After years of development, the 30,000-pound behemoth bunker buster is ready to be used if needed, US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said this week.
According to The Air Force Times, Donley spoke at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday about the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which is designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers that protect chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
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"If it needed to go today, we would be ready to do that," he was quoted as saying.
“We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing. We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today,” Donley added.
Military experts have repeatedly mentioned the need for bunker busters in any attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
According to reports, the bomb weighs some 30,000 pounds and is capable of penetrating up to 200 feet underground before exploding. The bomb is 20.5 feet long and can carry over 5300 pounds of explosive material.
Russian news agency RT reported that the Pentagon has spent $330 million to develop and deliver more than 20 of the precision-guided bunker-buster bombs.
RT said US military chiefs openly admitted the weapon was built to strike the fortified nuclear facilities of “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.
Although the Pentagon insists that it is not aimed at a specific threat, RT reported, unnamed officials have repeatedly claimed the bomb is being tailor-made to disable Iranian nuclear facilities at Fordo, or at least to intimidate Tehran.
Last year it was reported in the US that President Barack Obama authorized the transfer of dozens of GBU-28 bunker buster bombs to Israel.
Israel asked Washington for the bombs as early as 2005, but its request was denied by former President George W. Bush's administration. In 2010 Bush informed then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he will order the transfer of the bombs to Israel in 2009 or 2010.