The Air Force built a weapon so big it was nicknamed “Mother of All Bombs” on the eve of the war with Iraq, but MO-AB would be dwarfed by a much larger munition now under study.
The proposed Massive Ordinance Penetrator, or MOP, would weigh 30,000 pounds. That's nearly 40 percent more than the 21,000-pound MO-AB, which is officially Massive Ordnance Air Blast. It never saw combat.
Fred Davis is the Technical Director for Assessment and Demonstrations at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate. He says MOP is heavier because it “has to penetrate a target.”
During the next 16 months the Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle will look at everything from MOP's shape to its guidance.
If the project gets beyond the initial research and development phase, MOP probably won't see its first armed drop until 2006 or later.
MOP would have inertial and satellite guidance, just like MO-B, but it would have a more slender shape so it could be dropped from high altitude by a B-52 or a B-2 stealth bomber.