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The Military Technology

30,000-Lb. Bomb On Fast Track For Deployment 707

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-say-boom dept.
coondoggie writes "Published reports today say the Pentagon is rattling swords in the direction of North Korea and Iran by speeding the development a 20-foot, 30,000-lb bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This weapon is intended to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened sites (read: long-range missile or underground nuke development) up to 200 ft. underground. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007, says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes, from which it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond twice the speed of sound to penetrate the below-ground target." Reuters has more specifics on the MOP's chances for deployment by 2010, and the detail that the bomb's load of explosives weighs in at 5,300 lbs.
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30,000-Lb. Bomb On Fast Track For Deployment

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  • Imagine... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Shikaku (1129753) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:03AM (#28937249)
    a beowulf cluster of these!

    :<
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:08AM (#28937269)
  • Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Slur (61510)

    A hundred thousand years of human technology, and we're supposed to be impressed at the latest version of the club. Wake me up when the human race does something impressive.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@NospAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:18AM (#28937319)

      Some of our clubs in the past have leveraged highly advanced theortical nuclear physics.

      Now, personally I find this idea pretty impressive, club or not.

      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:31AM (#28937375)

        Though true, what's interesting about this one? I don't mean that entirely as a rhetorical question: it's possible there really is something interesting here. But I haven't seen a good summary.

        Is it just, take a normal bomb, make it really really big, and slog through some tedious but mostly straightforward engineering challenges to get the thing to work? Or is there something that, at a conceptual level, is different when you get to bombs of this size?

    • It's not a club, it's an exploding rock.
    • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:29AM (#28937355) Journal

      You don't understand - you call it your club, the enemy calls it his "Massive Ordinance Penetrator". We both know what you're really referring to and referring to it as heavy as a club, or a massive penetrator doesn't change the fact that you need little blue pills.

  • Hey North Korea! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hnangelo (1098127) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:16AM (#28937309)
    Stop making bombs otherwise we're gonna hit you with the bombs we are making!
    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Exactly.

      Thank you for so succinctly pointing out why this is a good idea for the U.S.

      (I think you meant it to be an argument AGAINST the bomb, but ... it's not.)

  • by Weedhopper (168515) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:32AM (#28937379)

    I wonder what what the North Koreas are going to think when they find out about this.

    The tunnel system they had in the border areas is the king showing in their hand. As far as a paranoid North Korean is concerned, that was what assured destruction and kept the US from making the first strike. A nutty concern, of course, but let's face it, those North Koreans are a nutty bunch.

    At some point, they're going to feel really cornered. Then things will get really interesting.

    • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @03:02AM (#28937501) Homepage
      Do you really think the generals who run NK really believe their own propaganda about the US invading at any time? They are not nutty, and are actually quite brutally rational. Who else could have gotten sweetheart deal after sweetheart deal from diplomacy? Seriously, look at their history, North Korean diplomats are the Vince Lombardi of the last 20 years. You don't win repeated concessions, break your word, and then go back to the conference table and win again - that's not the actions of a nutbag.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        Good point, except for one thing: they only LOOK like Vince Lombardi because they were up against Carter and Clinton, who gave them those victories. They only have a few offenses and defenses, and so a decent American "coach" would not let them score off it, or would at least limit their scoring.

        Not that I was ever a big fan of Bush, but North Korea is something he got right. Hopefully Obama doesn't screw up the progress we've made over the last few years.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        They are weapons manufacturers and dealers. They are China's diplomatic sandbox. They have thousands of artillery pieces pointing to Seoul. These are why they still exist. Diplomatically, they are just an embarrassment. They are the most isolated nation in the world, they couldn't get any normal relationship with their neighbors, and the "sweetheart deals" they get are humanitarian help in the form of tons of rice.

        Their artillery blackmail is the only thing that keeps people on the negotiation table, but
    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @03:09AM (#28937539) Journal

      The tunnel system they had in the border areas is the king showing in their hand. As far as a paranoid North Korean is concerned, that was what assured destruction and kept the US from making the first strike. A nutty concern, of course, but let's face it, those North Koreans are a nutty bunch.

      As a guy born in a country whose people were similarly demonized just two decades ago (USSR), I have to chime in.

      North Koreans are not "a nutty bunch". They are people just like me and you, and most of them would rather prefer to be left alone and live their lives in peace. Have a good home, marry a nice guy/girl, have kids, that sort of thing. They most definitely don't dream of nuclear clouds over Manhattan. They might be worried about the kind of thing TFA is about, but mostly because they don't want war (which tends to screw people's lives in a major way, especially when you're on the losing side).

