Tags: pentagon | bunker | buster | bomb

Pentagon Upgrades 'Bunker Buster' Bomb

Image: Pentagon Upgrades 'Bunker Buster' Bomb

Friday, 03 May 2013 01:02 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

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The Pentagon has redesigned its 15-ton "bunker buster" bomb to ensure that it can destroy Iran's most heavily fortified nuclear site from the air, a new report says.

The improvements are meant to assure Israel that the United States is capable of evading Iran’s air defenses in order to reach the Fordow underground nuclear enrichment complex, claims the Wall Street Journal.

American officials, seeking to demonstrate U.S. capabilities, recently showed Israeli military and civilian leaders a secret Air Force video of an earlier version of the bomb hitting its target in high-altitude testing, and explained what had been done to improve it, the Journal reported.

In the video, the weapon can be seen penetrating the ground within inches of its target, followed by a large underground detonation.

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The newest version of what is the Pentagon’s largest conventional bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, has adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision, and added high-tech equipment making it capable of reaching and destroying the Fordow facility, which is buried under a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom.

The MOP would be even more effective against North Korea – where bunkers are not as heavily fortified as Iran’s. The North is among the most tunneled nations in the world, Michaela Dodge, research associate for strategic issues at the Heritage Foundation, tells Newsmax.

"The bomb is designed to take out deeply buried nuclear targets, but there are other examples like command-and-control centers where leadership would go if they wanted to hide themselves," Dodge said.

In March, Pentagon officials spoke publicly about the bombs, which were produced by Boeing and designed to fit exclusively with the B-2 and B-52 bombers, according to Fox News.

"It gives us a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction that are located in well-protected underground facilities … to a magnitude far greater than we have now," Pentagon Spokesman Capt. John Kirby said at the time.

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