Recently the Pentagon has revived speculation about an advanced "bunker buster" bomb. The original "mother of all bombs" was tested back in 2003, supposedly as a threat to Saddam Hussein's underground bunkers. This new version is said to be 10 times more powerful than the original version. Many view this announcement by the Pentagon as a move directed at Iran and North Korea. I see this announcement simply as a ploy directed at those two countries and not as a real threat. I do not feel the current administration will use such a weapon against Iran and certainly not against North Korea. The news of this massive "bunker buster" will fall on deaf ears in Tehran as we've not followed through with any of our previous threats. Sabre rattling will never work unless the sword is occasionally removed from its sheath.
Reuters reported today, “Pentagon eyes accelerated "bunker buster" bomb,” that the USAF was rushing development of a new bunker buster bomb, the 30,000 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It is a warning to both Iran and North Korea that the US had the conventional capability to hit reinforced nuclear facilities in both countries. An earlier version of the MOP, the 21,000 pound GBU 43 dubbed ‘the mother of all bombs’ had been successfully tested by the USAF 53rd Air Weapons Evaluation Group at the Tyndall Air Base range in Florida’s Panhandle in 2003. The precision-guided MOP could penetrate underground structures to a depth of 200 feet. Air Force spokespersons indicated the MOP could be available by mid-2010 pending Congressional authorization. The mammoth weapon could be delivered by either the aging fleet of B-52’s based in Diego Riviera in the Indian Ocean or by the B-2 Stealth bombers from bases in the US. As Secretary Gates was in Israel last week speaking with Israeli security officials and PM Netanyahu, perhaps those sessions prompted this Reuters report to show that the US was serious about playing a possible military option card in the media war against both Iran and North Korea. This comes on the heels of a London Times report this weekend that Iran has the capability of assembling a nuclear bomb, awaiting a decision from Supreme Ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei. Earlier in 2005 Israel had ordered delivery from the Pentagon of upwards of 100 5,300 pound laser-guided GBU-28’s for possible missions against Iranian nuclear facilities targets with its front-line F-15b’s. read more