New Photos Of Massive Ordnance Penetrator Bunker Buster Bomb At Whiteman AFB Emerge

Massive Ordnance Pentetrator
GBU-57 MOP at Whiteman AFB (Image credit: Whiteman AFB FB page)

The shots give an idea of the size of the GBU-57 MOP (Massive Ordnance Penetrator).

The B-2 Spirit stealth bombers of the 509th Bomb Wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, are 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.

Sometimes mistaken with the 11-ton, parachute deployed, GBU-43B MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) also known as “Mother Of All Bombs”, the largest conventional air dropped weapon ever employed by the U.S. military, dropped by an Air Force Special Operations MC-130 Combat Talon II on an ISIS cave complex target in Afghanistan, for the very first time on Apr. 13, 2017, the 14-ton GBU-57 MOP is a 20-foot long GPS-guided bomb said to be able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding.

The B-2 can carry two MOPs in its internal bomb bay.

Images of the MOP are pretty rare. In 2013, we published here an interesting photo of a B-2 sitting next to a GBU-57. In December 2018, we found footage of a B-2 dropping a MOP in a video of the 393rd Bomb Squadron, one of the units that operate the Spirit stealth bomber as part of the 509th BW.

At the beginning of April, the 131st BW, a unit of the Missouri Air National Guard, also stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, posted some photos including one depicting an inert GBU-57, used for training purposes.

Some more images have just been posted by the 509th BW Facebook page. As explained in the post, “509th Munitions Squadron added two Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) to their arsenal, so they can test their performance.”

These photos are particularly interesting as they show a “Live” GBU-57: as opposed to the blue one, the yellow band around the nose is used to identify bombs with high-explosive filler. However, in this case, the stencil is slightly different than that you can see on other weapons: the band is checkered rather than solid.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.