LAXintl
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Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:50 am

Coincidence or not?

As things brew in Iran, or even for North Korea one day..


Quote:
Boeing delivers first batch of 30,000-pound bombs to Air Force

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. has delivered the first batch of 30,000-pound bombs, each nearly five tons heavier than anything else in the military's arsenal, to the U.S. Air Force to pulverize underground enemy hide-outs.

At a total cost of about $314 million, the military has developed and ordered 20 of the GPS-guided bombs, called Massive Ordnance Penetrators. They are designed to be dropped on targets by the Boeing-made B-52 Stratofortress long-range bomber or Northrop Grumman Corp.'s B-2 stealth bomber.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...ster-bomb-20111117,0,3582708.story

=
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connies4ever
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:20 am

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Coincidence or not?

As things brew in Iran, or even for North Korea one day..

I doubt it is that specific. I think the odds of a US attack on either are fairly low.
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Stealthz
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:57 am

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
At a total cost of about $314 million, the military has developed and ordered 20 of the GPS-guided bombs,

For some steel casing, a few $k of explosive, some servos and a Navman... $15M a copy??

Does anyone see a problem here???

[Edited 2011-11-17 02:57:56]
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flyingturtle
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:43 am

What's the designation of that thing? BLU-___?
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NSMike
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:56 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
What's the designation of that thing? BLU-___?

GBU-57A/B

In terms of penetrating power I wonder how it compares to the old Grand Slam from WWII...
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scbriml
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:03 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
Does anyone see a problem here???

The screwdrivers need to put that together are REALLY expensive!   
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bikerthai
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:36 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
For some steel casing, a few $k of explosive, some servos and a Navman... $15M a copy??

Does anyone see a problem here???

Nope. The bulk of the money was probably for the up front R&D to design and integrate the weapon. The actual fabrication cost is probably more reasonable. Although with such a low production rate, the per unit price would be higher than usual.

Expect unit price for follow on orders to be lower.

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rolfen
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:18 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
For some steel casing, a few $k of explosive, some servos and a Navman... $15M a copy??

Does anyone see a problem here???

Yes. Although your description surely over-simplifies it, I think this thing is too expensive! It's a bomb, after all, I believe it can be made cheaper. It's almost as expensive as an F-16!
On the other hand, this is probably the top of the top in bunker-busting, and only to be used in very specific situations.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:50 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
For some steel casing, a few $k of explosive, some servos and a Navman... $15M a copy??

Does anyone see a problem here???

Iran definitely does!  
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nomadd22
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:13 pm

This bomb is an alternative to a nuke for some targets. $15 million is pretty small money to avoid that.
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SeJoWa
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:40 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
At a total cost of about $314 million, the military has developed and ordered 20 of the GPS-guided bombs,

For some steel casing, a few $k of explosive, some servos and a Navman... $15M a copy??

Does anyone see a problem here???

Not at all. This is not an ordinary bomb, rather a much needed asymmetric capability ( in our favour for once ).

According to wiki, and whatever you think of the reliability of the numbers, it does give an idea of the power.

Penetration:

200 ft (61 m) of 5,000 psi (34 MPa) reinforced concrete
26 ft (7.9 m) of 10,000 psi (69 MPa) reinforced concrete
130 ft (40 m) of moderately hard rock


Not your simple, everyday bomb. Now, of course it's possible to build bunkers that could withstand it, but since our esteemed putative targets don't know the precise numbers, hardening vital infrastructure has now become an incredible PITA, and also so much harder to hide from prying eyes.

I'm rather critical of how our money is spent at the DOD and think its budget must be cut simply to instill a minimum measure of vital discipline without which nothing much gets done, but this is a really worthwhile investment.
 
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:25 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 10):
Not your simple, everyday bomb.

Saw a documentary once on these types of bombs. They have to penetrate the earth, then sense when they reach a "chamber" before exploding. As I recall, they can even be program to penetrate a number of "chambers" before exploding.

Got to be complicated designing and building sensors that can do this reliably.

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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:57 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
As things brew in Iran, or even for North Korea one day..

Why always this obsession about Iran and North Korea?

How about Turkey?
Here's something informative for you coming from the Turkish Prime Minister.

Turkey warns Israel: "you better not fu... with us"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB_0_uaRW_k

  

I am anti-war. Conflicts can be solved sitting around a table.
How many more innocent civilians will these bombs massacre? I hope these new weapons will never get used.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:31 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
As things brew in Iran, or even for North Korea one day..

Why always this obsession about Iran and North Korea?

How about Turkey?
Here's something informative for you coming from the Turkish Prime Minister.

Turkey warns Israel: "you better not fu... with us"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB_0_uaRW_k


I am anti-war. Conflicts can be solved sitting around a table.
How many more innocent civilians will these bombs massacre? I hope these new weapons will never get used.

Turkey isn't trying to build nukes and is a member of NATO.
And the bombs won't kill nearly as many people as sticking your head in the sand, or assuming that crazed criminals are just looking for a chance to sit around a table and work things out.
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Stealthz
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:33 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
How many more innocent civilians will these bombs massacre?

