GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb
|GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast|
|Place of origin||United States|
|In service||Since 2003|
|Used by||United States Air Force, Royal Air Force|
|Designer||Air Force Research Laboratory|
|Manufacturer||McAlester Army Ammunition Plant|
|Weight||22,600 pounds (10.3 tonnes)|
|Length||30 ft, 1.75 inches (9.17 m)|
|Diameter||40.5 in (103 cm)|
|Filling||H-6 or tritonal plus fuel cocktail mix.|
|Filling weight||18,700 pounds (8.5 tonnes)|
|Blast yield||11 tons|
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Burst (MOAB pronounced //, commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs) is a large-yield thermobaric (non-nuclear) bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory. At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed. The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants.
Operational history 
It was first tested with the explosive tritonal on 11 March 2003, on Range 70 located at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It was again tested on 21 November 2003. Aside from two test articles, the only known production is of 15 units at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in 2003 in support of the Iraq War. A single MOAB was moved to the Persian Gulf area in April 2003 but it was never used. Since none of those are known to have been used as of early 2007, the U.S. inventory of GBU-43/B presumably remains at approximately 15.
The basic operational concept bears some similarity to the BLU-82 Daisy Cutter, which was used to clear heavily wooded areas in the Vietnam War and in Iraq to clear mines and later as a psychological weapon against the Iraqi military. After witnessing the psychological impact of the BLU-82 on enemy soldiers, and not having any BLU-82 weapons remaining, the MOAB was developed partly to continue the role of intimidating the Iraqi soldiers. Pentagon officials had suggested their intention to use MOAB as an anti-personnel weapon, as part of the "shock and awe" strategy integral to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The MOAB is not a penetrator weapon and is primarily intended for soft to medium surface targets covering extended areas and targets in a contained environment such as a deep canyon or within a cave system. However, multiple strikes with lower yield ordnance may be more effective and can be delivered by fighter/bombers such as the F-16 with greater stand-off capability than the C-130 and C-17. High altitude carpet-bombing with much smaller 500 to 2,000 pound bombs delivered via heavy bombers such as the B-52 or B-2 is also highly effective at covering large areas.
See also 
In popular culture 
- The GBU-43/B Massive Ordanance Air Blast bomb is widely believed to be the specific weapon type used in the Hammer Down protocol scene in the film Cloverfield.  
- The GBU-43/B Massive Ordanance Air Blast bomb may have used in the Hammer Down protocol scene in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as the use of the Hammer Down protocol in the game was intended as a reference to Cloverfield.
- Times Wire Services (27 December 2005). "Albert L. Weimorts Jr. 67; Engineer Created 'Bunker Buster' Bombs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- GBU-43/B / "Mother Of All Bombs" / Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb
- Luke Harding (12 September 2007). "Russia unveils the 'father of all bombs'". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
- MOAB bomb moved to Iraq war region
- "Enter Moab". National Review Online. 2003. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "United States Military Weapons of War". about.com. 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
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