1. What’s in a name?
The weapon’s official designation is: Guided Bomb Unit, Massive Ordnance Air Blast. The acronym MOAB has also been rendered as the “Mother Of All Bombs.” The name is likely a reference to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s threat of the “mother of all battles” over Kuwait in 1991.
2. 14 years old and Vietnam-era Daisy Cutter’s daughter
The weapon was first tested in March 2003, just before the US invasion of Iraq. The MOAB is descended from the BLU-82B ‘Daisy Cutter,’ a Vietnam-era bomb that weighed 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) and was used to clear jungle and desert minefields. The weapon was used with devastating effect against Iraqi troops in 1991. The last of the 225 BLU-82s were expended by 2008 and officially replaced by the MOAB.
3. It is HUGE!
The GBU-43/B MOAB is the “monster truck of American ordnance,” wrote self-described ‘war nerd’ columnist Gary Brecher in 2003. The MOAB weighs about 22,000 pounds, or just over 10,000 kg, and is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal.
It is packed with H6 explosive, which is about 1.35 times more powerful than pure TNT for a 11-ton yield over a 1-mile (1.6 km) radius. The bomb itself is 30 feet long (almost 10 meters) and 40 inches (over 1 meter) in diameter and can only be dropped from specially modified C-130 transport planes.
4. It is scary
The MOAB’s function is primarily “shock and awe”: it is an air-burst weapon, creating pressure intended to collapse tunnels or bunkers and obliterate any enemy personnel caught in the blast radius.
5. It is expensive, costing $16 million apiece
The MOAB was built by the Alabama-based company Dynetics. The Pentagon has commissioned only 20 bombs, at a cost of $16 million apiece. The entire program cost about $314 million.
6. And, there’s a Russian daddy
After the US tested the MOAB in 2003, Russia developed its own thermobaric weapon, nicknamed the “Father of All Bombs” and tested it in 2007. Very little is known about this weapon, but the Russian military says it is four times more powerful and has twice the blast radius of the American mega-bomb.
more recommended stories
United States imposes more sanctions on Russian ‘military complex’
The United States has imposed new.
Zimbabwean Hospital offers to pay the bill for patient embarrassed by Dr Ramathuba
Arundel Hospital operations manager Mr. Chitsato,.
Several wounded in eastern Afghanistan mosque blast
A doctor says three killed and.
At least 23 people have died after a strong earthquake hit Pakistan
A powerful earthquake collapsed at least.
Taliban asks to address world leaders at UN assembly
The Taliban have requested an opportunity.
The Taliban’s co-founder has arrived in Kabul for government talks
Mullah Baradar is in discussions with.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in United Arab Emirates
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has taken.
Culture of violence; can Cyril Ramaphosa cure South Africa?
Seeking to suppress the use of.