Israel has developed and tested its own bunker buster bomb, that has been described as “a very credible military option,” to use against Iran.
The 500-pound “MP-500” bomb is laser-guided, and the video below shows it penetrating four reinforced concrete walls. Iran has buried several of its nuclear facilities, including a uranium enrichment plant, under concrete bunkers in mountainous areas.
The government-owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) developed the bomb, an upgrade of the U.S. Mk82 bunker buster.
“The lethality, precision ... and relatively low weight enables its use against multiple targets in a single pass; an element that increases the operational effectiveness of attack,” according to IMI.
Israel is preparing to improve its capabilities to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities by enlarging its aerial refueling aircraft to carry enough fuel for F-15 and F-16 warplanes that would be used in an attack on Iran.
The Obama administration reportedly has offered to help Israel improve its bunker-busting capabilities on condition that the Netanyahu government does not stage an attack on Iran before the American elections in November. The White House has denied the report, and Israeli officials have said there is no connection between the elections and Israel’s timing of an attack.
Analysts have questioned Israel’s capability of significantly damaging Iran’s underground nuclear facilities, but the new bunker-buster bombs may change the balance in Israel's favor.
As the former defense official said in a closed session of the Institute for National Security Studies, “Just to remind you that the Israelis surprised the world in the past with capabilities that nobody [knew] that they could do.”
He was referring to the 1981 bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor and the bombing, in 2007, of a suspected nuclear site under construction in northern Syria with the help of North Korea.