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30,000-Lb. Bomb On Fast Track For Deployment

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the can-you-say-boom dept.

The Military 707

coondoggie writes "Published reports today say the Pentagon is rattling swords in the direction of North Korea and Iran by speeding the development a 20-foot, 30,000-lb bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This weapon is intended to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened sites (read: long-range missile or underground nuke development) up to 200 ft. underground. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007, says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2 and B-52 bombers and deployed at high altitudes, from which it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond twice the speed of sound to penetrate the below-ground target." Reuters has more specifics on the MOP's chances for deployment by 2010, and the detail that the bomb's load of explosives weighs in at 5,300 lbs.

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Imagine... (4, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 5 years ago | (#28937249)

a beowulf cluster of these!

:<

Re:Imagine... (0, Offtopic)

siloko (1133863) | about 5 years ago | (#28937303)

. . . or more scarily sending Bill Clinton [bbc.co.uk] on a reccy!

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937477)

Cluster bombs? I thought they were outlawed.

So, it's time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937257)

to MOP up evil. I guess you can cry over spilled milk.

Re:So, it's time... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28937307)

Personally, I'm still sniggering at it being called a "penetrator". Compensation much? Especially given that for hardened targets deep underground, kinetic bombardment [wikipedia.org] is probably a more appropriate approach.

Space weapons? (0, Troll)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 years ago | (#28937439)

N. Korea's regime is a puss-filled boil on the face of humanity but I don't think it's an "appropriate approach" to use an international treaty [wikipedia.org] as toilet paper just to give their tin-pot dictator a taste of reality.

Re:Space weapons? (4, Informative)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28937623)

Actually the OST just forbids warheads in orbit. This lead to the development of the F.O.B.S. [wikipedia.org] by Russia. The SALT II agreement was then instituted, which among other things forbids "systems for placing into Earth orbit nuclear weapons or any other kind of weapons of mass destruction, including fractional orbital missiles", but that seems targeted at launch vehicles for warheads, which may not include purely passive kinetic weapons.

Re:So, it's time... (1)

Lakitu (136170) | about 5 years ago | (#28937473)

it's a 30,000 lb bomb with 5,000 lb of explosives, that hits its target (after being dropped from very high altitudes) over twice the speed of sound. What exactly do you think kinetic bombardment is?

Re:So, it's time... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 years ago | (#28937663)

A 30,000lb bomb with no explosives. An inert device.

Basically, a bullet from space.

Re:So, it's time... (1)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937517)

Personally, I'm still sniggering at it being called a "penetrator". Compensation much?

Um ... no. You realize "penetrate" has meaning completely separate from sexual acts, right?

Especially given that for hardened targets deep underground, kinetic bombardment [wikipedia.org] is probably a more appropriate approach.

I see. Maybe the Pentagon should hire you instead.

Re:So, it's time... (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#28937631)

Um ... no. You realize "penetrate" has meaning completely separate from sexual acts, right?

[Beavis and Butthead style laughter]

You said "sexual".

Re:So, it's time... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28937665)

Yes, yes I do. Likewise, you realise that my sense of humour (like most people here) thrives on double entendre, especially where the second meaning is sexual in nature? As for the Pentagon hiring me, nah. If they actually used something I did to kill someone I'd be pretty sad. :(

Re:So, it's time... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#28937677)

P.S. Penetrate. Like with a penis. Heh. Hehehehehh.

...heh.

Wikipedia Article on the MOP (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937269)

Re:Wikipedia Article on the MOP (4, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 5 years ago | (#28937503)

While we're at it, also have a look at this Russian thingy [wikipedia.org] . It's thermobaric, and thus very different in its intended use (not a bunker buster, but what you'd use to clear a large network of caves or underground tunnels with surface exits in one sweep), but of the same magnitude of raw power.

