Boeing says it has completed a static tunnel lethality test of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. Some of you may remember we earlier blogged on MOP, the 30,000 lb. bomb U.S. Air Force would drop from B-2 or B-52 bombers.
MOP contains about 5,300 lb. of explosive material. The 20-ft.-long weapon should be able to reach targets as deep as 60 meters below ground, and penetrate 5,000 psi of reinforced concrete. If the concrete is stronger, around 10,000 psi, it should still deliver a penetrtion depth of 8 meters.
MOP testing was actually supposed to take place last year, but by Pentagon standards the roughly half-year delay is nothing out of the ordinary.
The March 14 test under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency-sponsored program – that’s the organization focused on eliminating weapons of mass destruction facilities – took place at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The Air Force now plans to give Boeing a sole-source contract to integrate MOP on the B-2, and develop production plans. Why sole-source? The Air Force says it wants the contractor to have 2 years experience with the program, and that eliminates all the competition.
Congress provided extra money for MOP, in part as a counter to the administration’s desire to develop the robust nuclear earth penetrator.