Hours ago, President Donald Trump authorized the U.S. Military’s deployment of the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (aka MOAB) against ISIS forces occupying an Afghani tunnel system. While it is not nuclear, the device is frequently called the “Mother of All Bombs,” and fittingly enough, it is capable of significant destructive power.
The MOAB was was brought into service back in 2008, though today’s drop was the first time it was ever used in a combat scenario. The bomb was described by Fox News as “similar to a small nuclear weapon,” weighing in at 21,000 pounds, measuring 30 feet in length, and holding 18,000 pounds of explosive material.
The bomb’s explosions can achieve a one-mile blast radius, and the air pressure from its concussive force makes it ideal for striking at underground structures. The precise effects of the thermobaric explosion are similar to Daisy Cutters, which previously held the status of America’s most powerful non-nuclear bombs.
The size of the bomb required it to be transported on an MC-130 aircraft today, and ABC News reports that it had to be rolled out of the cargo hold and parachuted with satellite guidance. The strike was launched against an underground system in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
ABC News also tweeted this video of a 2003 MOAB test:
— ABC News (@ABC) April 13, 2017
[Image via Twitter]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org