Washington: The US had striked Afghanistan with the ‘mother of all bombs’ on Thursday night. Let us check out some facts about it.
MOAB stands for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, not the ‘mother of all bombs.’ It may be the largest, non-nuclear weapon ever used, but according to a Fox News column by a Stanford researcher “it releases only one-tenth of one percent of the destruction that (the Hiroshima) bomb did, and with no radiological effects.” That’s what Kori Schake, a Hoover Institution Research Fellow at Stanford University, wrote on Foxnews.com. As AFP reported: “Even the smallest of the US military’s atomic arsenal, the B-61 at its minimum configuration, has an explosive yield roughly 30 times that of the MOAB.”
The bomb is officially known as a GBU-43B and it unleashes 11 tons of explosives. According to military information website Deagel, MOAB costs around $16 million per unit, Heavy.com reported. So far the U.S. military has spent $314 million on the production of the explosive, Heavy.com added.
The bomb is a US Air Force weapon that has been in the arsenal for more than a decade. It was never used even though it was build reportedly for use during the Iraq War. The MOAB is designed to hit softer targets such as surface facilities, tunnel entrances and troop concentrations. It is pushed out the rear of the aircraft it’s launched from and uses GPS to guide it. It’s also purposely slowed down by a parachute, presumably so it doesn’t just plunk down on the earth as soon as it’s pushed out with great speed from the aircraft.
“The bomb explodes in the air, creating air pressure that can make tunnels and other structures collapse. It can be used at the start of an offensive to soften up the enemy, weakening both its infrastructure and morale,” reported Foxnews.com.
The legality of the US MOAB was reviewed by – the US itself, the Pentagon, to be more precise. It found MOAB “could not be called an indiscriminate killer” under the Law of Armed Conflict. That law is the law of war, essentially, designed to protect civilians, prisoners of war, the wounded and other casualties of war. The Pentagon did say though that using the MOAB “… will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use.” After news that the bomb was dropped on Afghanistan yesterday , a Pentagon spokesman said it was dropped from a U.S. MC-130 special operations transport plane. He added the bomb had been brought to Afghanistan “some time ago” for potential use.