May 3, 2013
The Pentagon has redesigned its biggest “bunker buster” bomb with more advanced features intended to enable it to destroy Iran’s most heavily fortified and defended nuclear site, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, adding that American officials, showed Israeli military and civilian leaders secret Air Force video of an earlier version of the bomb hitting its target in high-altitude testing.
The Wall Street Journal said American officials see development of the weapon as critical to convincing Israel that the US has the ability to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb if diplomatic efforts fail, and also that Israel’s army “can’t do that on its own.”
According to the report, the newest version of the Pentagon’s largest conventional bomb, the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, has adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and high-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordo nuclear enrichment complex, which is buried under a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom. The upgraded MOP designed for Fordo hasn’t been dropped from a plane yet.
The improvements, The Wall Street Journal said, are meant to address US and Israeli concerns that Fordo couldn’t be destroyed from the air. Overcoming that obstacle could also give the West more leverage in diplomatic efforts to convince Iran to curtail its nuclear program, the newspaper said.