“Mother Of All Bombs” is a term you’re going to be hearing a lot over the next few days, thanks to a U.S. decision to use “GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast” on Thursday against terrorists in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
When a bomb has a nickname “Mother Of All Bombs” (MOAB, for short), it should tell you something.
“This massive weapon creates a blast radius stretching a mile in each direction,” explains the History Channel in a YouTube video.
Shock waves from the bomb “can be heard for miles and miles,” experts say.
This is the first time a MOAB has been used in a conflict, and one reason might be that they reported cost $15.7 million a piece, according to the math of Mic.com.
Another possible reason: MOABs are an unmanageable 30-feet long, 40.5 inches in diameter and weigh 21,600 pounds. They are deployed by being rudely dropped out of the back of a C-130, before bursting about six feet above the ground, says science.howstuffworks.com.
Russia, of course, has tried to outdo us with a version of their own that’s four-times more deadly and called the “Father Of All Bombs.”
A story in OpenDemocracy.com notes the MOAB is to be feared “as much for the sheer psychological effect of its blast as for the physical damage that it will cause.”
The MOAB was “fast tracked” for development in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, but a lack of enemy resistance in that conflict kept “the largest guided bomb in the history of the world” from being used, according to the History Channel.
Until now, that is.
A MOAB was reportedly first tested in Florida, creating billowing mushroom cloud and the sound of thunder heard 30 miles away. It is tough to find much about the destruction caused when the bomb is dropped, possibly because it hasn’t been used before now.