USAF Getting More Penetrating Power

USAF Getting More Penetrating Power

Here’s a little gem that was tucked in the Pentagon’s contract announcement email last night: The Air Force just gave Boeing a $28 million cost-plus contract modification to deliver eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs, “16 separation nuts, eight MOP loading adapters, and an aft closure redesign.”

Remember, the Pentagon moved to accelerate the deployment of the bomb in late 2009, which was supposed to enter limited service sometime in 2010. The air service has been working to modify some B-2 stealth bombers to carry two of the 30,000-pound, GPS-guided bombs, each. The weapons are designed to penetrate up to 200 feet of reinforced concrete.

In 2009, the Air Force has planned to buy a total of 15 MOPs, five test weapons and ten operational bombs.

The Air Force is already looking for a more practical, (smaller) complement to the MOP; the service basically wants a 2,000-pound weapon that can match the GBU-28’s 5,000 pound penetrating power. Man, that phrase is loaded with innuendo. Happy Friday!

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Stupid engineering! What a total waste of money!

My personal, alternative suggestion, if not for the B-52, then for whatever heavy bomber succeeds it some century: Two new, extremely strong pylons under the “armpits” ( = close to the wing roots) that can carry 15 TONS EACH ! They would open up WHOLE NEW WORLDS for the U.S. Airforce, in terms of new conventional (or nuclear…) super-sized bombs, external fuel tanks and specialized pods, etc.! I haven’t the slightest doubt that once these special, ultra-strong pylons exist, all U.S. American ammunition factories would design something new for them, and even the Pentagon might remember a new use or two for them! On top of that, such pylons would even allow all new ammunitions to be designed and built without THE SLIGHTEST restrictions on external dimensions, like the B-52-launched X-15 rocket plane of 1959.


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Picture of what I mean:

Now imagine that this X-15 under the B-52 was something different, for example

1) a monster-sized earth-penetrating / bunker-penetrating GBU,

2) an anti-shipping cruise-missile (“Harpoon II ”) with a 5 tons warhead


3) a 1 meter wide, deep-diving torpedo with a 10 tons warhead instead…

ORGASM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You have serious issues. And I still didn’t read the whole thing.

Boeing’s KC-777 fast long range tanker/cargo/transport plane (concept) might be a good candidate for high capacity inboard pylons. Makes too much sense, is too easy and inexpensive, with far too much capability, so nobody will be seriously interested in that.


What good would ten copies of a bomb be? Are there only 5 Iranian deep nuclear storage bunkers? Could you plan on every one of the bombs being delivered?

It is more like five B-2s loaded with two each of these 30,000 bunker busters flying at 40,000 feet over iran , and sending ten nuclear noncompliant violation infraction notices via us airmail. — When we say no nukes we mean it!!

Good Evening Folks,

What good are them monsters?

Three went to Iraq in 2003, none used in combat. One was dropped for fun in the desert to see how big of a hole it would make ant the other two were sent back to the weapons storage magazine at Eglin AFB.

For those that haven’t heard Iran’s nuclear program is down and for right now at least out. It caught the Stuxnet Worm, really bad form seven lap tops. The Russians have recalled their control rods, the centrifuges are down and have been for awhile, Iran has an inventory of 1,500 kg. of very low grade, below industrial grade, U-238.

This is just pi**ing money away. Even if the USAF did acquire these bombs it is doubtful that from 40,000 ft they could hit any single country.

Byron Skinner

Wrong yet again Byron. The GBU-57 MOP was never used in combat.

“The department has been “working on technology that allows us to get at deeply buried, hardened targets” since 2004, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.”

“The MOP is being developed in three phases. Boeing successfully completed Phase I, Concept Refinement, of the MOP technology demonstration in May 2005.”

No MOP’s were ever near the vicinity of Iraq in 2003, as none existed at the time.

The MOP would be outfitted with a GPS-aided INS guidance kit, pretty much the same JDAM kit that you’ve already been proved wrong about how inaccurate they are.

Yup. Pyromania of the third degree.

Get back on your meds, skippy… just beacuse there’s a picture of Edward’s test buff doesn’t mean anything. Read the article.

Wait a minute, I think I just detected a gaffe in the main article:

“…modification to deliver eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs (…) the 30,000-pound, GPS-guided bombs, each…”

And 8 x times 30.000 pounds (13.608 kg) = 240.000 pounds (108.864 kg) ..

