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Air Force Updates Massive Ordnance Penetrator Bombs Amid New Iranian Nuclear Posturing

Source: The War Zone | November 5th, 2019 | By Joseph Trevithick
Location: Iran
Industry type: Nuclear Industry

The U.S. Air Force is continuing to update its stockpile of 30,000-pound class Massive Ordnance Penetrator bunker busters, or MOPs, and bring older MOPs up to the latest standard, also known as the GBU-57E/B. This comes as Iran has announced that it will begin injecting uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo – the kind of prospective target that drove the development of the MOP in the first place – a significant breach of the controversial 2015 international agreement over the country’s nuclear program.

On Oct. 28, 2019, the Air Force announced that it had awarded $90 million contracts to both Superior Forge & Steel Corp. of Lima, Ohio and Ellwood National Forge in Irvine, Pennsylvania for the production of an unspecified number of case assemblies for the BLU-127C/B warhead. The service separately confirmed to The War Zone that this is the warhead at the core of the GBU-57E/B variant, which has been in operational inventory since 2016. The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is presently the only aircraft capable of and clear to employ the MOP operationally, though B-52 bombers have dropped some of the weapons in prior testing. The future B-21 Raider stealth bomber will also likely be able to carry these weapons…

*Read the full article online at https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/30872/air-force-updates-massive-ordnance-penetrator-bombs-amid-new-iranian-nuclear-posturing