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Penetrator bomb slides under radar (Massive Ordnance Penetrator - MOP)
tmcnet.com ^ | 5/6/2006 | Mladen Rudman

Posted on 05/06/2006 11:10:54 AM PDT by Dark Skies

They're sibling bombs, each weighing three or more times than a Hummer H2, born of engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate and defense contractors.

The 30,000-pound MOP -- Massive Ordnance Penetrator -- is growing up outside the media spotlight. That's in contrast to its older brother the MOAB -- the 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- even though there's tension between America and Iran.

MOAB was dubbed Mother of All Bombs and played to the hilt by the Defense Department as part of a psychological warfare operation against Saddam Hussein in March 2003. The glide bomb was test dropped at Eglin eight days before the Iraq war officially started.

MOP has been so neglected by the media and the Office of the Secretary of Defense -- despite it being the kind of weapon that could be used against deeply buried targets such as uranium enrichment facilities in Iran -- that it has no publicly announced nickname.

Still, the people designing the weapon hope to start dropping the first of five MOPs from a B-52 in mid-2007 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

"Our goal is to demonstrate the upper limit of conventional weapons to defeat hard targets," said Robert Hastie of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. "We have the same problems that they had during World War II when they developed the Grand Slam and Tallboy bombs."

Among the challenges is building a case that would permit MOP to burrow far into the ground, rock or concrete before detonating. The big bomb would be used to collapse tunnels or destroy bunkers, for example. How deeply DTRA wants MOP to penetrate hasn't been released.

The glide bomb -- it's steered by unique fins and guided by GPS receivers -- will be about 20 feet long and 30 inches in diameter.

Hastie said the MOP prototypes are designed to demonstrate technologies that could eventually be used in war-ready penetrators.

DTRA is paying the $11.5 million MOP tab, but the Munitions Directorate is managing the contract.

Though it helps that the Eglin Air Force Base directorate also handled MOAB, the two bombs are very different, said Sandy Davis, the directorate's MOP program manager, and Fred Davis (no relation to Sandy), the directorate's Assessment and Demonstrations Division technical director.

Unlike MOAB, which was designed to explode close to the ground to destroy concentrations of troops or equipment, MOP has to be right on target and traveling fast to do the job, he said. The penetrator will exceed the speed of sound while it's plunging.

Demands on the bomb's performance are stringent.

Not only does the weapon have to be accurate, it has to stay intact during its high-impact, high-speed burrow through ground, hillsides, mountainsides or feet of reinforced concrete.

Every component of the 15-ton bomb has to work right, said MOP program manager Davis. No one part of MOP is more important than the other.

"All of the components are crucial," Davis continued. "It doesn't do any good to have a hard nose (for penetration) if the fuse doesn't work."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bomb; iran; mop; penetrator
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Here's what GlobalSecurity.com has to say about the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)


1 posted on 05/06/2006 11:10:57 AM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies

The need to call it the BMFB...and I won't go into the details of the acronym.


2 posted on 05/06/2006 11:14:01 AM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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To: All
Not sure what the following is supposed to mean. Looks like the author inadvertantlt dropped a portion of a sentence...

That's in contrast to its older brother the MOAB -- the 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- even though there's tension between America and Iran.

3 posted on 05/06/2006 11:14:11 AM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies

Can we make contributions so our names as sponsors can be on the first one that hits Iran?


4 posted on 05/06/2006 11:16:47 AM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: Dark Skies

"Not only does the weapon have to be accurate, it has to stay intact during its high-impact, high-speed burrow through ground, hillsides, mountainsides or feet of reinforced concrete.
"


===

Sounds about right to be used to hit Iran's underground nuclear facilities.


5 posted on 05/06/2006 11:18:49 AM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: JRios1968
Heh heh heh, I'm not sure it would fly as a public governmental acronym. None the less, it's my favorite.
6 posted on 05/06/2006 11:19:18 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (The United 'Door Mats' of America! Go ahead, scrape your feet on it. Everyone else is.)
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To: Dark Skies
Moab
7 posted on 05/06/2006 11:19:26 AM PDT by Echo Talon
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To: Dark Skies

One could think that a shaped charge (if need be, assembled from small synchronized nukes) with a very heavy cone to provide the penetration jet could fit the bill. What was the penetrating ability of a Big Bertha shell [the closest analog of this MOP]? Something like 150' of concrete, IIRC.


