Last year we found rare footage of a Spirit stealth bomber dropping a GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator. Here’s a clip showing a B-2 dropping two such bombs.
As explained in an article we published last year, there are just a few images showing the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator carried by (or next to) a B-2 Spirit, the weapon’s intended platform of the large 30,000-lb (14,000 kg) bunker buster bomb. One of these is the photo we published in 2013, here, as well as the video of the B-2 dropping one of the two MOPs the stealth bomber can carry in its internal bomb bay that we found in a clip by the 393rd Bomb Squadron, one of the units that operate the Spirit stealth bomber as part of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base Missouri, in October 2017.
However, we got a new glimpse at the MOP in a new video released by the 509th Bomb Wing that shows B-2 Spirit bombers doing a lot of different things, including air-to-air refueling with the Spirit’s peculiar rotating dorsal receptacle (once the refueling has finished the fuel intake required to connect with the tanker’s flying boom can’t remain exposed as it would become RCS “hotspot”) filmed in 2015; launching for a Global Strike Mission in Libya in 2017; generating a condensation cloud (that looks like some sort of cloaking trick – but it is not); and dropping two GBU-57s.
The clip is short, you can see the two bombs released from the internal weapon bay around 00:36:
We have no idea as to when the footage was filmed: as mentioned the video was created by stitching different segments, most of those released few years ago. Nevertheless, the clip is interesting as it is, to this author’s knowledge, the first to show a dual MOP drop.
This is what we wrote about the bomb previously:
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is the only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory currently capable to operationally drop the massive 30,000-lb (14,000 kg) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (even though the testing of the MOP involved a B-52 back in 2009, the weapon’s intended platform is only the B-2).
The 14-ton GBU-57 is a 20-foot long GPS-guided bomb said to be able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding: for this reason it is considered the weapon of choice in case of attack on buried targets (such as the North Korean bunkers).
The MOP is sometimes mistaken with the 11-ton, parachute deployed, GBU-43B MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) also known as “Mother Of All Bombs”. The MOAB is the largest conventional air dropped weapon ever employed by the U.S. military: a U.S. Air Force Special Operations MC-130 Combat Talon II dropped the GBU-43B on an ISIS cave complex target in Afghanistan, for the very first time on Apr. 13, 2017.