The Mother of the Mother of All Bombs

In the world of bombs and explosives as in many other areas of life and death, size does matter. And in this case what a big one it is: a 20 foot long, 30,000lb bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) meant to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened sites.


Boeing recently announced it successfully completed a "static tunnel lethality test" with the MOP at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. What that means is that there's likely a great big smoking hole in the desert floor somewhere.

MOP is project funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. 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." Indeed the MOP would pretty much mitigate any threat I would imagine.

Boeing is working with DTRA to develop the MOP, which 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, Boeing says.

The MOP won't be the heaviest conventional bomb ever made. The US military built the T-12, which weighed about 44,000lbs, in the 1940s.

Meanwhile the 21,700-lb Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, better known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" is still in the US arsenal. The MOAB was developed to replace the 15,000lb "Daisy Cutters" from the Vietnam Ware era.

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