The US military dropped the United States’ most powerful non-nuclear bomb, MOAB, on ISIS targets in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. The bomb, nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs, was dropped from an MC-130 carrier aircraft.
The Nangarhar province is located in the east part of Afghanistan, on the border with Pakistan and is reported to be an ISIS hideout and strategic location which facilitated ISIS fighters’ movement in that area.
The target of the attack, according to officials, was an ISIS cave and tunnel complex and personnel in the area. After the fight had intensified between the US military forces and the ISIS terrorists, the US decided to use the MOAB (nicknamed the mother of all bombs) in battle for the first time.
The purpose of the attack, as White House press secretary Sean Spicer said later that Thursday, was to deny ISIS fighters operational space, and the operation is deemed successful.
What is the MOAB?
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) is the largest and most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal. It weighs 21,600 pounds and contains 18,000 pounds of explosives. The blast is designed to destroy a target area spreading over thousands of feet.
Although the size of the explosion is nowhere near that of an atomic bomb, with the explosive yield of 0.011 kilotons (that of a nuclear bomb being 10-180 kilotons), the force of this bomb is not to be underestimated.
Also nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs, the MOAB is satellite guided and is designed to explode in the air. The blast is capable of collapsing underground tunnels and instantly killing people within the area.
The MOAB was first tested in 2003 and this is the first time ever it has been used in combat.
The Americans have the Mother, but the Russians have the Father Of All Bombs (FOAB)
While the MOAB is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb, Russia currently possesses an even bigger one. It is the world’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb, nicknamed the Father of All Bombs.
It is thought to be about four times as destructive as the MOAB with a blast radius of 1,000 feet and a force of 44 megatons of TNT. It is a thermobaric bomb, which makes it different from the MOAB in the way it interacts with the environment.
The Russian Father of All Bombs combines with atmospheric oxygen to extend the blast radius. It also explodes in midair, and is designed to annihilate targets and collapse structures by producing powerful blasts and aftershocks.