8 posted on 05/06/2006 11:19:58 AM PDT by GSlob
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To: Dark Skies
"First you MOAB the air defenses, then MOP up what's left."

Air Force Guide to good house cleaning.

9 posted on 05/06/2006 11:19:59 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Dark Skies

Paging the President of Iran, can you hear me now?


10 posted on 05/06/2006 11:21:38 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: doug from upland
Can we make contributions so our names as sponsors can be on the first one that hits Iran?

Good idea! It would be worth a $300 donation to have my name put on that.
11 posted on 05/06/2006 11:22:23 AM PDT by CMS (Posting from FOB Speicher 5 gallons of rotorwash & 100yds flight line for sale inquire by freepmail)
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To: Dark Skies

"Unlike MOAB, which was designed to explode close to the ground to destroy concentrations of troops or equipment, MOP has to be right on target and traveling fast to do the job, he said. The penetrator will exceed the speed of sound while it's plunging."

==

The MOAB is for killing a lot of people in one place, which is not what we really want to do in Iran.

The MOP penetrates deep, hopefully deep enough to hit Iran's underground nuclear facilities.


12 posted on 05/06/2006 11:22:27 AM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: FairOpinion

I wonder what would happen if several MOP's were dropped one behind the other to the same coordinates.


13 posted on 05/06/2006 11:22:28 AM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies
Bet that one is going to move the Richter's in DesMoines.
14 posted on 05/06/2006 11:22:34 AM PDT by mmercier
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To: Dark Skies

"I wonder what would happen if several MOP's were dropped one behind the other to the same coordinates."

Some suggested, that's the way to penetrate even deeper. It may work.


15 posted on 05/06/2006 11:23:56 AM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: CMS

I once called the Pentagon with a willingness to make a good donation if my name could have been put on a MOAB for Afghanistan or Baghdad. They told me that they would be glad to have a contribution, but it would go to the general fund. Darn, I really did want to sponsor a MOAB.


16 posted on 05/06/2006 11:25:02 AM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: Dark Skies

Definitely a useful device. Definitely won't see that coming!


17 posted on 05/06/2006 11:29:57 AM PDT by Andy28 (Proud US Army DEP'er, shipping in June. Hooah!)
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To: doug from upland

Called it " Spot On Big Blast Bomb " S.O.B.B.B.


18 posted on 05/06/2006 11:34:18 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Dark Skies
MOAR (Mother Of All Rodents)


19 posted on 05/06/2006 11:36:40 AM PDT by Fighting Irish
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To: HereInTheHeartland
" Paging the President of Iran, can you hear me now? "

Maybe the Daisy Cutter, M.O.A.B. are not loud enough, so the US Air Force has the M.O.P.
20 posted on 05/06/2006 11:37:49 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Andy28
Definitely won't see that coming!

Won't hear it either...its plunge speed is faster than the speed of sound.

21 posted on 05/06/2006 11:40:05 AM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies; FairOpinion

"Optimum dual delivery:A second(rocket assisted)penetrator immediately follows the first.A depth of up to 40meters can be achieved in moderately hard rock."Pretty impressive.


22 posted on 05/06/2006 11:40:34 AM PDT by Thombo2
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To: Dark Skies
Looks like the author inadvertantlt dropped a portion of a sentence...

Perhaps they just figured that Iranian intellegence Googles for Iran America and Bomb, and wanted to make sure the search picked up this story.

23 posted on 05/06/2006 11:41:06 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: Dark Skies
I think the author is alluding the the fact that the MOAB was big in the news in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, but the MOP isn't getting a lot of news right now.

One reason is that the MOAB makes a big explosion which looks great on video. The MOP goes underground and kicks up some dust on the surface which is pretty boring (unless your the unlucky one in the bunker it hits).

