The Mother of All Bombs: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mother of All Bombs Photo Picture

The Mother of All Bombs pictured on Wikipedia.

The most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. Military’s arsenal has been dropped in Afghanistan. It’s known as the Mother of All Bombs or MOAB. The official name of the weapon is the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb. CNN reports that it was dropped in the Achin district of Nangarhar, close to the Pakistan boarder at around 7 p.m. local time on April 13. It’s the first time the weapon has been used in the battlefield. CNN, quoting Afghan officials, says that 36 ISIS fighters have been killed. The network added that intelligence officials estimated that there could have been as many as 800 ISIS fighters in the area.

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The Air Force Times reports that the specific target was an ISIS tunnel complex in the region. The top U.S. commander in the region, Gen. John W. Nicholson, said in a statement, “As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense. This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.” While “every precaution” was taken to avoid civilian casualties.

When asked about the bombing, Trump said, “Everybody knows exactly what happened so, and what I do is I authorize my military.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. It Was Built at the Beginning of the Iraq War in 2003

Mother of All Bombs Photo Picture

The Mother of All Bombs pictured on Wikipedia.

The bomb was first tested by the U.S. Military in March 2003, just before the start of the Iraq war. The Department of Defense said it was dropped from a C130 Hercules aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It weighed 21,500 pounds. The statement concludes with the line, “It is the largest non-nuclear weapon in existence.”

CNN reported in April 2003 that one bomb, of the 15 that were created, was moved into the Persian Gulf area.

2. Russia Claims it Has Detonated the ‘Father of All Bombs’ – 4 Times the Strength of MOAB

The Guardian reported in September 2007 that the Russian military had detonated the “Father of All Bombs.” The Kremlin described the bomb as being “four times” more powerful than the MOAB. The Guardian quoted an army official in Russia, Alexander Rukshin, as saying, “You will now see it in action – the bomb which has no match in the world is being tested at a military site.” The Russian bomb was dropped by a Tupolev 160.

3. USAF Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle Described the Bomb as a ‘Great Weapon to Use on Iran’

Global Research Canada quoted U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle as calling the MOAB “great” for a possible strike on Iran.

Jonathan Karl of ABC News wrote in October 2009 that MOAB is “ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran.” Just prior to Karl writing that article, he noted that “McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $51.9 million contract to provide ‘Massive Penetrator Ordnance Integration’ on B-2 aircraft.” Karl also describes the bomb as “not the kind of weapon that would be particularly useful in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

4. Each Bomb Costs $16 Million to Build

According to military information website Deagel, MOAB costs around $16 million per unit. So far the U.S. military has spent $314 million on the production of the explosive. The bomb weighs 20,000 pounds and is equipped with GPS tracking systems.

5. The Strike Comes Days After Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar Was Killed in the Region

On April 10, the Defense Department announced that Special Forces Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar had been killed in the Achin district. He was 37 years old. Staff Sgt. De Alencar was based out of Eglin Air Force Base, where MOAB was first tested.

The Achin district is 100 percent Pashtun tribal. During the Soviet/Afghan war of the 1980s, it was a stronghold of the U.S. backed Mujaheddin. There is a population of around 95,000. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in 2000 that the area was the greatest opium growing district in eastern Afghanistan. Other crops grown in the area include wheat and tobacco.

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    • My first reaction! But, nope!… the “MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS” was recently released by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, at a White House Press Office “News scrum”! And although it failed to “go off”, it sure STANK the place out! Thank God for gas masks!… and quick thinking News Reporters! However!… on this new “MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS”, I wonder if we’ll soon learn that CHILDREN were tucked away within these “ISIS hideouts”!… given that ISIS has been in the habit of using children as HUMAN SHIELDS, and, as “props” in their “psychological campaigns” against America, and other “resisting global powers”! That is!… if anyone cares to investiagte!
      Please!… no emails!

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  1. Mother of all bombs… Father of all bombs? What’s next? Mistress of all bombs? Illegitimate child of all bombs?

  2. Plzzz stop all these crap
    Just think of the number of innocent people killed
    I just don’t feel right about this

