$16million, 8,100kg of explosives and a blast radius a mile-wide: Here’s all you need to know about the ‘Mother of all Bombs’

Thursday, April 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

US forces used the bomb in combat for the first time in Afghanistan today
Nicknamed the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ it is world’s largest non-nuclear weapon
It was first developed as a psychological weapon to scare enemy troops
It took $314 million (£251 million) to develop and was first tested in 2003

13 April 2017

It was first created as a psychological weapon, designed to scare the enemy into surrendering.

But today, the GBU-43/B – dubbed the ‘Mother of all bombs’ – has been dropped on an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan.

A crater left by the blast is believed to be more than 300 meters wide after it exploded six feet above the ground. Anyone at the blast site was vaporized.

This is the first time the Moab (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) explosive in combat for the first time. But what is the huge explosive, and how does it work?

The Moab or GBU-43/B is the world’s largest non-nuclear weapon.

It is designed to destroy heavily reinforced targets or to shatter ground forces and armour across a large area.

Its blast is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT. By comparison, the nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima had a blast yield of 15 tons of TNT.

First tested in 2003, it was developed by by US forces in preparation for the Iraq invasion but was never deployed during the war.
The huge bomb measure 30 feet (9 metres) long and 40 inches (1 metre) wide, and weighs 21,000lbs (9,500kg) – heavier than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.

While it has a blast radius that stretches a mile in each direction the bomb leaves no lasting radiation effect because it is non-nuclear.

Deploying such a large bomb isn’t easy as even the world’s largest bombing aircraft can’t manage the Moab’s size and weight.
The bomb can only be deployed out of the back of large cargo plane using a unique system.

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