US Testing New Bunker Busting Bomb

US Testing New Bunker Busting Bomb

( – The US Air Force has tested a new smart bomb it could use to destroy nuclear weapons owned by foreign rogue states. The prototype bomb is an ingenious and cost-effective weapon that uses off-the-shelf parts to create a new capability.

Up to now, the USAF’s chosen bomb for destroying hardened concrete bunkers – like those used to store nuclear weapons – is the GBU-28. This 5,000-pound monster was developed in just three weeks during the first Gulf war, with the first batch made from cut-down 8” howitzer barrels. The GBU-28 can penetrate five meters of reinforced concrete or punch more than 150 feet into the ground, making it devastating against bunkers and tunnels – but it isn’t perfect.

Its biggest disadvantage is that it’s laser-guided, meaning an aircraft or special operations team has to aim a laser designator at the target so the bomb can home in on the reflected light. Heavily-defended targets might be impossible to designate, and smoke, or even bad weather, can block the laser.

On October 12, the Air Force announced the first-ever drop of a BLU-72 Advanced 5K Penetrator. The new weapon uses the same warhead as the GBU-28, but instead of laser guidance, it’s fitted with a guidance kit that uses GPS, so it will guide itself to exactly where it’s supposed to go with an accuracy of around three feet – which, for a bomb packed with half a ton of high explosives, is close enough. It can attack in any weather and doesn’t need a designator.

With the successful testing of the GBU-72, the USAF wants them fast – its 2022 budget allocates $36 million for 125 of the bombs. Rogue states like Iran and North Korea need to pay attention to this new information. They can keep playing with nuclear weapons, but now we can have the capacity to destroy those weapons should we need to.

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