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Posted on Apr 7, 2011 in Stuff We Like

Mother of All Bombs

By John Antal

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) (colloquially known as the Mother of All Bombs) is a large-yield conventional bomb developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr.  At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed. The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants. The 21,700-pound [9,500 kilogram] bomb contains 18,700 pounds of H6, an explosive that is a mixture of RDX (Cyclotrimethylene trinitramine), TNT, and aluminum. H6 is used by the military for general purpose bombs. H6 is an Australian produced explosive composition. Composition H6 is a widely used main charge filling for underwater blast weapons such as mines, depth charges, torpedoes and mine disposal charges. HBX compositions (HBX-1, HBX-3, and H6) are aluminized (powdered aluminum) explosives used primarily as a replacement for the obsolete explosive, torpex. They are employed as bursting charges in mines, depth bombs, depth charges, and torpedoes. HBX-3 and H-6 have lower sensitivity to impact and much higher explosion test temperatures than torpex. The MOAB weapon produces a very large explosive blast, with lesser fragmentation effects due to a thin-walled aluminum casing. On 11 September 2007 the Russian military announced that it had tested what it called the "Father of All Bombs" which is claimed to be four times more powerful than the MOAB.

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Thanks to Col. John Antal, US Army (Ret) for sending this photo taken at the Air Force Armament Museum at Egling Air Force Base, Florida. It’s da bomb!

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