The Air Force recently started taking delivery of a giant 30,000-pound bomb, the 'Massive Ordnance Penetrator' (MOP), in September, according to Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller.
Under an August 2 contract worth $32 million, Boeing will produce eight of the giant MOP bombs to fulfil the Air Force’s “operational needs,” according to Miller.
The Air Force could not say how many of the conventional bombs have been delivered so far, but the MOP is seen as a weapon made for going after underground bunkers and tunnels in North Korea or Iran.
The MOP bomb, with more than 5,000 pounds of explosives, is supposed to fit on a B-2 stealth bomber to strike at underground sites hiding weapons of mass destruction.
About 20 feet long, the MOP bomb “will defeat our adversaries’ WMD before they leave the ground,” according to an official description posted on the website of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and US Strategic Command.
The United States, which suspects Iran and North Korea have built nuclear facilities deep underground to thwart any possible air raids, has been developing the MOP bomb since about 2007.
The MOP, made to penetrate up to 200 feet of reinforced concrete before exploding, is ten times more powerful than its predecessor, the BLU-109. The MOP is also twice as heavy as the “daisy cutter” bomb employed in Vietnam and in Tora Bora at the outset of the war in Afghanistan.