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The Military United States Technology

Boeing Delivers Massive Ordnance Penetrator 381

Posted by Soulskill
from the mopping-up dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "In an age of drones and lightweight weaponry, the U.S. Air Force's purchase of the first batch of 30,000-pound bombs designed to pulverize underground enemy hide-outs highlights the military's need to go after hard and deeply buried targets. The weapon's explosive power is 10 times greater than its bunker-buster predecessor, the BLU-109 and it is nearly five tons heavier than the 22,600-pound GBU-43 MOAB surface bomb, sometimes called the 'mother of all bombs.' 'Our past test experience has shown that 2,000-pound penetrators carrying 500 pounds of high explosive are relatively ineffective against tunnels, even when skipped directly into the tunnel entrance,' says a 2004 Pentagon report on the Future Strategic Strike Force. 'Instead, several thousand pounds of high explosives coupled to the tunnel are needed to blow down blast doors and propagate a lethal air blast throughout a typical tunnel complex' (PDF). Experts note that the military disclosed delivery of the new bunker-busting bomb less than a week after a United Nations agency warned that Iran was secretly working to develop a nuclear weapon and is known to have hidden nuclear complexes that are fortified with steel and concrete, and buried under mountains. 'Heck of a coincidence, isn't it?' says John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org."
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Boeing Delivers Massive Ordnance Penetrator

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paiute (550198) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:22AM (#38085862)
    Why tell potential targets how big a bomb you have and how deep it will penetrate? They can just go deeper and pour more concrete. What happened to surprise?
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:25AM (#38085900) Journal

    Usually the target lowers its defenses if they know you have a big missile :D

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mx+b (2078162) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:26AM (#38085926)
    I'm sure there's a lot of propaganda in any such statement. It's probably a "made-up" number very close to intelligence estimates in order to be kind of a "we know what you're doing" sort of statement, meant to shake up targets and hopefully make them more willing to negotiate first. The actually specifications are almost assuredly not what was released.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc AT carpanet DOT net> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:27AM (#38085940) Homepage

    Because you have no intention of actually using them.

    The point here is not to be ready for a war with Iran, the point is to justify defense contractor jobs, keep the budgetary money flowing, and give Iran an excuse to do the same and give us more excuses later.

    Seriously, have you been sleeping?

  • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iblum (894775) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:27AM (#38085946)
    you obviously know very little about atomic devices if you think that they can be set off by someone blowing up the facility. In order to form the chain reaction necessary for an atomic explosion, the forces must be very precisely directed. And with the radioactive material so far underground already, there's no danger of releasing radiation into the surrounding countryside. Its far more dangerous to let the Iranians have a working nuclear device than to worry about putting extra large pot holes all over their country. Which is sad, because if their government cared at all for their people, they'd realize that pissing off the US is a good way to look more like large parking lot than an industrialized country.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iblum (894775) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:30AM (#38085990)
    Because digging deeper and pouring more concrete costs money. Money that they could instead be spending on the Nuclear research. the more expensive and dangerous we make their nuclear program, the more likely they are to give it up.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:32AM (#38086032)

    Why tell potential targets how big a bomb you have and how deep it will penetrate? They can just go deeper and pour more concrete. What happened to surprise?

    That's part of the point of having such a weapon. The effort that a potential foe puts into negating the weapon can be more beneficial than use of the weapon in actual warfare. Nuclear bombs are the classic example.

    Another example is China's current efforts. They do this all the time with weapons systems meant as foils for aircraft carriers and other expensive pieces of US hardware. Make a new missile or a fancy new sub, even if you never make many of them, and then the US has to devise a counter.

  • George Carlin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:35AM (#38086072)
    This is George Carlin's "bigger dick" foreign policy ("What? They have bigger dicks? BOMB THEM") at work. Now we are taking it a step further and talking about how deep our "bombs" will penetrate. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, it might help to have more women in positions of power?
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NevarMore (248971) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:36AM (#38086090) Homepage Journal

    Why tell potential targets how big a bomb you have and how deep it will penetrate? They can just go deeper and pour more concrete. What happened to surprise?

    I have a friend who served in the Gulf War (the first one) and drove one of the missile systems. He often said, "The range *that we were allowed to know about* was 50km". I forget the exact numbers, the point is that frequently what the published capabilities and what the real capabilities of a weapons system is are often significantly different.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:40AM (#38086146) Homepage Journal

    I'm confused. Wasn't the U.N. that organization which was lying when it said Iraq had no wmds?