      The "nutty bunch" are the country leaders. And keep in mind that your average North Korean most likely doesn't feel the total, overwhelming kind of love towards his dear Glorious Leader that newspapers tell him he should have. By all accounts from tourists who visited NK, people there know how poor and oppressed they actually are, if not in specific things, then at least in general feeling.

  • by RobHart (70431) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @02:55AM (#28937465) Homepage
    This is really a reinvention and extension of 1940's British technology. Barnes Wallis (of the bouncing "Dam Buster" bomb fame) designed a 5 tonne bomb (Tallboy) in 1943. The larger 10 tonne bomb (Grand Slam) was introduced in early 1945. It was dropped from a Lancaster bomber (by 617 squadron - the Dam Buster squadron) from about 20,000 ft and was close to sonic (320 m/s) when it hit the ground. It was designed as a penetrator, only detonating when well underground. It was used with devastating effect against the German U Boat pens, canals, bridges and viaducts where the "earthquake" effect of a deep explosion undermined foundations. The Grand Slam used 4,144 kg of explosives (Torpex)which is considerably more than the heavier bomb proposed by the US DoD with an earth penetration design depth of 40m. I would imagine that the higher impact speed of the US bomb requires a much stronger casing, but I am surprised at the small ordinance load. It is interesting to note that (as with much British technology) design data for the Grand Slam was shared with the US and a US version was made, but not (as far as I am aware) used in WWII. RobHart
  • by johannesg (664142) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @03:13AM (#28937555)

    This is important since all the receiving parties are using the metric system, and you wouldn't want them to be confused about this.

    "Published reports today say the Pentagon is rattling swords in the direction of North Korea and Iran by speeding the development a 6 m, 14968 kg bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This weapon is intended to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened sites (read: long-range missile or underground nuke development) up to 61 m underground. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007, says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2.21 and B-53.638 bombers and deployed at high altitudes, from which it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond twice the speed of sound to penetrate the below-ground target." Reuters has more specifics on the MOP's chances for deployment by 2010, and the detail that the bomb's load of explosives weighs in at 2404 kg.

  • by XDirtypunkX (1290358) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @03:24AM (#28937637)

    They should write it's power output in terms of sun, in which case it looks really puny next to nuclear. For example, the Tsar Bomba (largest human utilized explosive device, which was detonated at half the possible yield to prevent fallout) actually got into whole number percentages:
    "Since 50 Mt is 2.1*10^17 joules, the average power produced during the entire fission-fusion process, lasting around 39 nanoseconds, was about 5.4*10^24 watts or 5.4 yottawatts. This is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the power output of the Sun.[9]" (Wikipedia).

    • by Ihlosi (895663)
      This is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the power output of the Sun.

      Hm. Suppose that aliens a few hundred lightyears away have their telescopes pointed at us in a few hundred years, could they detect the test? 1/100 of the power of the sun, albeit just for a few nanoseconds, sounds fairly significant.

  • by Sylvanus (213197) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @04:56AM (#28938109)

    Evelyn Waugh - Letter to His Wife - 31st May 1942

    No.3 Commando was very anxious to be chums with Lord Glasgow, so they offered to blow up an old tree stump for him and he was very grateful and said don't spoil the plantation of young trees near it because that is the apple of my eye and they said no of course not we can blow a tree down so it falls on a sixpence and Lord Glasgow said goodness you are clever and he asked them all to luncheon for the great explosion.

    So Col. Durnford-Slater DSO said to his subaltern, have you put enough explosive in the tree?. Yes, sir, 75lbs. Is that enough? Yes sir I worked it out by mathematics it is exactly right. Well better put a bit more. Very good sir.

    And when Col. D Slater DSO had had his port he sent for the subaltern and said subaltern better put a bit more explosive in that tree. I don't want to disappoint Lord Glasgow. Very good sir.

    Then they all went out to see the explosion and Col. DS DSO said you will see that tree fall flat at just the angle where it will hurt no young trees and Lord Glasgow said goodness you are clever.

    So soon they lit the fuse and waited for the explosion and presently the tree, instead of falling quietly sideways, rose 50 feet into the air taking with it 1/2 acre of soil and the whole young plantation.

    And the subaltern said Sir, I made a mistake, it should have been 7 1/2 not 75. Lord Glasgow was so upset he walked in dead silence back to his castle and when they came to the turn of the drive in sight of his castle what should they find but that every pane of glass in the building was broken.

    So Lord Glasgow gave a little cry and ran to hide his emotions in the lavatory and there when he pulled the plug the entire ceiling, loosened by the explosion, fell on his head.
    This is quite true.

Brain damage is all in your head. -- Karl Lehenbauer

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