Here’s a little gem that was tucked in the Pentagon’s contract announcement email last night: The Air Force just gave Boeing a $28 million cost-plus contract modification to deliver eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs, “16 separation nuts, eight MOP loading adapters, and an aft closure redesign.”
Remember, the Pentagon moved to accelerate the deployment of the bomb in late 2009, which was supposed to enter limited service sometime in 2010. The air service has been working to modify some B-2 stealth bombers to carry two of the 30,000-pound, GPS-guided bombs, each. The weapons are designed to penetrate up to 200 feet of reinforced concrete.
In 2009, the Air Force has planned to buy a total of 15 MOPs, five test weapons and ten operational bombs.
The Air Force is already looking for a more practical, (smaller) complement to the MOP; the service basically wants a 2,000-pound weapon that can match the GBU-28’s 5,000 pound penetrating power. Man, that phrase is loaded with innuendo. Happy Friday!