Iran N-Bomb: James Bond Thriller

US plans for a monstrous bunker buster bomb that can hit underground nuclear facilities is turning the Iranian threat into a James Bond thriller.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 11:08

American bunker-buster bomb
American bunker-buster bomb
Israel news photo: Air Force Times

The United States is speeding up plans for production of a monstrous 15-ton bunker-buster bomb that can reach nuclear facilities in Iran and North Korea, even if they are buried as deep as 200 feet underground.

The Pentagon’s announcement two weeks ago that it hopes the bomb will be ready by next July came the same day that the London Times quoted intelligence sources as saying that Iran can produce a nuclear weapon in one year. The report stated that it would take six months for Iran to enrich enough uranium for the weapon and another six months to manufacture a nuclear warhead for its Sehab-3 missile that can reach Israel.

Most of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear installations are buried deep underground. Defense analysts have doubted whether the U.S. or Israel currently has the capability of penetrating the concrete compounds.

The new bomb is designed to solve that problem, and the Pentagon is asking Congress for additional funding for the Boeing-made bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP).

The 25.5-foot bomb casing of hardened steel is to carry 5,300 pounds of high explosives. The Northrop Grumman B-2 bomber, which can evade radar, can carry two of the bombs at one time. The MOP is one-third heavier than the current “mother of all bombs,” the Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb.

If U.S. President Barack Obama fails to stop Iran’s unsupervised nuclear program through diplomatic means, the MOP may be unleashed, just about the same time that Iran can try to carry out Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s desire to “wipe Israel off the map.”

"Even if the MOP only comes close to achieving its design objectives, it will represent a significant leap in the U.S. ability to threaten hardened and deeply buried targets, and destroy them if necessary," the Texas-based security consultancy Strategic Forecasting firm told UPI.

"The centrifuge halls at the Natanz enrichment site in Iran, for example, are unlikely to be able to withstand a direct hit,” it added.