But the B-52’s maximum bomb payload is only 70.000 pounds (32.000 kg) !!! A B-52 loaded with 8 (eight) M.O.P.s can’t even get its nose wheel off the runway, not even its rim!

Mr. Reed: Into the defendant’s dock!

ffb — the MOP will be deployed (qty 2) from the B2 and not the B52 used for testing, never was intended for the 52 from the start. The MOP is a heavier yet smaller and more powerful replacement for the MOAB.

But Iran may have made its bunkers with a super-strong concrete.

“Iranian super-strong concrete might make it [MOP] almost useless before it reaches service.” http://​www​.wired​.com/​d​a​n​g​e​r​r​o​o​m​/​2​0​0​7​/​0​4​/​i​r​a​n​s​_​sup

To the poster “BOOMER”


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Thank you! The confusion is almost 100 % complete now, but believe me: I didn’t create it. Just check this:

1) You claim that (quote) “…the MOP will be deployed (qty 2) from the B2”

2) In fact, the main article says (quote) : “The air service has been working to modify some B-2 stealth bombers to carry two of the 30,000-pound, GPS-guided bombs, each…”

3) But the heavy bomber pictured above is a B-52 “Stratofortress”, which is manufactured by Boeing.

4) And the same main article also says: “The Air Force just gave Boeing a $28 million cost-plus contract modification to deliver eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs…”

Meaning that Boeing got the contract.


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5) But the Northrop Grumman B-2 “Spirit” stealth bomber is made by… (suspense) … Northrop Grumman, not by Boeing!

Sooo… are you saying that the U.S. Airforce is testing modified bomb rack assemblies “for the B-2 on B-52s” ?? Does that even sound sensible to you?


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However, you didn’t address my core objection: The impossible weight issue.

The article above says “…a $28 million cost-plus contract modification to deliver eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs…”.

As I already said above, that’s 240.000 pounds (108.864 kg).
But neither the B-52 nor the B-2 can carry that kind of bomb load! The B-52 can carry only 70.000 pounds (32.000 kg) and the B-2 carries even less than that, only 50.000 lb (23.000 kg) !

(Do you really think that the text above was well written…?)

ffb… Just stop it, please. Please?

The contract is for the purchase of those eight weapons and associated gear. It has nothing to do with carrying eight weapons at once.

I remember seeing a MOAB being test-dropped from a C-130, the video’s probably on youtube. Fighter radars and other electronics get flown on airliner testbeds. Testing is testing. Ignore it. Contractors other than the original manufacturer often get business upgrading weapon systems, there are examples all over. You obviously know how to dig for some information, you can find the rest. Have a good one.

To the poster “Trophy”


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You wrote: ” It has nothing to do with carrying eight weapons at once.”

Not explicitly, at least not in the case of the B-52s, but in the case of the B-2s the text clearly says (quote) : “The air service has been working to modify some B-2 stealth bombers to carry two of the 30,000-pound, GPS-guided bombs, each”.

2 x times 30.000 pounds = 60.000 pounds. But the B-2’s maximum bomb load is only 50.000 pounds… That’s almost a BLU-82 “Daisycutter” (15.000 pound / 6.800 kg) of a difference!


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I don’t understand either why you brought up the M.O.A.B.s . Big as they are, M.O.A.B.s, which weight only 22.600 lb (10.300 kg), explode ABOVE the ground, whereas M.O.P.s., which weigh 30.000 pounds (13.608 kg), explode deep UNDERGROUND (“bunker busters”).

Anyway: Shouldn’t the editor explain to us what he wrote, or should we vote on its meaning?

I’m not ‘Trophy.’

About the weight issue: You’re a pilot, correct? Let’s say you have some customers paying for a ride. They comprise two fat people, their fat dog, and their overstuffed luggage. When you total up the weights, you’re over your MTO. What do you leave behind? Passengers? Dog? Luggage? Pilot? Gas? The plane will carry whatever fits in the bomb bay without over-stressing the rack. And the B-2 has the option of filling up the tank once it’s airborne.

The MOAB was the predecessor of the MOP. I brought it up because it was also designed to be carried by heavy bombers, but was TESTED from a cargo plane. I assume the 412th Test Wing at Edwards used their B-52H for this TEST because their B-2 ( if they even had one available ) wasn’t configured to carry that weapon back in 2009 when that photo was taken. Ignore the photo!

