This massive weapon creates a blast radius stretching a mile in each direction. It weights over 21,000 lbs., and it’s 30-feet long. It is the Mother of all bombs, the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) bomb ever designed, made, and exploded. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, MOAB.
On March 11, 2003, the U.S. marked a milestone in military history at Eglin Air Force base, on Range 70, in Florida when they tested a new super-weapon, the MOAB. Eight months later, in November, it was tested for a second time.
It is made out of an aluminum skin, which is very thin. The purpose is to maximize the blast effect so the air frame of the bomb to interfere with the blast wave that has the impact to the target.
It is the world’s largest non-nuclear weapon and it isn’t easy to maneuver such a humongous weapon through the sky to it’s intended target. However, engineers were able to conquer the challenge with a grid design that provides great aerodynamic life.
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During carriage there are four grade fans that are folded onto the bomb, creating a very compact design. When the weapon is deployed out the back end of the C1-30 Hercules, the fins are deployed with air dynamic assisting into the deployment because the wind is coming from the ford of the bomb.
Once it is in its flight configuration, it is able to control the bomb and fly it to its designated target.
The Department of Defense said that MOAB was fast tracked for Operation Iraqi Freedom, she stayed grounded by a lack of enemy resistance. It only took nine weeks to develop the MOAB and was done so to intimidate Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein into cease fighting against the coalition but wasn’t needed after all.
But its successful test run provided frightening results with this powerful new force. It has a tremendous impact and detonation just shook the area. The blast sent a “mushroom cloud that could be seen from 20 miles away,” according to Task & Purpose.
The GBU-43/B replaced the “unguided 15,000-pound BLU-82 Daisy Cutter that was used in Vietnam and early on in Afghanistan,” according to the Dept. of Defense.
Although the Russians have laid claims that they have something superior to the Mother of all Bombs, it has yet to be seen. Military.com says the bomb is still in service and sits at an air base in Southwest Asia just waiting to obliterate any force that tries to reckon with her.