    The one we called liars but when we sent not one, not two, but three teams of our own investigators after we had invaded Iraq to find the wmds which we knew were there, found that the multiple reports that had come out were correct?

    It would be nice if people would make up their minds. Either the reports generated by the same organization are false or they're not. Pick one.

  • Re:George Carlin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by judoguy (534886) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:40AM (#38086150) Homepage
    Seriously?? Have you ever seen girls fight?
  • Deprecated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by srussia (884021) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:42AM (#38086198)

    The effort that a potential foe puts into negating the weapon can be more beneficial than use of the weapon in actual warfare. Nuclear bombs are the classic example.

    That M.A.D. example has been deprecated. The new canonical example is "threat of 9/11-style terrorism".

  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:43AM (#38086214) Journal

    "The Massive Ordnance Penetrator is a weapon system designed to accomplish a difficult, complicated mission of reaching and destroying our adversaries' weapons of mass destruction located in well-protected facilities," Lt. Col. Melinda F. Morgan, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said in a statement.

    Despite the difficult and complicated mission, Boeing opted for a fairly simple solution: pack in more weight and explosives to blow the shit out of the target.

    Could the next Slashdot Poll be to rename this new weapon system? Please, pretty please?

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr1911 (1942298) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:55AM (#38086386)

    Why tell potential targets how big a bomb you have and how deep it will penetrate? They can just go deeper and pour more concrete. What happened to surprise?

    Because moving a nuclear weapons development facility 20 feet deeper into the ground is a hell of a lot harder than getting off of your lazyboy to get another bag of Doritos.

    Secondly, you assume the advertised capabilities of the bomb are correct?
    A: The bomb will penetrate X feet of hardening.
    B: We will build our new complex X+15 feet deep.
    Millions of dollars and years of construction later
    A: Oh yeah, that bomb will actually penetrate X+30 feet of hardening.
    B: Oh shit.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s4m7 (519684) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:59AM (#38086442) Homepage

    the more expensive and dangerous we make their nuclear program, the more likely they are to give it up.

    That would be true if you were dealing with a straightforward external cost-benefit analysis scenario. When speaking of Iran, that's not the case. Iran has enormous internal pressure to keep up the appearance of being a threat to Israel. In order to make that cost-benefit scenario work from a political standpoint, you'd have to make the expense and danger greater than the existing implied threat of being nuked by Israel.

    You're absolutely right about the other part, however. If our intel suggests that they've already constructed tunnels of depth X, it may cause their development process to slow down while they re-engineer existing infrastructure, and it will certainly cause them to import more concrete and other building supplies. Various governmental and past-governmental monied interests are well invested in the "international" firms that don't have to abide by the embargoes, and can therefore supply these contracting services and make substantial money from it

    Cheney, I'm looking at you.

  • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:01AM (#38086480) Homepage Journal

    The US, but rest assure while we try to clean it up, they would bitch about us.

    anyway, ignore X.25, he's a US bashing troll. There are plenty of things to discuss about the US but he isn't even smart enough to talk about those.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:04AM (#38086510) Homepage Journal
    The government does not have the funds to keep social security and education budgets up,
  • Priorities. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:07AM (#38086554)

    But "Obama care" would cost too much?

  • Re:Cool! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by teslafreak (684543) <teslafreak@hotmail.com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:18AM (#38086720) Homepage Journal
    No, he's right. Look at a list of the wars the US has been involved in within the last 20 years. You will indeed find that we are the biggest threat to peace, you know, provided you are into terrorists or the particular brand of peace/oppresion that dictators bring.
  • Re:Hrmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:21AM (#38086768)

    If you're referring to Israel, they aren't our friend. Israel is a bit like a therapist, they care about us as long as we're giving them money.

  • Dual-use weapons (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quila (201335) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:49AM (#38087174)

    During the Cold War, our troops in Europe had instructions on how to blow up their tactical nuclear weapons with a shaped charge if they were in danger of being overrun by the advancing Soviet army.

    Not only did this prevent a nuke from falling into enemy hands, the charge would obliterate the nuclear core, blowing the pieces out in the direction of the blast. The whole area would be rendered quite dangerous to advancing troops.

    And unlike Clooney and Kidman, they were ordered to get the hell out of there as soon as the fuse was lit.

  • Re:Hrmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:55AM (#38087288) Homepage

    If you're referring to Israel, they aren't our friend. Israel is a bit like a therapist, they care about us as long as we're giving them money.