Re:Wikipedia Article on the MOP (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937617)

While we're "while we're at it" have a look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_quake_bomb

Which is almost certainly the design they are basing it on, which was originally conceived by the engineer and all round genius (and these days would be geek) Barnes Wallis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnes_Wallis

Who you may also know of if you've seen:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dam_Busters_(film)

Question about scalability (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 5 years ago | (#28937279)

If the average "Please do not ride the bomb" sign is approximately 1 ft square, would this sign be scaled to 20ft square on a bomb this size? Is the sign always proportional to the payload?

30,000 lb bomb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937281)

I don't think any 30,000 lb device needs to be an explosive in order to destroy an underground bunker.

Hell, I'd be surprised if it doesn't just keep falling.

Re:30,000 lb bomb? (1)

Weedhopper (168515) | about 5 years ago | (#28937337)

Evidently, the North Koreans have underground tunnels straight out of LOTRs.

Big job, big bomb.

Re:30,000 lb bomb? (1)

linzeal (197905) | about 5 years ago | (#28937349)

Kill the mole people!

Holey bunkers batman! (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 5 years ago | (#28937397)

If one of these doesn't do the trick we can make an airplane capable of dropping one, then another on precisely the same spot a minute later. And a third if need be. six hundred feet of penetration! America wins World's Biggest Penatrator award! can you feel that? Take it right in the bunker bab-- sorry. My point is, with this and smart bomb technology at the level America has it, no bunker is safe anymore, not at any depth. This has an immense geopolitical effect. North Korea is going to have to work even harder to hide their programs--and expose them in the process. Iran can no longer feel safe announcing a nuclear bomb should it develope one. And any country that has, in the past, felt less fear of American military might because of conventional equipment being held in deep bunkers will no longer be as eager to put it to the test. With one weapon, America has greatly advanced its interests everywhere the military counts.

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (2, Insightful)

Paua Fritter (448250) | about 5 years ago | (#28937435)

My point is, with this and smart bomb technology at the level America has it, no bunker is safe anymore, not at any depth. This has an immense geopolitical effect.

You bet it does. It sends a strong message to the DPRK military: "Get cracking on your ICBMs, you slackers - what good are your nukes if you can't deliver them?".

The day the US military starts dropping these things on nuclear-armed states is the day that millions of Americans move to Canada and Mexico.

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (5, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | about 5 years ago | (#28937481)

nothing like a good arms race to get juices flowing all around. The dinosaurs had this rock for so long because they were peaceful compared to us hairless chimps.

Human beings seem to be a poor invention. If they are the noblest works of God where is the ignoblest? - Mark Twain

There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce. - Mark Twain

I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being--that is enough for me; he can't be any worse. - Mark Twain

The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner. - Mark Twain

Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. - Mark Twain

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (-1, Flamebait)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937533)

It sends a strong message to the DPRK military: "Get cracking on your ICBMs, you slackers - what good are your nukes if you can't deliver them?".

And we blow up any ICBMs they have that are above, or below, ground.

The day the US military starts dropping these things on nuclear-armed states is the day that millions of Americans move to Canada and Mexico.

Probably many of the same people that are right now stealing from my children and grandchildren in the name of a handing massive portions of the country over to government in the name of a temporary recession we're already pulling out of ... so what was your point?

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (1)

Paua Fritter (448250) | about 5 years ago | (#28937597)

It sends a strong message to the DPRK military: "Get cracking on your ICBMs, you slackers - what good are your nukes if you can't deliver them?".

And we blow up any ICBMs they have that are above, or below, ground.

<sarcasm>
Sure you will! And you'll have no problem getting every last one, because they'll all be fixed in place, in plain view, and coated in fluorescent yellow paint. Plus there'll be enormous signs painted on the ground saying "bomb here".
</sarcasm>
Alternatively, for a very small investment, your enemies can make it impossible to detect all their nukes [englishrussia.com] . You may be hubristic enough to risk a first strike against a nuclear power, but thank God the US President appears to have a few more clues.

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (1)

iroll (717924) | about 5 years ago | (#28937607)

There wasn't much left after their counterparts handed massive portions of the country over to government in the name of domestic security that is no more secure than it ever was.

People willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither, etc. Wait... what was your point?

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (0)

54mc (897170) | about 5 years ago | (#28937451)

It seems to me that a nuclear device could do this job just as effectively while weighing a fraction as much. And if we happen to get into a full out nuclear war? Well, nuclear winter [wikipedia.org] should cancel out the effects of global warming, and than we'll be begging for our beloved clunkers [wikipedia.org] back!

On another note, didn't we just build one of these and brag about how amazing it was a couple years ago? [wikipedia.org] I know this new one is 7,400 lbs heavier, but on something that weighs as much as these, how much difference does that make? (Honestly, I don't know as IANABombExpert)
Any FBI, DHS, or other agencies, please note this last part.

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937705)

A nuke might do the job, but there are 2 problems:
1: Technical: A nuke is actually a fairly sensitive weapon, if the soccer ball is disturbed, the nuclear material goes 'fizzle' and just make a big mess. Going through 61m of concrete at Mach 2 tends to be ... disturbing

2: Political: Even if the problems in "1" can be taken care of, no nation would ever forgive the US for first use of a nuclear weapon. That would then legitimize a nuclear response by the target nation, kill any coalitions, and forever lend backing to rogue nations wanting to make their own nukes. One of the key factors keeping many nations from being too interested is that fact that the nuclear club, since WWII, has shown the restraint of not actually using them.

Re:Holey bunkers batman! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937489)

My point is, with this and smart bomb technology at the level America has it, no bunker is safe anymore, not at any depth.

This includes civilian bunkers. If they can get these (and slightly weaker versions of these) to drop in manufacturing price, no need to use Firestorms [wikipedia.org] to kill all civilians from underground bunkers by taking out all the oxygen from the cityblock. This was used in World War 2 when allied bombers destroyed Berlin but this can make it so much easier.

Just dropping these babies here and there randomly in every bombing reminds civilians that they are no longer safe, anywhere.

And it's not just civilian bunkers. I'm sure that just one of these to St. Petersburg (world's deepest metro tunnels for underground trains... And they also go under the rivers there) in Russia could flood the whole metro system with water.

This has an immense geopolitical effect.

Indeed

North Korea is going to have to work even harder to hide their programs--and expose them in the process. Iran can no longer feel safe announcing a nuclear bomb should it develope one. And any country that has, in the past, felt less fear of American military might because of conventional equipment being held in deep bunkers will no longer be as eager to put it to the test.

You really think that any small, poor countries with one or two nuclear weapons that are still in early development stage will care to think "The Americans can bomb everything else here but at least our underground laboratory is safe so it's fine".

Let's face it: This weapon hasn't been developed to destroy single underground research facilities in poor countries. It has been developed to destroy whole underground infrastructure: Water pipes. Large electrical cables. Fiber networks. Metro tunnels. Bunkers - military and civilian. Etc.

With one weapon, America has greatly advanced its interests everywhere the military counts.

I give you that.

But honestly, even if you are right and there is no more sinister meanings behind this weapon... How in hell could USA know where to drop it? Hell, the intelligence so far hasn't been able to tell whether whole countries even have weapons of mass destruction or not. I doubt that were war to occur the biggest problem would be "We know exactly what they have and where, just can't destroy it" in modern times.

Wow (2, Insightful)

Slur (61510) | about 5 years ago | (#28937287)

A hundred thousand years of human technology, and we're supposed to be impressed at the latest version of the club. Wake me up when the human race does something impressive.

Re:Wow (1, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | about 5 years ago | (#28937315)

If it's used in the struggle against despots and tyrants, it IS impressive. A peaceful and civilized nation needs to keep the biggest and best weapons on hand, else they be overrun by mongols (figuratively).

Fortunately, peaceful and free nations also generally have the best technology, industry, and economy, which allows us to have the most impressive weapons.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

hnangelo (1098127) | about 5 years ago | (#28937327)

And what makes you think you are not the "mongols" to other nations?

Peaceful? Who are we talking about again?

Re:Wow (1)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28937413)

Exactly what I was thinking. Then again I'm not surprised to see idiots buy into the good vs evil fairytale. People are so self centered that they genuinely think they're some sort of paladins.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937543)

And what makes you think you are not the "mongols" to other nations?

