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Friday, April 14, 2017
U.S. drops ‘MOAB,’ a ‘Mother of All Bombs,’ in Afghanistan
The Pentagon said Thursday that U.S.
forces in Afghanistan dropped the military’s largest non-nuclear bomb on an
Islamic State target in eastern Afghanistan. This is the first time a Massive
Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) has been used in combat.
Pentagon says the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by
ISIS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the
Here’s what you need to know:
The MOAB, also known as the “Mother of All Bombs,” was dropped out of a
C-130 aircraft in Afghanistan for the first time on Thursday.
The MOAB had never been used in combat until now. It was brought into
service in 2008.
The MOAB weighs 21,000 pounds, including 18,000 pounds of explosives.
It is the largest non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal.
The MOAB is considered similar to a small nuclear weapon.
concept behind the MOAB was first developed in the Vietnam War through the
BLU-82B/C-130 weapon system, nicknamed the “Daisy Cutter.” That weighed 15,000
pounds and, with a huge blast radius, was used to clear jungles. In addition,
it was a psychological weapon, in that the loud sound and huge flash helped
create “shock and awe” in the enemy. The bomb was later used in Afghanistan.
the George W. Bush administration, the BLU-82B gave way to the even larger
GBU-43, or MOAB.
was first tested back in 2003.
The bomb, in its first combat use, was dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex
in Nangahar province. MOAB is designed for such a situation—it explodes in
the air, which creates 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.