The U.S. Air Force has unveiled the Massive Ordnance Penetrator – dubbed the Big Blu – and speculation is already mounting that it may be used in airstrikes on Iran or North Korea. B-2 Stealth Bombers will use the six metre long GPS guided rocket, fitted with 2.5 tons of explosives, to smash open underground bunkers and tunnels suspected of containing weapons of mass destruction.
USAF Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller said the service started taking delivery of the giant bomb, a staggering ten times more powerful than its predecessor the BLU-109, in September.
He added that the $32 million contract with aerospace firm Boeing would see eight of the devices delivered to 'fulfil the Air Force's operational needs'.
The delivery of the super bomb comes as U.S. President Barack Obama today said America would act firmly against any nuclear proliferation activities by North Korea.
And it is in the same week an International Atomic Energy Agency report renewed calls for a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
In a speech to the Australian Parliament, Obama said the transfer of nuclear material by North Korea to other nations would be 'considered a grave threat to the U.S. and our allies'.
He said he would hold North Korea, which has tested two nuclear devices since 2006 and is believed to be working on a long-range missile designed to reach the U.S., 'fully accountable for the consequences of such action'.
His warning came amid efforts to restart negotiations with the country on dismantling the nation's nuclear programme.
Meanwhile, the IAEA's report focused on Iran's alleged efforts to fit a nuclear warhead on a missile.
And it claimed Iran has been working to acquire equipment and weapons design information, testing high explosives and detonators and developing compute models of a warhead’s core.
It led to the U.S. ramping up pressure on the country, which it suspects of building nuclear facilities deep underground to thwart any possible air raid.
Obama refused to rule out a military option to prevent the country from making nuclear weapons and said economic sanctions against the country, aimed at halting its nuclear threat, were having 'enormous bite'.
The new MOP is twice as heavy as the 'daisy cutter' bomb employed in Vietnam and in Tora Bora at the outset of the war in Afghanistan.
The 'daisy cutter' has since been retired and replaced with the MOAB, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb or 'the Mother of All Bombs', which weighs less than the MOP bomb but contains more explosive power.