Pentagon, Washington DC. The United States has used its largest conventional aerial dropped bomb on alleged terrorists in Afghanistan. The deployment of the ordnance comes as the US steams to Korea in a possible attack upon North Korea. The use of the $16 million dollar bomb is believed to also be a show of force message to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
The US has dropped the “mother of all bombs” the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the US military, on an area of eastern Afghanistan known to be populated by ISIS affiliated militants.
The Pentagon said the bombing was the first time the 21,000lbs weapon had been used in combat operations. A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence confirmed to the media that a US Air Force MC-130 aircraft dropped a GBU-43 bomb at 7pm Afghanistan time.
The weapon is known in the US Air Force by its nickname MOAB, or “mother of all bombs”. MOAB stands for massive ordnance air blast.The bomb weighs some 20,000-pounds. The MOAB cost more than $300 million to develop and each bomb is estimated to cost $16 million.
The mission has supposedly been in the planning stages for months, the Pentagon said in a separate statement. However, they “did not have the information” on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration. Military analysts believe the decision more recent and designed to send a message to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US had used a “large, powerful and accurately-delivered weapon” to disrupt the movements of terrorists in the country.
Central Command approval was required because the MOAB had to be moved across theatres to prepare for the mission.Mr Spicer avoided answering any questions on whether Mr Trump was involved in the bombing, instead deferring to the Department of Defence.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast is a large-yield conventional bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory. At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed. The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants.
The MOAB has been used once before in combat, back in April 2017, in a strike against ISIS forces in Afghanistan. Several news organizations called it the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat, but the 22,000-pound Grand Slam earthquake bombs dropped during World War II may have been even heavier.
In 2007, Russia tested a thermobaric weapon nicknamed the “Father of All Bombs”; the weapon is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB.