Tests to improve a bunker buster bomb 6-times the size of that currently in Israel’s arsenal have been declared a success by the Pentagon.
The bomb could be used if the U.S decides to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, especially the Fordow facility, which is buried deep underground.
The bomb is a significant improvement on the 5,000-pound bunker- buster that the U.S. Air Force and the Israeli Air Force have in their arsenals to attack deeply buried nuclear, biological or chemical sites.
The tests of the 30,000-pound (13,600-kilogram) Massive Ordnance Penetrator made by Boeing Co. (BA) demonstrated the redesigned weapon “is capable of effectively prosecuting selected hardened, deeply buried targets,” Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational testing, said in a report to Congress.
Testing of modifications involved five bomb drops from B-2 stealth bombers at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico from June to October and two ground tests, according to Gilmore’s annual report on Pentagon testing, which he sent to Congress on Jan. 11.
The Pentagon won congressional approval in February 2012 to allocate $81.6 million to the project.
The Pentagon request to upgrade the bomb was submitted after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in January 2012 that Iran would begin uranium enrichment at the Fordow facility. The location of the site at Qom is reportedly 295 feet under rock.
On Tuesday Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that a religious decree banning nuclear weapons is binding for the Iranian government suggesting that the edict should end the debate over whether Tehran is pursuing atomic arms.