‘Mother of All Bombs’ (MOAB): To deny “operational space” to the ISIS, the US dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb, GBU-43, on a series of caves in eastern Afghanistan used by the terrorist organisation.
This is the first incident wherein the bomb has been used in a conflict. It was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan.
The fresh strike comes just a week after 59 US missiles targeted a Syrian air base in response to a chemical attack against civilians by the Assad regime.
Here is what we know of the bomb:
1. The GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb is nicknamed MOAB. MOAB also stands for the “mother of all bombs”.
2. The bomb is a weapon that justifies the use of the word ‘terrifying’ to describe its power and marks a deadly ramping up of the US’s military initiative abroad.
3. It is about 20 feet long and designed to burrow through 200 feet of earth and 60 feet of concrete before detonating. This makes it the mother of ‘bunker busters’.
4. It is a 21,600 pound, GPS guided munition that is the US’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.
5. It is is designed to cause maximum damage to bunkers, tunnels and other areas that can typically withstand even large standard bombs or artillery strikes.
6. Deployed from as high as 20,000 feet, the MOAB races to the ground at supersonic speed before slamming its way toward a hardened target through defenses such as rock, concrete, and steel plates. The 11 tons of explosive then burst about six feet above the ground.
7. It can kill people within several hundred metres of the point of detonation, and cause lung damage and other injuries over an even wider area.
8. The bomb was developed by Albert Weimorts of the United States military.
9.It was first tested in March 2003, just days before the start of the Iraq war. The US had an intent to use the MOAB as an anti-personnel weapon, as part of the “shock and awe” strategy, integral to invasion of Iraq.
11. The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules.
12. Since the MOAB’s creation, Russia has tested its “Father of All Bombs”, which is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB. Read More…