My dual senses of proportion and perspective.

Peaceful? Who are we talking about again?

The world's greatest superpower who has nevertheless continually refused to exercise any semblance of the imperialism of its predecessors. Germany, Japan, Iraq, and more are all testaments to the devotion our country has to peace. It ain't a perfect nation, but it's a damned good one.

Re:Wow (0, Redundant)

Paua Fritter (448250) | about 5 years ago | (#28937697)

The world's greatest superpower who has nevertheless continually refused to exercise any semblance of the imperialism of its predecessors. Germany, Japan, Iraq, and more are all testaments to the devotion our country has to peace. It ain't a perfect nation, but it's a damned good one.

Wish I had the mod points to mod this "funny".

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

stjobe (78285) | about 5 years ago | (#28937365)

"A peaceful and civilized nation"? Is there any nation fitting that description anywhere?

Sweden, maybe.

It's certainly not the U.S., what with all the wars it's been involved in in just the last century.

But you say "allows us" as if the U.S. is exactly what you mean - and the bomb TFA is about is a U.S. weapon - so I must draw the conclusion that you're living under the delusion that the U.S. is "peaceful and civilized", with "the best technology, industry, and economy[!]".

Please wake up.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937387)

Well, the US is not a person. Everyone I know is peaceful and civilized...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937403)

You need to move out of your mom's basement.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937573)

Well, the US is not a person. Everyone I know is peaceful and civilized...

Yes, likely. Most US citizens are peaceful and civilized when either at home, or alone.

Now just put some of them together and send them abroad...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937425)

Bob Marley also hates industrialized nations and white people.

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

hnangelo (1098127) | about 5 years ago | (#28937463)

I absolutely agree with that. And I just got modded flamebait for questioning that same conclusion. But that's how it is, let's censor what we don't like.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937497)

Yeah, and without all those wars fought by others, Sweden would be either Nazi or Soviet right now. For all the flaws the U.S. has, they're still on our (Europe) side.

The world isn't going to be run by pussies any time soon. Trying to be kind to absolutely everyone will give you Rosengård. Peaceful and civilized my ass.

Re:Wow (-1, Troll)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937551)

"A peaceful and civilized nation"? Is there any nation fitting that description anywhere?

Sweden, maybe.

A 60 percent taxation rate is uncivilized.

It's certainly not the U.S., what with all the wars it's been involved in in just the last century.

If it weren't for the U.S. involvement in WWI and WWII, Sweden would be speaking German today, so how's about you get some fucking perspective? Is that too much to ask (he queried, knowing the answer)?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937643)

Since you're dredging through history:
If it weren't for the French [wikipedia.org] the US would still be a British colony.

Go eat your freedom toast, wave your American flag, drink your beer, and get some fucking perspective before going on a tangent.

Re:Wow (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937645)

A 60 percent taxation rate is uncivilized.

Ehh, why? Do you have any idea what the public services in Sweden are like? No road tolls, free health care and education up to the university level, social services etc. With less taxes, there are less services, which means you need to spend more money to get the same services. The end result is that the poor are left to rot. How is avoiding that uncivilized?

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937653)

> A 60 percent taxation rate is uncivilized.

Depends. Considering USians can spend that much on healthcare and education, there's not really much difference. They take it away from you one way or another.

> If it weren't for the U.S. involvement in WWI and WWII, Sweden would be speaking German today

No, they wouldnt. Last war Sweden was involved in was 200 years ago. They were neutral in both world wars. One could equally well argue that if it wasnt for the UK and the Commonwealth fighting Japan you guys would be speaking Japanese.

> how's about you get some fucking perspective? Is that too much to ask (he queried, knowing the answer)?

You need to get out of the US and see the world. Or even get out of your white middle class lifestyle and look at the US. It's not all first world love and harmony. Whilst you guys are developing superweapons your literacy rates are 3rd world poor in many areas. Your healthcare system is the worst in the western world. You economy belongs to China. The US is a nice place, but not on the same level as, for example, Sweden.

