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Nuclear plant in Iran Photo: EPA
Nuclear plant in Iran Photo: EPA
 
 

US experiment: Pentagon destroys replica of underground nuclear facility

Pentagon uses advanced bunker buster bombs to destroy replica of underground facility as part of experiment whose results were relayed to friendly nations

Alex Fishman
Published: 06.07.13, 11:20 / Israel News

The Pentagon has recently completed a series of field exercises on US soil as part of which a replica of an underground nuclear facility was destroyed, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.

 

The tests were declared a resounding success having exceeded all expectations.

 

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The results of the experiment were relayed to friendly nations with the aim of reassuring them as to the US's ability to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities in a single strike.

 

It was also meant to convey that the US is serious in its intentions to attack Iran should circumstances allow it.

 

The experiment included the firing of several bunker buster bombs first introduced by the US Defense Department in July 2012. The GBU-57 B bomb is mounted on a B-2 bomber and as part of the experiment penetrated the underground facility's concrete ceilings.

 

The US has suggested it will manufacture only a limited amount of such bunker busters. Each bomb is estimated at $ 3.5 million and the overall cost of developing the new weapon was $500 million.

 

The size of the munition is six times greater than any other known bunker buster. It weighs 13 tons and its speed of penetration two times faster than the speed of sound at a rate of accuracy of five meters.

 

Senior US officers have recently stressed in meetings with counterparts in the region that US defense budget cuts will not affect preparations for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

 

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told the Senate last month that the US will not spare efforts in undermining Iran's nuclear program.

 

Her statements were reinforced by Secretary of State John Kerry who in a press conference with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle said that Israel will do whatever its needs to protect itself. It was the first time a senior US official had publically discussed a potential Israeli strike so unreservedly.

 

Israel defense sources state that the most recent IAEA report showed that US sanctions have yet to discourage Tehran from going ahead with its nuclear program. They believe the upcoming elections will not change the situation.

 

A European foreign minister who recently visited Israel quoted a senior Israeli official in a foreign ministers conference. The Iranians, the Israeli official had said, do not believe Israeli and US threats to strike Iranian nuclear facilities but are mistaken.

 

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