  3. I have this photo of my dad, a close-up, taken in his casket because we are a Southern family and that’s what Southern families do.
    On days like today, I get to thinking I should post it. Let people see exactly what I saw when I looked upon my first dead person – my father – swollen from the heat and humidity of Vietnam. Everyone should see the cuts on his face and the blueness of him the way I did as a 9-year old.
    I would like to tat that image into the brains and souls of every person who thinks the Draft Dodger is a brave man because he orders bombs dropped from afar. I would like the Draft Dodger’s children to see what I can never forget. I would like them to stand beside the coffin of their father after he’s bled out. Then, let’s hear it for Making America Great Again.
    Sometimes I take that photo out from its hiding place as I did earlier this week and weep for the girl I once was and for my mother and for my father’s mother and his siblings as I pray for the children of Syria and the Sudan and wonder what do I have to do to get people to understand that you don’t make a country great by bullying others with bombs. You simply end up with a country full of the brokenhearted.
    The Hopi believe that a photo captures a person’s soul. I know that photo holds my father’s soul. And mine, too. Bombing any country is never cause for cheering. Never cause for celebrating.
    I’d post that picture except that too many people would mock it and see it as a sign of weakness on my behalf. So instead I’ll keep it in its hiding place and the terror of that open casket to myself. But I will think of it every time the Draft Dodger in Chief celebrates another bomb dropped and I will save my rejoicing for when the Bully is put to rest in a flag-draped coffin of his own.

    • Trump not a draft dodger. He was actually in WestPoint officer academy. We are not making afghanistan great by killing isis. We are just killing isis. Break you rose colored lense of partisanship and realize that what he did was good, moral, and acceptable. He killed ISIS. With a bomb. And when tyrants are liberated from life, IT IS a cause to cheer.

    • Just wanted you to know I really heard your message. For some Americans,it would take being a Muslim non-terrorist living among the terrorist who have no choice but to be dragged into this hell.Then maybe they might understand in that bombing, the innocent victims always out number the terrorist.We are becoming a Global economy and a Global world were many country’s are choosing to bring down the walls and work together and have no hate and no violence and recognize each other to come together as neighbors working together as one.They all agree on environment issues to keep it clean and thriving and the fair treatment of humans and the fair trade agreement but our country has become the big bully and now the racist going backwards bombing violent country like we own the world.We can say we are taking a stand on terrorist but then we are also hypocrites because where were we to rescue all the people of North Korea being killed and tortured through the years by their dictator or Africa and the raping and murder of Millions of people through the years from evil men.There has been horrible terrible murderous groups who have bombed,tortured their own people that we stood by and did nothing.Oh and the argument they are a threat to us.More Americans then terrorist are responsible for killings and bombing in America then Terrorists.I would rather put all our money and efforts into building our future into positive relations and connections and good technology to move forward not backward into war and violence.We really don’t have a threat to us.Our threats are with in our country and our leadership.Thats more concerning then I.S.I.S.

    • May your father rest in peace, but your Draf-dodging argument holds no water. Trump is now serving in the military as its Commander-in-Chief.

      • That is a pathetic way to say he serving in the military, as most presidents after Kennedy were not in the military, and no another draft dodger bush also counts.

  4. @Paul Farrell – My previous comment may not have posted. It was much more detailed.

    I discovered that the references are bogus in #3, and that the quotation was never made. Lt.Gen. Carlisle was referring to MOP. Somehow “global research” didn’t understand that MOP and MOAB are two different types of weapons. Likewise, Karl wrote that MOP (not MOAB) was “ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran.” Global research misrepresented this, and also had an incorrect title as a result.

    • @Anonymous, Indeed, MOP is NEVER called MOAB, but Global Research wrongly states:: “The MOP also referred to as “The Mother of All Bombs” is designed to drill through 200 feet of reinforced concrete before detonating its massive warhead.”

      Penetrator weapon: MOP (GBU-57) 37,000 lbs. similar to smaller versions, GBU-37 and GBU-28
      Non-penetrator: MOAB (GBU-43/B) 22,000 lbs.

      @Paul Farrell – You need to fix that.

  5. Same cave and tunnel complex that we helped build for Osama Bin Laden and his Mujahadeen (now Taliban). I wonder how ISIS got all the way over to eastern Afganistan? Here’s an actual tweet from Trump in Jan 2013: “Let’s get out of Afganistan. Our Troops are being killed by the Afganis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.” Sounded like a good idea huh?

    • It cost $16 million to replace. The body count is now 94 or about $170,000 each. We spent an average of $500,000 per dead enemy soldier in Vietnam when the dollar bought much more. The important number is the number of American lives that are not lost fighting ISIS, or are you an ISIS botnet?

    • We need to prevent American SEALs from being killed by ISIS by destroying their nests. Money well spent. But, I do agree with you about not giving a damn about who is killed by ISIS outside the USA. I would offer them $1 trillion to kill the North Korean leadership.

  6. @Paul Farrell – UPDATE – Items #3 and #4 are false.

    Item #4 – US Air Force Reports MOAB costs $170,000 – “The $170,000 figure makes sense considering a general-purpose 1,000-pound MK-83 costs about $12,000. The MOAB simply features more high explosives and larger fins to direct the GPS-guided munition.” – Business Insider

    Item #3 – As mentioned previously, Global security ca got terminology MOP mixed up with MOAB. A.B.C. News reported on MOP, re-read the sources for yourself.