You have yourself a nice day now.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | about 5 years ago | (#28937667)

Sweden is a major arms exporter [thelocal.se] , selling weapons worth of 1.4 billion USD in 2008. So no, they're not any more "peaceful and civilized" as most others.

Re:Wow (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 5 years ago | (#28937669)

Sweden, may be.

No, Sweden has vikings. This is way too close to the mongols metaphor for my tastes.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937681)

Switzerland?

Peaceful in the sense they haven't fought a war in ... many years. Plus they manage to have a gun ownership rate much higher than the US and have a much lower rate of gun crime.

Civilised in the sense that they are an 'advanced' 'western' country.

I know both are debateable, but if Sweden might count then Switzerland does.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937605)

You know, that's the same reason North Korea and Iran need nukes for self defence. To avoid that THEY be overrun by "mongols" who have already demonstrated - in Iraq - that even cooperating and dismantling any weapons that might have been useful as a defence will only make it easier for the invaders.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#28937319)

Some of our clubs in the past have leveraged highly advanced theortical nuclear physics.

Now, personally I find this idea pretty impressive, club or not.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#28937375)

Though true, what's interesting about this one? I don't mean that entirely as a rhetorical question: it's possible there really is something interesting here. But I haven't seen a good summary.

Is it just, take a normal bomb, make it really really big, and slog through some tedious but mostly straightforward engineering challenges to get the thing to work? Or is there something that, at a conceptual level, is different when you get to bombs of this size?

Re:Wow (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 years ago | (#28937345)

It's not a club, it's an exploding rock.

MASSIVE club thank you! (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#28937355)

You don't understand - you call it your club, the enemy calls it his "Massive Ordinance Penetrator". We both know what you're really referring to and referring to it as heavy as a club, or a massive penetrator doesn't change the fact that you need little blue pills.

Re:Wow (0, Offtopic)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937535)

Wake me up when the human race does something impressive.

Ooooo, you are SO cool.

Do we really need this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937291)

The US military budget does not need to be this big. This has to stop.

Hey North Korea! (4, Insightful)

hnangelo (1098127) | about 5 years ago | (#28937309)

Stop making bombs otherwise we're gonna hit you with the bombs we are making!

Re:Hey North Korea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937317)

Stop making nuclear straw men, or I'll hit you with this straw man I'm making.

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

hnangelo (1098127) | about 5 years ago | (#28937343)

Oh yes, sorry, I forgot the USA does not have a thousand "nuclear straw men" in storage. And I even thought they had used a couple "nuclear straw men" in the past.

Silly me.

Re:Hey North Korea! (1, Informative)

megrims (839585) | about 5 years ago | (#28937431)

Unfortunately, the US scares me a lot more than North Korea does.

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

robinesque (977170) | about 5 years ago | (#28937459)

Seriously?

Re:Hey North Korea! (0, Flamebait)

mqduck (232646) | about 5 years ago | (#28937507)

Which one's actually used a nuke?

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937569)

Which one's actually used a nuke?

The U.S. And in doing so, unequivocally saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives (mostly Japanese lives, by the way ... which probably angers the DPRK to no end).

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

andi75 (84413) | about 5 years ago | (#28937659)

I don't think they needed to use *two* nukes for that. Wasn't the second one just outright mass murder? (you could also argue the first one didn't need to be deployed against civial targets).

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 5 years ago | (#28937695)

Oh, blah. Japan was already blockaded, utterly defeated, and teetering on the brink of the stone age when it was nuked. The nukes just provided a convenient excuse for them to surrender.

Question: to demonstrate this overwhelming new weapon, did the USA have to actually drop it on two Japanese cities? Wouldn't dropping one in the entrance to Tokyo Bay have done the same job?

Well, that's ancient history. How many sovereign nations has North Korea invaded recently?

If your counter is "Only because they're being forcibly prevented", then that only serves to highlight that North Korea can be forcibly prevented from empire building. What's stopping the USA?

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

dintech (998802) | about 5 years ago | (#28937703)

Oh, not that tired old justification again. What is it with the American psyche that feels the need to justifify such barbarity?

