What is the GBU-43 bomb, nicknamed the ‘mother of all bombs’, that US dropped on Afghanistan?
Commonly known as the Mother of all Bombs, the GBU-43 or the Massive OrdinanceAir Blast, is a large yield non-nuclear bomb. It had been developed by Air Force Research Laboratory’s Albert L. Weimorts for the United States Military. (Reuters)
The United States of America just dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan. The United States Military just confirmed the reports saying that it had just dropped a GBU-43 bomb in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. This was one of the attacks in the series of attacks against the Islamic state’s caves in the country’s mountainous regions. It must be noted that the bomb has only been tested before and never used in battlefield and is called the “Mother of all Bombs”
What is the GBU-43?
Commonly known as the Mother of all Bombs, the GBU-43 or the Massive OrdinanceAir Blast, is a large yield non-nuclear bomb. It had been developed by Air Force Research Laboratory’s Albert L. Weimorts for the United States Military. The bomb had been touted as the most destructive non-nuclear weapon ever devised. It had been specifically designed to deliver a payload of C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants. Although, some reports suggest that Russia had tested another bomb, which it had apparently claimed to be 4 times as powerful as the MOAB. The MOAB had been tested for the first time on March 11, 2003, in Florida, on Range 70 located at the Eglin Air Force Base. It had again been tested a few months later on November 21, 2003.
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According to its Wikipedia page, the only known production of the MOAB has been on 15 units at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in 2003 to support the USA in the Iraq War. Its basic concept does bear a little similarity to the BLU-82 Daisy Cutter, used heavily during the Vietnam War and later in Iraq as a psychological weapon against the Iraq Army during USA’s invasion of Iraq. Following the ‘psychological’ warfare, the MOAB was developed to continue the intimidation of Iraqi soldiers.
The Pentagon, according to certain reports had not been developed as a penetrator weapon but was intended for medium targets that covered huge areas, or in an unbreachable environment, such as caves or within a canyon. Although, multiple strikes of the MOAB can be done by using lower yield ordinance with the help of bombers such as the F-16, albeit with a much greater capability than the C-130 and the C-17.