@ FFB — B52’s have been used as airborne test beds for all kinds of aviation ordnance for a long time. They were used for airborne drop hapoon and tomahawk testing even though these missiles were deployed from fighters. The B2 can carry more than advertised — the current limit printed is due to the placement of the bomb racks and type of bombs they can carry in those racks, not because of the B2’s flight limitations. By the way — MOAB could detonate subterrain, it was tested airburst over the ocean to measure its force and energy. It was just too big to be feesable requiring the complete interior of a C130 to transport and drop.

To the poster “Altor”


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I’m an architect (now less often than formely, because of this Great Recession which was caused originally precisely by… the housing slump), so I work(ed) a lot together with civil contruction engineers. After reading the article enclosed in your link, I asked an engineer what he thought how the hardest concrete on Earth could possibly be made. Just the cement part, of course, not the rebars. In his opinion you would have to make BOTH the cement AND the aggregate ( = all grain sizes, from dust to sand to gravel and monolithic blocks) EXCLUSIVELY from a rare rock called gneiss (sort of a “super granite”), but he says this has probably never been done.


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In your article there was also a phrase that says: “…but even a bunker roof made of 60,000 psi concrete can be chipped away at until it finally fails to protect what’s underneath.”

This effect of explosions on targets is called “spalling”. It happens only with hard and simultaneously non-elastic materials like rock, concrete, even steel (think of how H.E.S.H. warheads destroy tanks). However my friend, the civil engineer, said you can almost eliminate spalling inside tunnels and bunkers by

1) using no plaster, or at least by using only concrete plaster,


2) by embedding lots of FINE rebar grids — he said even WIRE MESHES ! — in the inner surface of the bunker ceiling, to prevent any bits from breaking loose.

…annnnd I have to walk one part back, a little. MOAB was a replacement for the BLU-82, and apparently always intended for the C-130 like the daisycutter was. I must have conflated the info with early reports I heard about the MOP.

Ha. So you still don’t seem to grasp how a guided bomb, especially GPS/INS, works do you?

Like Trophy said, you claim we sent three MOP bombs to Iraq in ’03 before they even existed yet? I assume you mean the GBU-43/B, of which a SINGLE bomb was moved into area and never deployed in April of 2003.

To the fellow pilot “mike j”

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You wrote: “When you total up the weights, you’re over your MTO.”

Nice catch question: As you know, it’s M.T.O.W. (“maximum take-off weight”), not “M.T.O.” .


You wrote: “What do you leave behind? Passengers? Dog? Luggage? Pilot? Gas?”

As you (also) know, that depends exclusively on the runway length. If you’re above M.T.O.W. (just slightly, of course…), you need to accelerate longer. I’ve done it frequently, and, as you see, I’m still here, so it can be done.


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You wrote: “The plane will carry whatever fits in the bomb bay without over-stressing the rack”

Aren’t you forgetting something? Maybe a greatER weight due to g-forces during turbulences (“air holes”) and abrupt maneuvres?


You wrote: “I brought it up because it was also designed to be carried by heavy bombers, but was TESTED from a cargo plane.”

Good point. But…


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…since the B-2 “Spirit” has no wing pylons ( = no external armament), it will have to accomodate that “pair” of new 30.000-pound– (13.608 kg-) –M.O.P.s inside its relatively shallow bomb bays. However, great weight implies great dimensions, and so far the biggest bombs which the B-2s could carry were the nuclear B83 bombs, at 2.400 pounds (1.100 kg) just slightly heavier than regular J.D.A.M.s… I’m talking about a factor 12,5 x here. So, testing M.O.P.s for the B-2 “Spirit” inside spacious B-52 bomb bays is like determining the maximum cargo dimensions for a C-130 “Hercules” with a C-5 “Galaxy”.

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Text excerpt: “16 separation nuts, eight MOP loading adapters, and an aft closure redesign” aren’t (quote from you) “all kinds of aviation ordnance”, and I do know the difference. This isn’t about testing the ammunition, this is about developing a suitable rack for it. The only question is: In which bomber?

I’m slightly surprised that apparently there are no military plans to drop these super-heavy bombs directly from the more spacious and stronger B-52 bombers! It seems they are to be used only by the STEALTHY B-2 “Spirit” bombers, which means they’re to be used during a sneak attack!


