The Pentagon has upgraded and tested the largest bunker-buster bomb in the US, powerful enough to disable Iran’s most heavily fortified nuclear facilities in case of failure to reach a nuclear deal, a senior US official told the Wall Street Journal.
“The Pentagon continues to be focused on being able to provide military options for Iran if needed,” an unnamed senior US official has been quoted as saying. “We have not taken our eyes off the ball.”
According to the Wall Street Journal report, work on the bunker buster (the so-called Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP) started before the latest round of talks with Iran. The most recent testing took place in mid-January, when the improved bunker buster was dropped at a testing site at an undisclosed location by a B-2 bomber that took off from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, officials told the publication.
The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012 that according to Pentagon war planners the 30,000-pound (13,607 kg) bunker buster wasn’t powerful enough to destroy some fortified Iranian nuclear facilities. So work reportedly began to upgrade the bomb’s design and guidance systems.
According to senior officials, the results show the improved bomb—when dropped one on top of the other—is now more capable of penetrating fortified nuclear facilities in Iran or in North Korea, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Pentagon also designed the bunker buster to challenge Iran’s Fordow facility, which is built into a mountain to protect it from potential airstrikes.