Pentagon tests new bunker-buster —for Iran?

The Pentagon conducted a test March 28 of a new ultra-powerful 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The MOP, carrying more than 5,300 pounds of explosives, delivers more than 10 times the explosive power of its predecessor, the BLU-109. Designed to be carried in B-2 and B-52 bombers and dropped from high altitudes, the MOP is guided by global positioning system navigation and has cropped wings for improved agility. The $30 million MOP development program is overseen by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in conjunction with Boeing Co. (AP, March 15)

This is the latest in the Pentagon’s series of so-called “bunker-buster” bombs, which are the most powerful conventional explosives yet developed. The Russian press, which has been full of ominous predictions of an imminent US attack on Iran in recent days, sees the MOP test as a key step towards the opening of a bombing campaign. Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper featured a analysis of by Gen. Leonid Ivashov of the Academy for Geopolitical Problems March 28 (translated by BBC Monitoring), headlined: “Superbomb for Strikes Against Iran: Pentagon Equipping Itself With Weapons To Destroy Nuclear Installations.”

Hopefully it is not necessary to coomment on the Orwellian nature of the name “Defense Threat Reduction Agency.”

See our last posts on Iran and the Pentagon’s new defense posture.