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But what kind of underground targets (speak: Bunkers) need to be destroyed before anything else, for example EVEN BEFORE the dangerous SAM sites and their radars, etc.? Command posts? And are there really only so few targets of this class in all hostile countries that the U.S. Airforce needs only (quote) “ten operational” M.O.P.s??


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(Tip: Tunnels and bunkers — even natural caves — are normally vast, labyrinthic networks. Even the “destruction” of Tora Bora may require AT LEAST a few dozen M.O.P.s, with no absolute guarantees of success… And frankly: What kind of MEGA-IDIOT digs his bunkers only ~ 100 meters deep, when all sorts of aggressor nations from “israel” to North Korea to the U.S.A. themselves etc. frequently hint at the use of tactical nukes??).


Say you have 100 kilos of feathers, and 100 kilos of lead. Which takes up more space?

The MOP is a penetrator, so it has to be dense. You either have to increase mass or velocity to get the required performance against buried structures. The MOP weighs more than the 30ft long MOAB, is 9.5 feet shorter and contains less explosive. I’m just going to take for granted that the Air Force understands the load and G limits of their aircraft. There’s a photo on the Whiteman AFB website of a MOP mock up hanging in the B-2 weapons load trainer. Those bomb bays are deep enough to stand up inside with the doors closed.

What is the point of this, anyway? I’m just not seeing any inconsistency, which I’m generally a stickler about, including for myself ( see above ).

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Stupid Idea! What a total waste of Comment space!

Seriously FFB is this the first time youve ever been on a news site..??? NEWS FLASH news sites use stock and generic photos for articles when they dont have actual photos of whats being disgussed.. Quit tryin to nit pick every stupid little detail.. especially when everyone else on here seemed to gather what this article was talking about but you.. maybe if you put as much effort into actually reading the articles instead as you do looking at pictures and nit picking .. maybe you wouldnt be such a huge tool.. just sayin!! furthermore putting your comments in pointless parts just reinforces the fact ur a tool…

So another $28 million of US Tax dollars is flushed down the Military toilet.. Way to go you morons.

The US Military is by far the biggest Guns and Bullets toilet on Planet earth . Yet is could not defeat the Viet-com , or the rag head sandal wearing Afghans or the Muslim Iraqi’s. What a world joke we are.

Saw an article a long time ago about since the Russians were going broke on their radar defenses,so they asked the US to help them out, so we did. Stretched a B-52 to have 5 sets of wings and bomb bays, took up the whole radar screen, dropped bombs and more bombs…and everybody was happy again. Thought it was funny but then what if the whole radar screen was a target? Back a long time ago, when I operated/ worked on radars, I couldn’t get a lock one time because the target flew too close. Had to wait til he flew down the other side, then i locked up. So it’s doable I think. Crazy but doable.

The Vietcong were defeated after the Tet Offensive and were no longer a factor in the war. Try to get your information other than the liberal news media. After the Tet Offensive the North Vietnamese Regular Army took over the war. As far as Afgan or Iraqu. We cold of blown them back to the Stone Age but in Washington today we have lawyers sitting behind desks writing Rules of Engagement which ties our troops hands and put their lives in danger. You think that the Terrorist have ROE’s? Bunch of dam bleeding heart liberals in Washington making a mockery of our goals as a Nation to survive

I would not even try to make a guess as to the actual point of the original poster. However I believe that there is a good point hidden in all that hate: for all the air sorties flown in Vietnam and for all the ordinance dropped we still came out on the wrong side of the war.

Sometimes have the biggest stick just makes you tired from having to carry it with you everywhere you go.

Good Evening Folks,

Hi ffb. You present good arguments, but so what this weapon is just utterly useless. If any future foe did decide to move any activity underground, which is very unlikely for tactical reasons, you can’t relocate it, they would certainly find a facility beyond the reach of any of these firecrackers.

While it is not unheard of for manufacturing, communications or command functions to be moved underground it is usually after a war is lost and as a last ditch effort.

The idea of blowing any country back to the stone age is just a long held fantasy of air power advocates. In all BDA after war it has been shown that air power is the second least effective form of warfare after Naval off shore gunnery.

The UAV’s may chance that with the ability to come in at 1,000 to 1,500 feet and release their ordinance, and I’m sure a hand full of Viper Strikes could do much more damage the one of the puppies, it still has to be seen if the UAV can live up to it’s promise.

Just more ways to spend money needlessly.

