Sunday, April 01, 2007

Now That Is A Big-Ass Bomb

There is a new bomb in town. The MOP.

It is a 30,000 pound monster designed to penetrate deeply buried facilities.

The MOP is a technology demonstration program funded by DTRA to develop a 30,000-pound conventional penetrating weapon that will defeat a specialized set of hard and deeply buried targets. Designed to be carried aboard B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes, the MOP's innovative design features include a Global Positioning System navigation system and more than 5,300 pounds of explosives. Measuring 20 feet long, the MOP is designed specifically to attack hardened concrete bunkers and tunnel facilities.

I wonder who is going to have the honor of being the first on the receiving end of this? The Brits have a special interest in this type of munitions development and want their cousins (the US)across the pond to remember that they were first in this matter:

Bomb spotters may care to note that the MOP won't be the heaviest conventional bomb ever made by the US. The 1940s era T-12, at almost 44,000 lb, was a substantially bigger brute. The T-12 was one of the final developments of the World War II Allies' "earthquake bomb" programmes, developed to knock out German V-weapon sites and U-boat pens.

Famed British bomb boffin Barnes Wallis, inventor of the dam-busting "bouncing bomb", was an early innovator, designing the "Tallboy" and "Grand Slam" penetrators.

I remember the bouncing bomb used to take out German dams. I had a model of a Lancaster bomber when I was a kid with that bomb in a special rack under the fuselage. There was a movie made in the 1950's about it, "The Dam Busters." After watching that movie my parents bought me the model.

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