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Heavy Bomb Finds New Home in Fla. Museum PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Thursday, 20 May 2004 11:46
A massive weapon nicknamed "Mother of All Bombs" became a museum piece Thursday, 15 months after it was tested to great fanfare as the war with Iraq loomed.

The military created 14 MOABs - officially an acronym for Massive Ordnance Air Blast - but none was used in the war.

There are no current plans to make more of the 21,000-pound bombs, the largest guided air-delivered munition in history, said Lt. Col. Mark Hunter, who led the team that designed, tested, built and delivered the bomb in only 14 weeks.

Hunter said the bomb played a psychological role in Iraq. By BILL KACZOR
Associated Press Writer

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) -- A massive weapon nicknamed "Mother of All Bombs" became a museum piece Thursday, 15 months after it was tested to great fanfare as the war with Iraq loomed.

The military created 14 MOABs - officially an acronym for Massive Ordnance Air Blast - but none was used in the war.

There are no current plans to make more of the 21,000-pound bombs, the largest guided air-delivered munition in history, said Lt. Col. Mark Hunter, who led the team that designed, tested, built and delivered the bomb in only 14 weeks.

Hunter said the bomb played a psychological role in Iraq.

"These weapons cast a long shadow over our enemy by its very existence and proven capabilities," Hunter said as the 30-foot weapon was put on display.

Hunter later acknowledged he had no evidence to support his claim other than worldwide media coverage of the bomb's first test on March 11, 2003. It rattled windows miles away and kicked up a mushroom cloud on an Eglin test range.

"Certainly, that kind of discussion about a new weapon can have a detrimental morale impact on the enemy," Hunter said.



The one on display at Eglin's Air Armament Museum - painted bright green with a yellow nose and MOAB printed on the side in large white lettering - is an empty shell but could be removed from display, filled with explosive and put back into service if needed, Hunter said.

The first operational MOAB was deployed to the war theater on April 11, 2003. By then the Iraqi military had crumbled and coalition forces were in Baghdad.

MOAB is a satellite-guided weapon intended to replace the 15,000-pound BLU-82, nicknamed "Daisy Cutter, an unguided bomb that dates to the Vietnam War, where it was used to clear jungle for helicopter landing zones.

The Daisy Cutter also was dropped in the 1991 Persian Gulf War to clear minefields and more recently to blast caves believed to be hiding terrorists in Afghanistan. MOAB can be used for similar targets as well as structures susceptible to blast damage.

Both weapons are too big to be dropped by conventional bombers. Instead, they are carried aloft in C-130 transports and pushed out the rear cargo doors.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 May 2004 11:46
 

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