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Pentagon Hopes to Develop 'Mother of All Bombs'

The Pentagon is reportedly working on the "mother of all bombs" -- a bunker buster to destroy an Iranian underground nuclear power plant.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/29/2012, 3:20 PM

Artist's rendition of MOP bunker buster bomb
Artist's rendition of MOP bunker buster bomb
courtesy of Iranian Press TV

The Pentagon is reportedly working on the development of the "mother of all bombs" -- a bunker buster than can destroy an Iranian underground nuclear power plant.

According to a report published by the UK-based Daily Mail newspaper, America's top military authority has secretly asked Congress for funds to create its largest bomb ever.

A 13.6-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) already exists -- the deepest-penetrating "bunker buster" in the American arsenal, it was presented to the U.S. Air Force last September. 

The Obama administration reportedly was considering arming Qatar with the huge bunker buster bombs, raising the possibility of an American-Israel-Arab attack on Iran. The bombs are reportedly built to fit the Boeing Stratofortress  B-52 long-range bomber or the Northrop Grumman B-2 stealth bomber.

But the 30,000-pound bomb, which is nearly six times larger than that that currently in use, and which can penetrate concrete bunkers containing nuclear, biological or nuclear weapons, is apparently still not strong enough to penetrate all the bunkers in Iran, according to sources in Washington D.C.

Iran has buried new nuclear plants in rocky mountainous areas and deep under concrete to minimize the damage of an aerial attack, even if bunker buster bombs are used.

As a result, U.S. military officials are determined to make it better, even though Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby officially denied that the bomb was being designed for use against Iran.

Kirby was quoted by the British newspaper as saying in November that the MOP would provide "a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction that are located in well protected underground facilities to a magnitude far greater than we have now."

Iran is the only nation believed to have buried its nuclear development facilities so far underground.