The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) or GBU-57 — the world's largest conventional bomb — has just got a lot more lethal. The new upgrades to the bomb have enhanced its ability to deliver heavier payload and penetrate concrete substructures more effectively.
The MOP weighs 30,000 pounds and is heavier than an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, notes a report by Popular Mechanics (PM). It, however, holds only 6,000 pounds of explosives. It was originally designed to take down concrete buildings and underground bunkers, hence the moniker "bunker buster". The bomb is cased in a structure that is 20 feet long and has a diameter of 31.5 inches.
The bomb's steel casing can reportedly penetrate up to 200 feet of concrete exerting a force of 5,000 pounds per square inch (PSI).
The MOP is reported to be larger and more powerful than the American "Mother of all bombs" (MOAB) and the Russian "Father of all bombs"(FOAB). Both these bombs serve a similar purpose, but they are both dwarfed by the MOP. Both the MOAB and the FOAB were dropped in the war against Isis last year. At that time, the FOAB was reported to be the largest "droppable" non-nuclear bomb in military history. It was touted to be four times more powerful than MOAB.
The MOAB is reported to weigh 21,000 pounds, including an 18,700-pound warhead made of M6.
The MOP, according to the report, is designed specifically to attack underground command structures like the ones found in North Korea and Iran. Both countries are able to effectively hide their nuclear activity and keep all their bases hidden underground, notes the report. A bomb like the MOP could be used to destroy such facilitates or disable them as needed.
The B-2 Spirit bombers can deliver two MOPs at a time, the report says. Once dropped, the bomb has onboard GPS and a pair of fins that guide it to its target. The report mentions that an "airplane spotter" in Missouri saw such a practice exercise with B-2s against mock North Korean styled bunkers.
In an email exchange between Bloomberg and the USAF, as reported by PM, it was mentioned that the bomb's upgrades could have increased the 200-foot penetration capability and explosive capacity.