    And they're crazier than the patient.

    Nice Analogy!

  • Re:George Carlin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:09PM (#38087510)

    Do you think that maybe, just maybe, it might help to have more women in positions of power?

    Wow, you don't understand women at all! They are easily offended. They hold grudges forever. They never "attack from the front". Instead, they work to subtly undermine and destroy their enemies often using innocent third parties (who get fucked in the process) to do the dirty work.

    Surprise! Women are just as shitty as men, in different and more concealed ways.

  • by mr1911 (1942298) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:18PM (#38087624)

    it's a simple matter to pour 20 feet of wrapped rebar and concrete on top.

    Only if you designed the structure to bear the load of an additional 20 feet of rebar and concrete. Otherwise you will cause more destruction than the bomb you fear.

    additional blast doors can easily protect against it.

    That would seem to depend on your assumption of how much "additional" means and how you define easily. It isn't quite as simple as throwing up another door and a few baffles. You also seem to be under the impression that there is only one bomb instead of a successive strike of these things.

    Either way, the facility is disrupted and funds/resources are being diverted when playing defense.

  • by rim_namor (2454342) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:28PM (#38087774)

    that's a 'flamebait'? The country is filled with war mongers and killers, murderers basically, doing it just to perpetuate the unsustainable economy, and this is a flamebait?

    Well, this new bomb is a flamebait. Your economy is a flamebait. Your politics is a flamebait and half of your population is a flamebait.

  • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance.level4@org> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:43PM (#38087964) Journal
    Just to refresh YOUR memory U.S. Invades (well about 2-3 countries a year but let's do 1 example). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion [wikipedia.org]
    U.S. creates no fly zone, economic sanctions, practices attack maneuvers OVER your contry.
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6030302/iran_fires_antiaircraft_missile_fails.html [associatedcontent.com]
    Some examples of U.S. terrorist activities - http://www.salon.com/2011/03/11/us_arms_sales/ [salon.com]. Rwanda, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq... what a catalog of success.

    Now in case you missed it there's this large country called the U.S. they have military bases in 100+ countries most of which have actively campaigned to get the U.S. OUT.
    Also, in case YOU missed it. There is this same large country called the U.S.. They view the world as their military theatre... pieces of their imperialist empire. They have the CIA good for poisonings.... supporting drug cartels and rebels in your country, and which is also useful against reporters.
  • Re:Hrmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by irussel (78667) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:04PM (#38089032)

    The US doesn't have friends. It has interests.

  • by Reziac (43301) * on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:09PM (#38089100) Homepage Journal

    This is precisely my own observation, speaking as a professional dog trainer -- it's just the same with dogs. If you have a fight between males, they beat each other up, settle their differences, then go have a beer together. But females fight to kill, and they never forget who it was they decided had to die... and they will go to great lengths to achieve that.

    Not to sound like a sexist pig, but IMO a lot of the social problems we see today are because of female-style solutions (precisely as you describe, draconian and inflexible), rather than just having it out and getting it over with and getting on with life, male-style. I've watched the political change across my lifetime, and it hasn't been for the good.

  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:19PM (#38089218)

    While there must be additional layers of security, the whole point of the suits and sunglasses is to intimidate potential attackers into assuming that harming the President is impossible. There's also lots of hype and spin about the secret service and their capabilities.

    What I'm saying is, the President is actually pretty vulnerable. There's an awful lot of people he has to come into contact on a daily basis, and there's no way the screening can catch everything. The reporter that threw a shoe at George W? No reason that shoe couldn't have contained a bomb. The couple who gate crashed the white house? In theory they could have smuggled bombs in as well, so long as the metal content was low and the shape was hard to distinguish. (I don't know if the secret services uses backscatter X-ray, I would assume that they probably do now)

    And there's rallies where a LOT of people get reasonably close to the president. How good is the screening? Probably the best the secret service can do, but it can't be perfect.

    Heck, Bill Clinton went to McDonalds on a regular basis...someone could have poisoned his food. (although McDonald's food is poison as it is...)

    The secret service is to stop nuts and crazies, not trained commandos with millions of dollars in budget. I'm sure there are countless vulnerabilities that could be found by people who were determined and had the funding. However, it would have the OPPOSITE politcal effect. If Obama died tommorow, distraught voters would probably elect a new president who is even more liberal than Obama. Not to mention there's no gain in it. Even if a war were going on, assasinating the president would probably have little or not strategic impact.

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