a demonstration of a "bomber-delivered massive penetrator" weapon as part of a family of ultra-large bombs that would "improve conventional attack effectiveness against deep, expansive, underground tunnel facilities".
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