Rare image of a B-2 stealth bomber and its Massive Ordnance Penetrator bunker buster bomb

Oct 28 2013 - 22 Comments

Even if B-52s have been used to test it, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is the only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory currently capable to carry and release the heaviest U.S. bomb, the 30,000-lb GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP).

The heavy GBU-57 is a 20-foot long GPS-guided bomb believed to be able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding, thus being capable to hit and destroy deeply buried targets.

Like bunkers in Iran, Syria or North Korea….

There are not many images showing the GBU-57 and even less show the MOP next to its intended platform. That’s why the top image, taken by Jim Mumaw in Jul. 2009, is extremely interesting and rare.

Image credit: Jim Mumaw


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  • Kaputar

    I can think of 2 very good places in Syria for these right now!

  • John J. Mercieca

    Beautiful ..

  • michael

    Don’t wanna be hit by this one

  • OG_Locc

    I’ve searched for this before, and never found a good answer :

    When a B-2 drops a MOP from operating altitude – how fast is the MOP going when it hits the ground?

    • phuzz

      After a quick search I’ve not found the altitude that it’s going to be dropped from. However, the MOP is designed to work on targets that are at 10,000 feet of altitude, and the ceiling of the B2 is 50,000 feet, so we can assume that it’s designed to be dropped from around 40,000 feet, (~12,000m).
      Assuming no air resistance an object dropped from 12,000m would be travelling at about 485m/s. That’s about 1000 mph, or just over Mach 1.
      Obviously air resistance is going to have some effect, to compare, the WWII Grand Slam penetrating bomb was designed to be travelling at 320m/s when it hit the ground, but they were dropped from only 3,500m.

  • Voltan

    Judging by the somewhat flimsy design of the stand that this 30,000lb bomb is standing on… I think we can safely assume this is actually a model of a MOP

    • Doug

      I had exactly the same thought when I looked at that stand. Four small rollers, each supporting 7,500 lbs plus the weight of the stand makes this look very much like a light weight model.

      • KFZ

        Looks too small to be 30’000 lbs, that’s a hell of a big bomb. Only 18′ long, very dense penetrator/nosecone…. If you compare against a grand slam (nothing new under the sun eh?) that’s only 22’000 lbs.

    • Ed_Stark

      The blue band is the sign that it is an inert munition. Good call on that stand.

      If it had a yellow band, that’s a different story.

  • Tweedle Dee

    Why can’t the B52 or at the very least the B-1 carry it? I know their payloads are pretty comparable. Bomb bay size?

    • OG_Locc

      They didn’t spend the money for combat ready integration with those aircraft. My guess is because the only time it’ll ever be used – it would need to get to the target area via a stealth aircraft.

      • Mrb

        If you load hat huge munition on the outside of that A/C, the aircraft loses all of its stealth properties.

        • OG_Locc

          Yep. That’s why it’s carried internally on the B-2.

  • Don Bacon

    Make that sixty feet of concrete — maybe, on a good day.

    • Spruance42

      Here’s hoping you live in a bunker with 59 ft of concrete above it

  • Kendrick

    Hmm I wonder why the B-2 Doesnt go to Guam anymore oh right B-52s still do the job best.

    • jmbduckhunter

      Guams FD cant support a B-2 Fire thats why they aint there anymore.

    • Jake Curry

      The B-1 has a significantly larger payload than the B-52.

  • Terry

    No. Conventional bombs are generally talked about in terms of their actual weight. Nuclear bombs are also often talked about in terms of their yield, depending on context. Rule of thumb: If the term “kiloton” or “megaton” is used, they’re talking about equivalent yield. If they don’t, they’re talking about weight.

  • joeblow55

    I think sending that up Vladimir Stalin’s ass would be a great idea.

  • joeblow55

    I think sending one of those up Vladimir Stalin’s rear end would be a great idea.

  • joeblow55

    I think sending one of those buttbusters up Putin’s u know what would be fun to watch.