US Air Force posts highest quality video ever of secret B2 stealth bomber dropping two ‘mother of all bunker buster bombs’ as tensions with Iran increase
- Footage from USAF shows the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs)
- The 33,000lb bombs is the most powerful non-nuclear bunker buster on earth
- Elements of the US fleet have arrived in the Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran
The US Air Force has released a remarkable video showing a B2 bomber dropping its highest-powered ‘bunker buster’ amid rising tensions with Iran.
The video, which is the most high-definition ever released of this kind of bomb, shows two GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) being employed against a ground targets at an undisclosed location.
Footage shows the 33,000lb bombs being dropped from the weapons bay of a B-52 and disappearing deep into the earth before exploding in an enormous ball of flames.
The MOP is the most powerful non-nuclear bunker buster on earth and is precision guided using a GPS system.
Footage released by the US Air Force shows a B52 bomber dropping the enormous weapons
According to the Drive, the guidance system allows the weapon to hit deeply-buried targets and offers the ability to ‘dig down’ into soil, rock and concrete to destroy almost any piece of infrastructure.
The super-stealthy B-2 bomber can carry a pair of MOPs which are capable of being deployed anywhere in the world.
The video’s release comes as the US has sent troops, planes and ships to the Gulf amid a tense standoff with Iran.
Earlier today, the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln has arrived in the Arabian Sea after what Washington called an ‘imminent threat’ Iran.
GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) are equipped with GPS guidance, making them capable of hitting precision targets
The carrier and its strike group, comprised of four vessels including destroyers and cruisers, arrived two weeks ahead of schedule after being hastily redirected from operations in the Mediterranean, Fox News reported.
The bomb can be seen exploding in an enormous fireball after burying itself deep in the ground
Meanwhile the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the country’s missiles can ‘easily reach warships’ in the Middle East, amid a standoff between Tehran and Washington.
What is the Massive Ordnance Penetrator?
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is the world’s largest ‘bunker buster’ bomb.
The 30,000lbs weapon is capable of burrowing into the earth and destroying deeply-buried targets.
In fact, it is capable of penetrating up to 61ft into the ground.
The next largest bunker buster weighs just 5,000lbs.
Although it is not as large as the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, which is known as the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’.
The MOAB was first dropped in combat in the 13 April 2017 airstrike against an ISIS target in Iraq.
The MOP has only been in service since 2011 and is believed to have remained unused so-far in combat.
Experts believe the weapon gives the US the ability to destroy some of the most fortified bunkers on earth.
Tensions have spiralled across the Middle East this week after America identified what it called a ‘credible threat’ from Iran.
The ‘threat’ is believed to have come from overhead images of small boats in the Persian Gulf with fully-assembled Iranian missiles on board.
US officials, unfamiliar with this tactic from Iran, believed they were about to be fired at navy targets.
Combined with bomb attacks on four oil shipping vessels and attacks on two oil pumping stations earlier in the week, it persuaded officials that an attack was imminent.
America reacted by withdrawing non-essential embassy staff from Iraq, redeploying the Lincoln and heightening security alerts across the region.
Meanwhile today it was revealed Iran’s top general Qassem Suleimani had told allies in Iraq to ‘prepare for proxy war,’ as US warships stand on guard in the Persian Gulf.
Last month, Boeing was awarded a $21.6 million contract for sustainment of the Air Force’s GBU-57s.
This extends the ordering period for the MOP by an additional four years and increases the order ceiling price to cover the extension, the Defense Department announced Friday.
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group transits the Suez Canal in Egypt on its way to the Persian Gulf last week amid mounting tensions with Iran
B-2 bomber: Facts about the famously stealthy aircraft
The B-2 Spirit’s first flight was on July 17, 1989 – two years before the first Persian Gulf war.
Work on the B-2 program was started during the Carter administration in the late 1970s.
The original B-2 aircraft cost was projected to be $737 million per aircraft, but when coupled with maintenance and support, each aircraft is now valued at $2.1 billion.
A B-2 bomber from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri
Because of creeping costs, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the original plan of producing 132 bombers was reduced to 21.
The B-2 was designed using a technique known as ‘continuous curvature.’ The curved exposed surfaces are designed to deflect radar.
The aircraft reportedly has a radar cross-section of 1.1 square feet. That’s about the same size as a pigeon.
Its first combat use was in the Kosovo War in 1999. And although the B-2 only flew 50 sorties out of a reported 34,000 during the conflict, they delivered 11 percent of all the bombs.
The B-2 costs $135,000 an hour to operate, making it roughly twice as expensive to operate as the B-52 or B-1.
It has a reported range of 6,000 nautical miles, and refuels approximately every six hours.
The B2 has a top speed of 1010 kilometers per hour (628 miles per hour).