First Video: Mother of all Bombs
The US Government have released aerial footage of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) strike on an Islamic State cave and tunnel systems in the Achin district on Thursday.
The footage shows the devastation of the 11-ton yield bomb. It was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft and a large mushroom cloud of smoke can be seen over the region, with a massive crater left in its wake.
The MOAB, known officially as the GBU-43/B, was first tested in 2003 but had not been used by the US since, due to concerns over possible civilian casualties. The bomb has a blast radius of 1-mile (1.6 km).
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB pronounced /ˈmoʊ.æb/) is a large-yield conventional (non-nuclear) bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory. At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed. The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants.
Former US military official Marc Garlasco, who served in the George W. Bush administration, reported that the “US never dropped the MOAB in Iraq due to collateral damage concerns. I was on the targeting team that considered it.”
The MOAB has been used once in combat, which was in the 13 April 2017 airstrike against ISIS forces in Afghanistan. Several news organizations called it the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat, although the 22,000-pound Grand Slam earthquake bombs that were dropped during World War II had around the same weight, but were designed for penetration and carried less explosives.
In 2007, Russia tested a thermobaric weapon nicknamed the “Father of All Bombs”; the weapon is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB.