The U.S. military plans this week to conduct its final development test on the most powerful nonnuclear bomb in its arsenal, the Air Force said Tuesday. The weapon is so big it is dubbed the "mother of all bombs."
The Air Force plans to detonate a 21,700-pound, satellite-guided GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, or MOAB, Thursday at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle, said Jake Swinson, a spokesman for the Air Armament Center there.
The huge conventional bomb will be dropped from an MC-130 Combat Talon cargo plane onto a test range at the base, Swinson said, noting that the massive bomb will then become available for use as U.S. military commanders deem appropriate.
In its only previous live test, the MOAB was detonated at the same base on March 11, the week before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. There were two previous inert tests of the bomb, Swinson said.
The MOAB spreads a flammable mist over the target, then ignites it, producing a highly destructive blast.