24 posted on 05/06/2006 11:41:13 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Never ask a Kennedy if he'll have another drink. It's nobody's business how much he's had already.)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

I STILL say that If you were Tape and RE-PLAY Any
Speech by Schrillary --In Iraq or Afghanistan--

You'd have the terrorists PLEADING to be taken away!!

How about just calling it " THE CURE " ??


25 posted on 05/06/2006 11:41:46 AM PDT by AirBorn
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To: Dark Skies

Great site,thanx for the link.


26 posted on 05/06/2006 11:41:54 AM PDT by Thombo2
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To: Dark Skies
I think this ongoing development work has a lot to do with why GWB is trying to keep things cool for a year or two, figuring we have time to take out the Iranian underground facilities with a high degree of success once they perfect the MOP.
If eventual sanctions work on Iran, and they realize we have a very high probability to take out any of their facilities, with little loss or none on our side, they just might cave in on the nuclear enrichment program as well as admitting the IAEA to carefully monitor their future reactor operations to guarantee they will not be able to get any plutonium extracted from the spent fuel rods.
27 posted on 05/06/2006 11:46:09 AM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: JRios1968
The need to call it the BMFB...and I won't go into the details of the acronym.

BigOlMofoBo!

28 posted on 05/06/2006 11:49:19 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Any guest worker program that does not require application from the home country is Amesty.)
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To: AirBorn
Yes, when the war for the US started in Afghanistan, I read about that and how they reacted in Afghanistan.
The enemy didn't know what hit them.
The article mentioned how the ( either the Daisy Cutter or M.O.A.B. ) would sound between 2 mountain ranges in the gully or valley and the reverberations of the blast.
It's enough to make Mohammad ( Islams leader ) and Allah convert to Christianity.
29 posted on 05/06/2006 11:52:11 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Marine_Uncle
I think you are correct. Here are the spec's...notice the 2007 test dates...

Weight, total 13,600 kg [30,000 lb]

Weight, explosive 2,700 kg [6,000 lb]

Length 6 m [20 feet]

Diameter ??

Control short-span wings and trellis-type tail

Penetration:

60 meters [200 feet] through 5,000 psi reinforced concrete
40 meters [125 feet] through moderately hard rock
8 meters [25 feet] through 10,000 psi reinforced concrete


Contractors Boeing, Northrop Grumman

Sponsors Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate

Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Platforms B-52, B-2

Guidance GPS aided INS

Schedule 2005 - Refine MOP concept and begin detailed weapon development and testing
2005 - statically emplaced Proof-of Principle test of payload effectiveness
2006 - static lethality demonstration against hard and deeply buried targets
2006 - scaled penetration and lethality testing
2007 - Conduct Massive Ordnance Penetrator Demonstration
2007 - full-scale performance demonstration against realistic hard and deeply buried targets

Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/dshtw.htm


30 posted on 05/06/2006 11:56:41 AM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: JRios1968

Get the drift, same for rocks, BFR comes to mind.


31 posted on 05/06/2006 11:57:38 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: JRios1968

I thought the Viagra bomb should be the name...... it conjurs up visions of adequate stiffness for deep penetration.


32 posted on 05/06/2006 11:59:59 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: coconutt2000

Isn't the MOAB delivered by a C-130? It seem to me you would have to suppress the air defenses FIRST before you moved the slow moving C-130 into the area. They don't dodge real good.


33 posted on 05/06/2006 12:05:39 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: dljordan

Didn't think of that. How about, "Mr. Miyagi say - "MOAB on, MOP off. Defend yourself.... Nahnananana... Stand up! Now, MOAB on, MOP off."

Trying to find a funny way to use MOAB and MOP in a sentence. If you can think of one, suggest it.


34 posted on 05/06/2006 12:09:29 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: dljordan

B-52 and B-2 delivery.


35 posted on 05/06/2006 12:11:40 PM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: dljordan

For the MOP, that is.


36 posted on 05/06/2006 12:12:13 PM PDT by Dark Skies
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To: Dark Skies

Am I the only one who would like to find out about these after they get used?


37 posted on 05/06/2006 12:13:39 PM PDT by Flashman_at_the_charge (A proud member of the self-preservation society)
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To: DoughtyOne

You know if it goes into production, us AF line types will call it that, anyway! :)


38 posted on 05/06/2006 1:06:21 PM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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To: Dark Skies

Yeah, it looks like part of the paragraph dropped off.


