- The Massive Ordnance Penetrator is the biggest conventional bomb ever made
- The Pentagon has spent $330 million on the weapon
- The bomb is designed to destroy underground targets and can blast through up to 200 feet of concret
- The announcement comes as revelations that Iran is working on a secret nuclear weapon in an underground bunker
By Alex Ward
PUBLISHED: 12:00 EST, 27 July 2012 | UPDATED: 12:00 EST, 27 July 2012
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is designed to destroy huge underground targets and at 30,000 pounds and more than 20 feet long, it is six times the weight of the previous ‘bunker-busting’ weapons.
The announcement of the Pentagon’s $330 million spend on MOPs comes less than a week after a UN agency warned of Iran’s secret nuclear weapon plans.
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A YouTube video about the bombs alleges that: ‘Experts took note of the fact that the military exposed the delivery of the bunker-busting bombs less than a week after a UN agency warned that Iran was secretly working to develop a nuclear weapon.
‘Iran is known to have hidden nuclear complexes that are fortified by steel and concrete and are buried under mountains.’
Carrying 5,300 pounds of explosives it can blast through up to 200 feet of concrete.
The US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley the bomb is ready after years of testing.
He said: ‘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.’
US military chiefs have openly admitted that the weapon was built to attack fortified nuclear facilities in countries such as Iran and North Korea.
Unnamed officials have claimed repeatedly that the super bomb has been designed to disable Iranian nuclear facilities at Fordo or to at least intimidate the capital Tehran but the Pentagon has denied that the delivery of more than 20 MOPs is aimed at a specific target.
Recently, UK Secret Intelligence Service chief Sir John Sawers warned against Iran’s program saying the country was only ‘two years away’ from becoming nuclear armed.
Iran is working to expand their uranium enrichment facility at Fordo which is built inside a mountain.
Senior officials in Tehran had previously declared the facility ‘impregnable’.
Natanz, another facility in the centre of the country, is buried under 33 feet feet of earth and 6ft of concrete.
Iran has often openly paraded its nuclear program while denying intentions to build nuclear bombs.
Whether MOPs could actually destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities is open to debate.
Earlier this year the Pentagon redirected $120 million from other weapon programs to MOPs.
The effectiveness of bunker-buster bombs is dependent on the strength of the soil it dives into, how well it makes contact and the internal structure of the facilities.
Two MOPs can be mounted simultaneously on a modified B-52 stealth bomber and a US official has claimed that the efficiency of any operation depends on how many ‘tries at the apple’ the aircraft gets.
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