The reason the bomb was dropped was because it cost a fortune to build and congress would ask serious questions if it wasn't used. The "saving lives" argument only appeared later on. You need to go back and read the history again.

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

RuBLed (995686) | about 5 years ago | (#28937547)

I disagree, it was an accepted fact that Kim Jong-il could stop a nuclear weapon (or a conventional one) from detonating by just the presence of his mere awesomeness. This is what gives them an upper hand in the negotiation table.

Re:Hey North Korea! (-1, Troll)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937565)

Unfortunately, the US scares me a lot more than North Korea does.

Then you're a looney.

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#28937701)

Then you don't live in Japan or South Korea. Seriously, the US has no real fear of North Korea either, any more than we are afraid of Pakistan having nuclear weapons, but we have an agreement to protect South Korea and Japan from them, and that means something.

Re:Hey North Korea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937457)

Americans are pure Cowboys Idiots! I prefer 1.000 times more North Korea and Iran!!!

Stop making bombs, invest in the healthcare of Americans! Dismantle the obsolete Military Industries.

Wars is not the future!

Re:Hey North Korea! (1)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937557)

Exactly.

Thank you for so succinctly pointing out why this is a good idea for the U.S.

(I think you meant it to be an argument AGAINST the bomb, but ... it's not.)

What could possibly go wrong? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937359)

What could possibly go wrong?

Paranoia and North Korea (3, Insightful)

Weedhopper (168515) | about 5 years ago | (#28937379)

I wonder what what the North Koreas are going to think when they find out about this.

The tunnel system they had in the border areas is the king showing in their hand. As far as a paranoid North Korean is concerned, that was what assured destruction and kept the US from making the first strike. A nutty concern, of course, but let's face it, those North Koreans are a nutty bunch.

At some point, they're going to feel really cornered. Then things will get really interesting.

Re:Paranoia and North Korea (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 years ago | (#28937501)

Do you really think the generals who run NK really believe their own propaganda about the US invading at any time? They are not nutty, and are actually quite brutally rational. Who else could have gotten sweetheart deal after sweetheart deal from diplomacy? Seriously, look at their history, North Korean diplomats are the Vince Lombardi of the last 20 years. You don't win repeated concessions, break your word, and then go back to the conference table and win again - that's not the actions of a nutbag.

Re:Paranoia and North Korea (1, Interesting)

pudge (3605) | about 5 years ago | (#28937589)

Good point, except for one thing: they only LOOK like Vince Lombardi because they were up against Carter and Clinton, who gave them those victories. They only have a few offenses and defenses, and so a decent American "coach" would not let them score off it, or would at least limit their scoring.

Not that I was ever a big fan of Bush, but North Korea is something he got right. Hopefully Obama doesn't screw up the progress we've made over the last few years.

Re:Paranoia and North Korea (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 5 years ago | (#28937651)

They are weapons manufacturers and dealers. They are China's diplomatic sandbox. They have thousands of artillery pieces pointing to Seoul. These are why they still exist. Diplomatically, they are just an embarrassment. They are the most isolated nation in the world, they couldn't get any normal relationship with their neighbors, and the "sweetheart deals" they get are humanitarian help in the form of tons of rice.

Their artillery blackmail is the only thing that keeps people on the negotiation table, but since 20 years, they got nothing apart increased isolation (self-inflicted, in some cases). They are nutty. Dangerous, yes, but nutty.

Re:Paranoia and North Korea (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 5 years ago | (#28937539)

The tunnel system they had in the border areas is the king showing in their hand. As far as a paranoid North Korean is concerned, that was what assured destruction and kept the US from making the first strike. A nutty concern, of course, but let's face it, those North Koreans are a nutty bunch.

As a guy born in a country whose people were similarly demonized just two decades ago (USSR), I have to chime in.

North Koreans are not "a nutty bunch". They are people just like me and you, and most of them would rather prefer to be left alone and live their lives in peace. Have a good home, marry a nice guy/girl, have kids, that sort of thing. They most definitely don't dream of nuclear clouds over Manhattan. They might be worried about the kind of thing TFA is about, but mostly because they don't want war (which tends to screw people's lives in a major way, especially when you're on the losing side).

