Reports are citing the Pentagon's accelerated request to Congress for funding of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) Bunker Buster - a mega-bunker-buster. Apparently, the request has been approved. I would have bet money against that request with our current Congress.
According to this ABC report, the request was a part of a 93-page "reprogramming" request.
The comptroller said the Pentagon planned to spend $19.1 million to procure our of the bombs, $28.3 million to accelerate the "bomb's development and testing," and $21 million to accelerate the integration of the bomb onto B-2 stealth bombers.The MOP can hit targets 200 feet below ground. It is 20 feet long, holds 5,300 pounds of explosives, and it has a special mission:
...defeat hard and deeply buried targets where our adversary would have the support structure for WMD-type systems.Hard and deeply buried targets like North Korea's and Iran's Natanz centrifuge facility (about 130 miles south of Tehran) and wherever the newest known plant inside the country might be.
The DEBKAfile reported this story on September 8th saying that acceleration of 10-12 MOPs had been requested, which "trebeled" the original request:
Gen. Shackelford said: "These are purchases beyond just those needed to test their capability. In other words (the military is seeking to) build a small inventory of, I believe, 10-12 bombs."
McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $51.9 million contract to modify the B-2 stealth bomber to carry the mammoth MOP. The Pentagon said at least one "bunker buster" would be ready within months.
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