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Massive Ordnance Penetrator

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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"Pentagon upgrades 'bunker buster' bomb in attempt to penetrate key Iran nuke site"

May 3, 2013

Source:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/03/pentagon-upgrades-bunker-buster-bomb-in-attempt-to-penetrate-key-iran-nuke-site/

The Pentagon has reportedly upgraded its "bunker buster bomb" in what officials say is a critical step in convincing Israel the U.S. has the ability to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, has been fortified with advanced features that are meant to enable it to destroy Iran's most fortified nuclear site.

The paper reports U.S. officials have demonstrated an earlier version of the bomb's capabilities to Israeli leaders several times recently by showing them a video of the bomb hitting its target in high-altitude testing.

Pentagon officials view the development of the weapon as critical to convincing Israel it can rely on the U.S. to stop Iran from developing nukes, and that the Israeli military cannot do so on its own.

"Hopefully we never have to use it," said a senior U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal. "But if we had to, it would work."

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new version of the MOP has advanced components that would allow it to evade Iranian defense systems to reach the Fordow nuclear complex, which is by numerous accounts buried under a mountain in Iran. This upgraded version has not yet been dropped from a plane.

In March, Pentagon officials are spoke publicly about the MOP bombs, which are from Boeing and designed to fit exclusively with the B-2 and B-52 bombers, for the first time.

"It gives us a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction that are located in well protected underground facilities... to a magnitude far greater than we have now," Pentagon Spokesman Capt. John Kirby said.

Kirby denied the bombs are designed to target Iran, even though it is the only country known to have buried its nuclear weapons program.

"The system is not aimed at any one country, it's to develop a capability we believe we need," Kirby said. That remark was met by audible groans and various comments of disbelief from the Pentagon press corps.

According to Boeing’s website the MOP includes a GPS navigation system and more than 5,300 pounds of explosives. It measures 20 feet long and is “designed specifically to attack hardened concrete bunkers and tunnel facilities.”

Boeing successfully tested the bomb on March 17, 2007 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Pentagon Spokesman George Little says the MOP is far more powerful than its predecessor, the BLU-109. Some estimate it’s as much as 10 times more powerful.

The Pentagon says it has contracted for a total of 20 bombs from Boeing, some of which were delivered in the fall. But, for purposes of operational security it won’t disclose how many.

On August 2, 2011 the Air Force signed a contract for eight more, meaning it's unlikely it has more than 12 bombs.
 

Triton

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A different perspective from The Jerusalem Post:

'US upgrades bomb to thwart Israel strike on Iran'

Source:
http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/US-upgrades-bunker-buster-to-thwart-Israel-strike-on-Iran-311953

The US has upgraded its biggest bunker buster bomb specifically to enable the destruction of Iran's underground Fordow uranium enrichment plant near the city of Qom, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the Pentagon sees the move as critical to convincing Israel that the US will indeed prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons and possesses weaponry to do so that Israel does not have.

The Journal quoted diplomats as saying that US officials had showed video footage to their Israeli counterparts of an earlier version of the bunker buster in action and explained the advanced features which have been added.

The video displays the bomb hitting the ground near its target and setting off a massive underground explosion, sources told the Journal.

The bunker buster, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), is 30,000 pounds and has been improved with "adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and high-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex," according to the Journal.

"Hopefully we never have to use it, but if we had to, it would work." the Journal quoted a senior US official as saying.

The report added that the existence of a bomb that has the capability of destroying the underground facility from the air could also give the West extra bargaining power in nuclear negotiations with the Iranians.

The Journal quoted US officials as saying the improved MOP will serve to convince Israel to hold off on unilaterally attacking Iran and give Washington more time to diplomatically neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.

According to the report, US officials, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, have told their Israeli counterparts in recent weeks that Washington will explore military options against Iran's nuclear program following Iran's presidential election in June.

"The election is a milestone to determine whether or not Iranian intentions will shift," the Journal quoted a US official as saying
 

Triton

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"Boeing’s MOP bomb approaching second phase of redesign"
15 October, 2015 BY: James Drew Washington DC

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeings-mop-bomb-approaching-second-phase-of-redesi-417819/

Boeing can expect a sole-source contract for redesign, qualification and testing of the US Air Force’s largest non-nuclear penetrating bomb, the 13.6t GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP).

A redacted notice published by the air force this week says Boeing is being put on contract for the second phase of a classified MOP modification programme, called Enhanced Threat Reduction IV.

The specialised weapon began development in 2004 and was never intended for serial production. Instead, GBU-57 is built in small quantities by Boeing through the air force’s direct attack office at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

MOP is specifically designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers, and the components are continually modified as those targets, such as Iran’s underground nuclear sites, dig deeper or are reinforced against US weapons.

MOP enhancements are tested against specially created underground test bunkers at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The penetrator has been tested with the Boeing B-52 bomber, but in combat would be dropped from Northrop Grumman’s stealthy B-2A.

“This effort will require weapon design, qualification, integration and testing efforts,” the air force says of phase two, adding that an urgent operational need calls for “immediate modification of the MOP weapon system”.

Boeing developed the weapons as a quick reaction capability, and the notice says there are no plans to competitively procure the MOP as a programme of record.

It would take a “minimum” of six years for another contractor to build the weapon to the same standard, although “there is the possibility to competitively acquire the BLU-127 warhead and support equipment”.
 

Steve Pace

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Today's nukes are tiny, relatively speaking - why not MOPs? -SP
 

quellish

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Steve Pace said:
Today's nukes are tiny, relatively speaking - why not MOABs? -SP


MOP, specifically, is large for a reason - when MOP was designed a large explosive payload was required to ensure that coupling of the bomb energy to tunnels, doors, etc. in the target happened. Since then there have been changes in how those coupling effects work, and that is part of the reason for the update program.
 

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http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/05/a-hundred-super-ground-penetrator-bombs.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29&utm_content=FaceBook
 

fredymac

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Video of MOAB drop in Afghanistan and aftermath.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqfosAxT4CI
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/news/your-air-force/2018/01/25/the-largest-non-nuclear-bomb-in-americas-arsenal-just-got-an-upgrade/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow
 

sferrin

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SpudmanWP said:
I wonder what the upgrade was?

5 or 10 MT of sunshine would be nice. (Though for that application even a kt or two would do the job.)
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
SpudmanWP said:
I wonder what the upgrade was?

5 or 10 MT of sunshine would be nice. (Though for that application even a kt or two would do the job.)
Leaked NPR says we are keeping the B-83 now. Now build something to counter the Russian's 100Mt torpedo. ;)
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
sferrin said:
SpudmanWP said:
I wonder what the upgrade was?

5 or 10 MT of sunshine would be nice. (Though for that application even a kt or two would do the job.)
Leaked NPR says we are keeping the B-83 now. Now build something to counter the Russian's 100Mt torpedo. ;)

I sure hope so. Always thought necking it down to just the half-century old B61 was stupid beyond belief. Should have kept the B53s as well.
 

Hobbes

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sferrin said:
SpudmanWP said:
I wonder what the upgrade was?

5 or 10 MT of sunshine would be nice. (Though for that application even a kt or two would do the job.)

I thought the whole point of the MOP was to have a non-nuclear earthquake-level bomb?
 

sferrin

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Hobbes said:
sferrin said:
SpudmanWP said:
I wonder what the upgrade was?

5 or 10 MT of sunshine would be nice. (Though for that application even a kt or two would do the job.)

I thought the whole point of the MOP was to have a non-nuclear earthquake-level bomb?

A big boom 200' down will be better than a big boom on the surface (or a small boom on the surface). That said, I don't know how deep of a hole a ground burst B53 would make.
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
Hobbes said:
sferrin said:
SpudmanWP said:
I wonder what the upgrade was?

5 or 10 MT of sunshine would be nice. (Though for that application even a kt or two would do the job.)

I thought the whole point of the MOP was to have a non-nuclear earthquake-level bomb?

A big boom 200' down will be better than a big boom on the surface (or a small boom on the surface). That said, I don't know how deep of a hole a ground burst B53 would make.
.
I thought I read somewhere RNEP was to be around 1-2 Kt and be able to destroy a bunker to 400’. I’ll have to look it up.
 

AN/AWW-14(V)

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The Superior Forge & Steel Corp., Lima, Ohio; and Ellwood National Forge, Irvine, Pennsylvania, have been awarded $90,000,000 multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts. These contracts provided for the procurement of GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators BLU-J 27C/B Penetrator warhead case assemblies with associated components. Work will be performed at Lima, Ohio; and Irvine, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be complete by Oct. 28, 2027. This award is the result of two sole source acquisitions. Fiscal 2018 ammunition production funds in the amount of $3,000 per contractor for the initial delivery order are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.


warhead designation - BLU-J 27C/B
 
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kaiserd

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By any chance could an administrator perhaps change the name of this topic and remove the “...for possible Iran attack”?
The actual topic being discussed appears to be the MOP itself and that last bit of the topic name is more than bit political and controversial in nature.
 

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