The "nutty bunch" are the country leaders. And keep in mind that your average North Korean most likely doesn't feel the total, overwhelming kind of love towards his dear Glorious Leader that newspapers tell him he should have. By all accounts from tourists who visited NK, people there know how poor and oppressed they actually are, if not in specific things, then at least in general feeling.

Sorry, South Korea (1)

mindcorrosive (1524455) | about 5 years ago | (#28937385)

I sure hope they are not going to MOP the floor with an unfriendly neighbouring country.

misinformation (0, Troll)

religious freak (1005821) | about 5 years ago | (#28937389)

Just because the military says it's under development, doesn't mean it'll make it by then, or that it's true. Granted, this doesn't seem that difficult, but whenever I see a statement from the military (any military) I automatically question its truthfulness.

Re:misinformation (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 years ago | (#28937585)

"Granted, this doesn't seem that difficult"

I think you are missing the signifgance of the 200ft claim that others have pointed out.

"whenever I see a statement from the military (any military) I automatically question its truthfulness."

Agreed, but the only reason to lie about such a "game changer" would be if the US knew, (say via supercomputer sims), that this avenue of bunker busting research was a dead-end. It seems unlikely but if it was the case then the "200ft" lie would be a tempting red-herring for other nations BBB's (Bunker Busting Boffins).

Re:misinformation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937647)

Well the military was working on "Bunker buster" bombs since 2002 IIRC. Vaporware?

Atmosphere Risk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937401)

Is this powerful enough to do us volcano style? --Debris from the impact site rising back up to the sky in a cone until it hits the atmospheric barrier and falls back to the ground ten thousand miles away?

One could ASSUME they know what they're doing with these things, but something tells me these weren't exactly designed by the Manhattan Project team (who managed to irradiate themselves anyway).

Re:Atmosphere Risk? (1)

Lost Race (681080) | about 5 years ago | (#28937461)

30,000 pounds is 15 tons. That's 1000 times less than even a very small nuke.

Re:Atmosphere Risk? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 5 years ago | (#28937581)

30,000 pounds is 15 tons. That's 1000 times less than even a very small nuke.

Err ... no. _Very small_ nukes go down well into the sub-kiloton range.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device) [wikipedia.org]

I'd recommend the Department of Denfense... (1)

viraltus (1102365) | about 5 years ago | (#28937407)

To sell it as a tool to avoid asteroids to destroy Earth, more politically correct... and Hollywood can make a movie too.

Massive Ordnance Penetrator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937417)

Now that was a good porn movie.

Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937421)

bomb them from high altitudes don't send troops!

Barnes Wallis Reinvented...again! (5, Interesting)

RobHart (70431) | about 5 years ago | (#28937465)

This is really a reinvention and extension of 1940's British technology. Barnes Wallis (of the bouncing "Dam Buster" bomb fame) designed a 5 tonne bomb (Tallboy) in 1943. The larger 10 tonne bomb (Grand Slam) was introduced in early 1945. It was dropped from a Lancaster bomber (by 617 squadron - the Dam Buster squadron) from about 20,000 ft and was close to sonic (320 m/s) when it hit the ground. It was designed as a penetrator, only detonating when well underground. It was used with devastating effect against the German U Boat pens, canals, bridges and viaducts where the "earthquake" effect of a deep explosion undermined foundations. The Grand Slam used 4,144 kg of explosives (Torpex)which is considerably more than the heavier bomb proposed by the US DoD with an earth penetration design depth of 40m. I would imagine that the higher impact speed of the US bomb requires a much stronger casing, but I am surprised at the small ordinance load. It is interesting to note that (as with much British technology) design data for the Grand Slam was shared with the US and a US version was made, but not (as far as I am aware) used in WWII. RobHart

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937469)

I for one would like to welcome our new overlords wielding bombs of mass penetration.

