Massive Ordnance Penetrator
|GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator|
GBU-57 MOP prototype
|Type||"Bunker buster" bomb|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States Air Force|
|Weight||30,000 pounds (14,000 kg)|
|Length||20.5 feet (6.2 m)|
|Diameter||31.5 inches (0.80 m)|
The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) GBU-57A/B is a U.S. Air Force, precision-guided, 30,000-pound (13,608 kg) "bunker buster" bomb. This is substantially larger than the deepest penetrating bunker busters previously available, the 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) GBU-28 and GBU-37.
In 2002, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were working on the development of a 30,000-lb (13,600 kg) earth-penetrating weapon, said to be known as "Big BLU". But funding and technical difficulties resulted in the development work being abandoned. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysis of sites that had been targeted with bunker-buster bombs revealed poor penetration and inadequate levels of destruction. This renewed interest in the development of a super-large bunker-buster, and the MOP project was initiated by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to fulfill a long-standing Air Force requirement.
The U.S. Air Force has not officially recognized specific military requirement for an ultra-large bomb, but it does have a concept for a collection of massively sized penetrator and blast weapons, the so-called "Big BLU" collection, which includes the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) bomb. Development of the MOP is now underway at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Design and testing work is also being performed by Boeing. It is intended that the bomb will be deployed on the B-2 bomber, and will be guided by the use of GPS.
On 6 October 2009, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had requested and obtained permission from the U.S. Congress to shift funding in order to accelerate the project. It was later announced by the U.S. military that "funding delays and enhancements to the planned test schedule" meant the bomb would not be deployable until December 2010, six months later than the original availability date.
The Air Force took delivery of 20 bombs, designed to be delivered by the B-2 bomber, in September 2011. In February 2012, Congress approved $81.6 million to further develop and improve the weapon.
On 7 April 2011, the USAF ordered eight MOPs plus supporting equipment for $28 million.
On 14 November 2011, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force Global Strike Command started receiving the Massive Ordnance Penetrator and that the deliveries "will meet requirements for the current operational need". The Air Force now has received delivery of 16 MOPs as of November 2011. And as of March 2012, there is an "operational stockpile" at Whiteman Air Force Base.
In 2012, the Pentagon requested $82 million to develop greater penetration power for the existing weapon. A 2013 report stated that the development had been a success, and B-2 integration testing began that year.
MOP underground at White Sands Missile Range before its first explosive test, 2007.
Mock up of MOP inside a bomb bay of a B-2 simulator, 2007.
Next-generation Penetrator Munition
On 25 June 2010, USAF Lt. Gen. Phillip Breedlove said that the Next-generation Penetrator Munition should be about a third the size of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator so it could be carried by affordable aircraft. In December 2010, the USAF had a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Next Generation Penetrator (NGP).
Global Strike Command has indicated that one of the objectives for the Next-Generation Bomber is for it to carry a weapon with the effects of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This would either be with the same weapon or a smaller weapon that uses rocket power to reach sufficient speed to match the penetrating power of the larger weapon.
One of the current limitations of the MOP is that it lacks a void-sensing fuze and will therefore detonate after it has come to a stop, even if it passed by the target area.
- Length: 20.5 feet (6.2 m)
- Diameter: 31.5 inches (0.8 m)
- Weight: 30,000 pounds (14 tonnes)
- Warhead: 5,300 pounds (2.4 tonnes) high explosive
- Penetration: 200 ft (61 m)
- Specific large bombs
- BLU-82 Daisy Cutter bomb
- Father of All Bombs (FOAB)
- GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB)
- Grand Slam bomb
- T-12 Cloudmaker
- Tallboy bomb
- "Pentagon Seeks Mightier Bomb vs. Iran". The Wall Street Journal, JANUARY 28, 2012.
- B-2/Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) GBU-57A/B. FedBizOpps
- "MASSIVE ORDNANCE PENETRATOR fact sheet". US Air Force. 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) / Direct Strike Hard Target Weapon / Big BLU
- Military & Aerospace Electronics, "Air Force ready to deploy 30,000-pound 'super bomb' on stealthy B-2 jet"
- Feature—30,000-pound bomb reaches milestone. US Air Force
- Northrop Grumman Begins Work to Equip B-2 Bomber with Massive Penetrator Weapon (NYSE:NOC)
- Is the U.S. Preparing to bomb Iran? - ABC News
- Wolf, Jim (18 December 2009). "Exclusive: Pentagon delays new "bunker buster" bomb". Reuters.
- Team Edwards wins two safety awards
- Capaccio, Tony, "Bunker-Buster Bomb Improvements Sought By Pentagon Win Approval", Bloomberg L.P., 9 February 2012.
- Reed, John. "USAF Getting More Penetrating Power." DoD Buzz, 8 April 2011.
- Capaccio, Tony. "30,000-Pound Bunker Buster Bomb Now Ready". Bloomberg, 14 November 2011.
- "The Air Force now has the MOP".
- Thompson, Mark. "Key Point: Bunker-Busters Come In Both Small and Large Sizes". Time. March 9, 2012.
- Capaccio, Tony (January 15, 2013). "Boeing’s 30,000-pound bunker-buster bomb improved, Pentagon says". Seattle Times. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "Northrop, USAF Explore Diverse B-2 Weapons Options."
- Daily Report AirForce Magazine, 25 June 25, 2010.
- "Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) - Next Generation Penetrator (NGP)"
- Trimble, Stephen. "Penetrate faster, harder with new AFRL weapon." Flightglobal, 20 February 2011.
- "USAF Focuses On Next-Gen Hard-Target Killer."
- Massive Ordnance Penetrator Fact Sheet
- Massive Ordnance Penetrator Fact Sheet—dtra.mil
- First Massive Ordnance Penetrator Explosive Test Successful—dtra.mil
- Boeing-Developed Massive Ordnance Penetrator Successfully Completes Static Lethality Test—Boeing
- 'Bunker busters' may grow to 30,000 pounds—CNN
- Massive bomb to MOP up deeply buried targets—Jane's Defence Weekly
- A different kind of smart: weapons becoming autonomous and precise—Jane's
- Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)—GlobalSecurity.org
- U.S. Outfitting B-2's with Monster Bunker Buster Bombs - Iran May Be Target—NewsMax
- MOPping Up: The USA's 30,000 Pound Bomb
- Kennedy-Feinstein Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill on the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP)