Saturday 25 November 2017

US Air Force has world's largest bunker buster bomb 'ready to go'

Peter Foster in Washington

THE United States Air Force's 30,000lb bunker buster -- the world's largest conventional bomb, which could be critical for striking heavily fortified Iranian nuclear facilities -- is "ready to go".

Michael Donley, the US Air Force secretary, said the bomb would be available "if it needs to go today".

The endorsement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) comes after concerns were raised that the weapon still needed development if it was to be effective against Iran's deepest installations.

"We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing," Mr Donley said. "We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today."

In February, Congress agreed to an "urgent" Pentagon request to divert $81.6m (€66.3m) into improvements for the 14-tonne MOP.

The 20ft-long weapon, which would be delivered by the B-2 stealth bomber, is the critical piece of military hardware that underwrites American assurances to Israel that it will neutralise Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomacy and sanctions fail. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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