Massive bomb project gets $20M cash explosion

US Air Force spends millions to boost development of humongous bunker buster bomb

boeing mop
Boeing this week got an additional $20.3 million contract from the US Air Force to build extensions to the 30,000-pound, 20 ft long bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) meant to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened sites.

The huge bomb has been beset by delays, mostly due to budget issues and technicalities.  According to the Air Force: "We have had mixed results in test drops of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator; however, we are closely monitoring the progress of this important capability, and future successes likely will result in a reprogramming request to accelerate its development in FY10."

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The Defense Threat Reduction Agency which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007,  says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes where it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond 2X the speed of sound to penetrate the below ground target.

The DTRA defines its mission as "safeguarding America and its allies from Weapons of Mass Destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives) by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat, and mitigate its effects."

Boeing is working with DTRA to develop the MOP, which can be carried by B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes where it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond 2X the speed of sound to penetrate the below ground target, Boeing says.

For this contract Boeing is to provide: Eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator extended user evaluation assets:  eight MOP warheads and eight MOP toolkits. $10 million has been obligated already.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

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