39 posted on 05/06/2006 1:06:57 PM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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To: freedumb2003

We have a winner!


40 posted on 05/06/2006 1:09:16 PM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

In the stick world, it would be the BMFS!


41 posted on 05/06/2006 1:10:17 PM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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To: JRios1968
The need to call it the BMFB...and I won't go into the details of the acronym.

Buried Munitions Facility Buster?

42 posted on 05/06/2006 1:16:00 PM PDT by null and void (Hillary! would have been a big astronaut. Say that slowly)
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To: null and void

That one would work, too!


43 posted on 05/06/2006 1:18:02 PM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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To: Dark Skies

Unless the preceding MOP blows the detritus out of the crater - not much. If anything, piles of loose gravel are pretty good at absorbing the impact - they do not propagate cracks.


44 posted on 05/06/2006 1:33:20 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: JRios1968

:)


45 posted on 05/06/2006 1:42:13 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Any guest worker program that does not require application from the home country is Amesty.)
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To: Dark Skies
Who needs explosives? Just launch from a high enough altitude.


Rods from God

Rods from God are a space-based kinetic energy weapon that has been discussed since the early 1980s.

The system would consist of tandem satellites, one serving as a communications platform, the other carrying a number of tungsten rods, each up to 20 feet in length and 1 foot in diameter. These rods, which could be dropped on a target with as little as 15 minutes notice, would enter the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 36,000 feet per second - about as fast as a meteor. Upon impact, the rod would be capable of producing all the effects of an earth-penetrating nuclear weapon, without any of the radioactive fallout. This type of weapon relies on kinetic energy, rather than high-explosives, to generate destructive force.

They would conceivably be particularly well adapted to penetrate hardened targets, such as underground nuclear facilities.

There are major difficulties involved. One of them is where to position the rods. They need to be high enough to deliver enough energy upon impact, but not so high that they vaporize in Earth's atmosphere. The other difficulty is the number of satellites that would be required to cover a material portion of the Earth.
46 posted on 05/06/2006 1:47:44 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: Marine_Uncle
I think this ongoing development work has a lot to do with why GWB is trying to keep things cool for a year or two, figuring we have time to take out the Iranian underground facilities with a high degree of success once they perfect the MOP.

Possible but with Iranian uranium enrichment currently at about 3.5% which is far less than the ~90% needed for bomb making, might the current noise be nothing more than an attempt to drive oil prices up and hurt the president politically this fall? A Democratic Congress will in all probability nullify the remainder of the presidents term of office and therefore represents the best means whereby mohammedom and other anti-American interests (including MSM who seem suspiciously keen on this saber rattling) can harm the USA.

47 posted on 05/06/2006 1:48:01 PM PDT by fso301
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To: Dark Skies

Roger that on the expanded specs. 2007 is around the corner. If the Airforce is successful at all test stages the Iranian and their dear loving Russian pals are going to have a little problem. As you are well aware all known above and underground facilities could be destroyed within a few hour coordinated strike.


48 posted on 05/06/2006 1:56:55 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: fso301
"Possible but with Iranian uranium enrichment currently at about 3.5% which is far less than the ~90% needed for bomb making, might the current noise be nothing more than an attempt to drive oil prices up and hurt the president politically this fall?"
You could be right. Surely some of the top key mullahs and their president Ahmadinejah plot to do anything that makes them look powerful in the eyes of some of their less educated people and at the same time continue to use their leverage with the Russians to do whatever damage they can do regarding the west's economies. Unless they actually have a fully operational large cascade centrifuge system in operation in some underground facility presently, they are perhaps 3/4 plus years away from having enough U235 to make a low yield nuclear weapon.
And for all we know, they may have nothing, other then the little 164 unit and it is only working in a purely lab type environment, yielding only a few grams of 90% U235.
49 posted on 05/06/2006 2:25:23 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Marine_Uncle
Hey, Iran

Say "Hello" to our new little friend!

50 posted on 05/06/2006 2:25:44 PM PDT by JRios1968 (In memoriam...)
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