Byron Skinner

Get thousands of these made and level out the middle east.…..

Ten copies are good making sure you can take out the “hardest” (200 feet of reinforced concrete) targets of which there are very few of & of which even of the few there are you will only ever need to deal with a number of at any time.

YES, you can plan on every one of the bombs being delivered.

It doesn’t say anything about the B-52 anywhere in the article. The MOP is intended for the B-2, not the B-52. This is a cost-plus contract modification for BOEING to deliver 16 MOPs to the USAF.

@ Galactic cannibal The US military won every battle in NAM The only reason we “lost” is the Libs in Congress and Walter Crotchtite and the left wing media undermined the war effort… .. Just like they did in the Iraq war..

It ain’t over yet skippy..

If the US airforce needs penatrating power they should just buy Extenze in bulk.

Well the US didn’t win every battle — that is a myth — and it lost the war.

But apart from that we won.

When you lose a war and then are too stupid to realize it — that doesn’t make you a winner it just makes you a stupid two times loser.

The MOAB is purely a PR device it will never be used in combat because it has no real use. The should fill it full of sparklers and colored paint to optimize it.

never say never. and as for why do we need something like this capability? maybe because of the need to take out world leaders and staff held up in bunkers, or because of countries building nuclear plants and weapons facilities inside of mountains, pr the ability to explode oil wells bebeath the surface where they cant be capped off very easily or to take out power grids or gas lines running underground, how about missiles and aircraft stored inside hardened bunkers.…. Personaly I think I could find a use for one or two in combat, but I just like to blow the heck out of stuff to start with.

Iranian nuclear production facility killer. .….

We already have tactical/battlefield nuclear weapons designed and tested for that purpose. Some of our tactical nucs have less explosive power as measured in kilotons than the two top conventional bombs already in the inventory. Our tactical ‘dial a bombs’ are yield selectable for that exact reason.

Unfortuantely, the world would go stupid at the use of even the smallest nuc even if it posed no significant radiation or other hazard which would be the case with properly deployed underground detonations. Cetainlly the judicious use of small battlefield weapons would make the middle east trouble makers reevaluate their position, especially Iran, whom this is intended for.

Byron with more BS:
“I’m sure a hand full of Viper Strikes could do much more damage the one of the puppies”

Who do you think you’re fooling, Bryon? Your lies may work on people completely ignorant about the military. But this is DOD Buzz, and pretty much anybody visiting this blog already has an interest and familiarity with the subject area.

MOP = 30,000 lb. bomb with 5,000 lbs. of explosives, designed to cut straight through solid rock/concrete
Viper Strike = 44 lb. bomb with 2.3 lbs. of explosives, designed for low collateral damage

Just cut the crap, Byron. He only posted this because Viper Strike was made for tiny UAVs, the only form of air power that he seems to approve of.

Good Evening Folks,

Yes the Viper Strike has only a 2.4 lb. war head but it’s kill more of the enemy they all these monsters put together. After all fire power is weapons killing the enemy.

As for UAV’s well the are the only fixed wing war plane flying that is killing the enemy.

Byron Skinner

Of course the MOP hasn’t killed anyone…it isn’t in service yet. What a brainless non-argument. As usual, Byron does his best to dodge reality and gloss over rebuttals of his BS.

“As for UAV’s well the are the only fixed wing war plane flying that is killing the enemy.”

I’m sure that’s the case…in your parallel universe where the USAF flies billion-dollar B-2 bombers all the way to Libya just to drop dozens of JDAMs on empty desert.

Not a word about using this on the North Korean Dictators bunker; he hides every time he shoots at the border stations and ships and radar sites and and and. This bomb could take out a missle in its bunker. The Pakistan issue is degrading and anything could happen there and we would be late to do anything; we’ve become reactionary instead of taking it to them first. The idea of telling those troops you’ve put in harms way to not fire first only cost;s us lives. Be the first on your block to to survive. Forget collateral damage, there would be no proof it took anybody out there would be little more than a stain on the clouds and there would be blood raining down on the coast of Africa. I like the idea, bigger is better alway’s if the politicians would stay out of the mix. TAKE PICS

That’s “ordnance”. They’re not dropping rules or statutes on anyone!

Chopping Block, shopping list: JSF, F-22, Next Gen Bomber. These three platforms alone would pay off the National Debit in Savings. This is not hard.

The entire Pentagon budget is less than the *interest* on the Debt


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