US Makes 'Bunker Buster' Bomb Even Bigger

Hopes to send message to Iran and Israel

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 3, 2013 2:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Pentagon has been doing a little showing off for Israel. US officials have been playing Israeli military and civilian leaders footage of the Pentagon's new and improved "bunker buster" bomb, which it says can now take out Iran's most secure nuclear enrichment facility, Fordow. The goal is to convince Israel that America—and only America—is capable of preventing Iran from getting its hands on a nuclear weapon, thus deterring Israel from making a strike of its own while hopefully encouraging diplomatic efforts with Tehran, the Wall Street Journal reports.

At 30,000 pounds, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator is the US military's largest conventional bomb. Bunker busters can penetrate targets and detonate underground, which is necessary to reach a facility like Fordow, which is buried under a mountain. The new MOP has greater burrowing power, improved guidance systems, and technology that allows it to better evade air defenses. "Hopefully we never have to use it," says a senior US official. "But if we had to, it would work."

Crews loading the massive ordnance penetrator in a test at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
Crews loading the massive ordnance penetrator in a test at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.   (AP photo/Courtesy of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, File)
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