U.S. Air Force takes delivery of 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has acquired a massive bomb designed
to destroy underground nuclear facilities in Iran.

The U.S. Massive Ordnance Penetrator is offloaded in preparation for its first explosive test in 2007.

Officials said the U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of a new bomb meant to penetrate and destroy underground facilities. They said the Air Force first received the Massive Ordnance Penetrator in September under a $32 million contract issued by the Defense Department to Boeing.

MOP, which weighs 30,000 pounds, has been described as the most powerful airborne bomb in the U.S. arsenal. Under the contract issued in August, Boeing was assigned to produce eight MOPs.

U.S. Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Jack Miller said MOP, with more than 2.5 tons of explosives, would be used for “operational needs.” Miller did not elaborate.

The Pentagon said MOP was ten times more powerful than the BLU-109, sold to Israel and the United Arab Emirates. MOP was designed to penetrate 200 feet, or more than 60 meters, of concrete before detonation.

Over the last five years, Iran was believed to have moved its nuclear
weapons arsenal in underground facilities. One was identified as Fordow,
located in a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom.

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