GBU-43/B "Mother Of All Bombs" MOAB - Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb The GBU-43/B is large, powerful and accurately delivered. The 21,700-pound bomb contains 18,700 pounds of high explosive. It is 30 feet long with a diameter of 40.5 inches. The warhead is a blast-type warhead. It was developed in only nine weeks to be available for the Iraq campaign, but it was not used. The US Air Force has developed the 21,000-lb. [9,500 kilogram], satellite-guided Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bombs (MOAB) as a successor to the the 15,000-lb. "Daisy Cutters" used in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The Air Force is said to call MOABs (pronounced MOE-ab) the mother of all bombs. As with the earlier Daisy Cutter, these huge bombs are dropped out of the rear of the C-130 cargo plane. Unlike the Daisy Cutter, the MOAB is released without the use of a parachute. As a result, the aircraft releasing the bomb can fly at higher altitudes, thus making it safer for US pilots. This replacement for the BLU-82 bomb uses more of the slurry of ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum used in the BLU-82. Other reports indicate that the MOAB might use tritonal explosive as opposed to the gelled slurry explosive of the BLU-82. Testing began at Eglin as part of an Air Force Research Lab Technology Demonstration Project. Work on the program began in 2002 and was set for completion in 2003. Eglin Air Force Base's Air Armament Center conducted the second live test of the largest conventional bomb in the US inventory at approximately 2:30 p.m. EST 21 November 2003. Designated the GBU-43/B, and popularly known as MOAB -- Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- the 21,700-pound bomb was launched from an MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft flown by a crew assigned to Eglin's 46th Test Wing. One objective was to collect more data and provide it to the user to assist in targeting. Also, the Air Force wanted to certify MOAB on the Combat Talon I aircraft as previous launches had been made from the MC-130 Combat Talon II. The first test was March 11.
· 1 decade ago