Old Idea, updated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937487)

This weapon is pretty much the sequel to the 1940's Tallboy / Grandslam bombs. The bombs designed back then were huge and cumbersome, and were used to destroy hardened targets (sounds familiar...). I was actually wondering when the DoD would come around to re-using this weapon idea for 21'st century warfare. This new weapon will likely be a Tallboy with a JDAM guidance package on it.

I question the wisdom of spending money on such expensive weapons that perform such a singular function as destroying deep, hardened targets. This project seems like the kind of white elephant that the MOAB project was (i.e. another giant weapon that had limited value outside of shock and awe).

For those with historical interest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_boy [wikipedia.org]

Didn't we see those... (1)

Hymer (856453) | about 5 years ago | (#28937505)

...during WW2 ? I'm quite sure I've heard something about Lancasters modified to carry 10000kg bombs against big German u-boot & V2 bunkers. Those bombs were also ment to penetrate whatever they hit and explode. They were called "Earthquake bombs" [wikipedia.org] , there were two types: "Tallboy" [wikipedia.org] and "Grand Slam" [wikipedia.org] .

Yay! (0, Troll)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 5 years ago | (#28937531)

Now the US can bomb even more civilian bunkers to bits than they did in the Iraq war!

The constant aggression from the US is the biggest reason theese countries tries to get nuclear arms.

Translation to metric (5, Funny)

johannesg (664142) | about 5 years ago | (#28937555)

This is important since all the receiving parties are using the metric system, and you wouldn't want them to be confused about this.

"Published reports today say the Pentagon is rattling swords in the direction of North Korea and Iran by speeding the development a 6 m, 14968 kg bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This weapon is intended to annihilate underground bunkers and other hardened sites (read: long-range missile or underground nuke development) up to 61 m underground. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which has overseen the development of this monster since 2007, says it is designed to be carried aboard B-2.21 and B-53.638 bombers and deployed at high altitudes, from which it would strike the ground at speeds well beyond twice the speed of sound to penetrate the below-ground target." Reuters has more specifics on the MOP's chances for deployment by 2010, and the detail that the bomb's load of explosives weighs in at 2404 kg.

Re:Translation to metric (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937713)

Keep up with all this socialist talk, and we will bomb you back to the Stone Ages.

Its just a copy of Grand Slam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28937635)

Grand Slam [wikipedia.org]

A 22,000lb bomb, dropped by the RAF in the closing stages of WW2, known as the "Earthquake Bomb", and carried by Lancaster Bombers.

Scaling it up to.30,00lb seems a little unambitious.

Well it's not really that much... (3, Interesting)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | about 5 years ago | (#28937637)

They should write it's power output in terms of sun, in which case it looks really puny next to nuclear. For example, the Tsar Bomba (largest human utilized explosive device, which was detonated at half the possible yield to prevent fallout) actually got into whole number percentages:
"Since 50 Mt is 2.1*10^17 joules, the average power produced during the entire fission-fusion process, lasting around 39 nanoseconds, was about 5.4*10^24 watts or 5.4 yottawatts. This is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the power output of the Sun.[9]" (Wikipedia).

Re:Well it's not really that much... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 5 years ago | (#28937673)

This is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the power output of the Sun.

Hm. Suppose that aliens a few hundred lightyears away have their telescopes pointed at us in a few hundred years, could they detect the test? 1/100 of the power of the sun, albeit just for a few nanoseconds, sounds fairly significant.

Political bullshit (1, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#28937711)

This kind of bomb is pure stupidity. Remember the MOAB? Pure stupid. This is macho jock thinking, military style. "Mine's bigger than yours!" Pure political bullshit.

We already have bombs big enough to destroy almost anything above ground. As for underground targets - well, I've been convinced by a number of people that even a nuke may not take out a hardened underground bunker if it's buried 100 feet or more. Both Korea and Iran have terrain in which a bunker might be much deeper than 500 feet.

Follow the link, and read the first sentence: "the Pentagon is rattling swords". That one phrase in the first sentence sums it all up.

Well, I guess they have to make up for other inadequacies in some way.

First (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | about 5 years ago | (#28937715)

Let them fix their economy first; military whatevers are not the solution to that.
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