BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Around 24 hours ago, the U.S. military tapped one of the most destructive weapons in its arsenal: the mother of all bombs. A distinctive name but not a household one until Thursday.
The never before used weapon is less precise than other U.S. weapons but more destructive and it only takes one strike.
Only before tested, not tried.
Drone footage captured the moment the mother of all bombs hurtled through Afghan skies. It’s was almost invisible until it vaporized the center of an ISIS cave complex.
“It’s designed both to have a combat effect, as well as, potentially, psychological effect. It’s so large. It creates an enormous explosion over a wide area,” said Kris Osborn of Scout Warrior and Defense Systems.
Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior and the editor-in-chief of Defense Systems.
He says unlike other bombs in the U.S. arsenal the M.O.A.B. can’t penetrate rock into the caves and tunnels of enemy targets. Instead, it has a more destructive aim.
“It detonates much higher, above the surface, so as maximize the effect of the bomb,” Osborn said.
Video of a 2003 test shows the bomb pulled out of a plane, using a parachute. The sled detaches, gravity pulls and GPS takes over. It’s designed to be accurate within 10 yards of the target. It explodes about six feet above the ground, sending a massive and deadly pressure wave.
In this case, it crushed hiding ISIS fighters with no warning. Osborn says there’s little chance of survival.
“It’s very unlikely that somebody within the blast radius of this bomb would survive. Very, very unlikely, given the size of the detonation. You’re talking about 18,000 pounds of explosives. It has a massive battlefield effect,” he said.
He says it’s the size of the bomb that makes it less precise. Meaning when the military chose it, they likely had intelligence that there weren’t any civilians near the target.
The M.O.A.B. is the second largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, but the largest to be used in combat.