Very few unless they are living in hardened bunkers deep underground, one of the good points about the cost and scarcity of these bombs is they will not be used widely in everyday conflicts

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
I hope these new weapons will never get used.

In some ways that is the hallmark of the perfect weapon system.. to never be used.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:38 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 10):
According to wiki, and whatever you think of the reliability of the numbers, it does give an idea of the power.

Penetration:

200 ft (61 m) of 5,000 psi (34 MPa) reinforced concrete
26 ft (7.9 m) of 10,000 psi (69 MPa) reinforced concrete
130 ft (40 m) of moderately hard rock

Yes, not your everyday bomb. But I was thinking maybe a succession of smaller (and cheaper) penetrating bombs striking at the exact same spot will achieve the same effect at a lower price.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:42 pm

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 13):
Turkey isn't trying to build nukes and is a member of NATO.

As far as we know. But rest assured this has been discussed at the higher military and political echelons in Turkey. They have the means and the know-how.
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canoecarrier
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:01 pm

Quoting NSMike (Reply 4):
In terms of penetrating power I wonder how it compares to the old Grand Slam from WWII...

The 22,000 lb Grand Slam was designed to penetrate 20-25 feet of reinforced concrete. Whereas this weapon is designed to "to penetrate as much as 60 meters (200 feet) through 5,000 psi reinforced concrete, and 8 meters (25 feet) into 10,000 psi reinforced concrete (these number seem suspiciously high and may in fact be first in feet, not meters)."

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/mop.htm

Of that 30,000 lbs around 5,300-6,000 lbs are the actual explosive. So, approximately 80% of the weapon is casing or dedicated to the penetrator. Compare that with the 22,000 lb Grand Slam where approximately 50% was explosive. It had a concrete rather than titanium core as well.

When the RAF used the "Grand Slam" on the U-boat pens in Bremen they penetrated 2.5-4.5 meters.

I believe the B-2 can only carry two of these.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:31 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
I believe the B-2 can only carry two of these.

"only"?

Also I'd expect the penetrator/core of this thing to be Tungsten, not titanium. In this case denser is better.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:31 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 18):
For such accuracy, you'd probably need laser guided munition. Unfortunately once the dust cloud from the first explosion goes up, there goes your laser target . . .

Which is why they would use a GPS-based inertial navigation system. Unaffected by the dust cloud. Either way as was said here:

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 10):
Now, of course it's possible to build bunkers that could withstand it, but since our esteemed putative targets don't know the precise numbers, hardening vital infrastructure has now become an incredible PITA, and also so much harder to hide from prying eyes.

Designing, building and protecting a bunker that can withstand what this new bomb can penetrate effectively plants the thought in your enemy that it may not be worth their time, money or effort to try. I think Stealthz nailed it.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 14):
In some ways that is the hallmark of the perfect weapon system.. to never be used.


edit: Spacepope's probably right. I got my metals confused.

[Edited 2011-11-18 12:34:03]
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:04 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 19):

Which is why they would use a GPS-based inertial navigation system.

GPS is accurate for bunker buster use. But +/- a few feet is not sufficient to do what rolfen wanted to do with multiple cheaper bombs. To "spilt the arrow" you need to be accurate within a few inches.

Besides, there are a few reason why the "conga line" approach of bunker busting would not work. But do not have the expertise to debate the merit.

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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:42 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
Does anyone see a problem here???
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 6):
Nope. The bulk of the money was probably for the up front R&D to design and integrate the weapon. The actual fabrication cost is probably more reasonable. Although with such a low production rate, the per unit price would be higher than usual.

Expect unit price for follow on orders to be lower.

        

Quoting mffoda (Reply 8):
Iran definitely does!

Yeah, just wait 'til the little guy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hears about this.......

        

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
I am anti-war. Conflicts can be solved sitting around a table.

Really? Didn't Chamberlin try that with Hitler in 1939? How did that work out? Chamberlin proclaimed "peace in our time" upon his return to England, later that same year Hitler invaded Poland.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
I believe the B-2 can only carry two of these.

But there are 20 B-2As, meaning we can strike up to 40 individual targets in a day, once the "MOP" inventory begins climbing above the 20 under contract now. After the first or second day, we can start using the B-52H.
 
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
I am anti-war. Conflicts can be solved sitting around a table.

Really? Didn't Chamberlin try that with Hitler in 1939? How did that work out? Chamberlin proclaimed "peace in our time" upon his return to England, later that same year Hitler invaded Poland.

I knew someone would bring up that example....

All I have to add is:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&cp=7&gs...=caa04b27b8edc9bc&biw=1280&bih=905   
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:00 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):

But there are 20 B-2As, meaning we can strike up to 40 individual targets in a day, once the "MOP" inventory begins climbing above the 20 under contract now. After the first or second day, we can start using the B-52H.

Internal capacity of a H is 60,000 lbs correct? It would seem the limiting factor to how big we can make these specialty bombs is the internal payload capacity/bomb bay volume of the B-2 and B-52H.
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kanban
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:30 am

personally I think this was developed when we thought Bin Ladin was still hiding in a cave... now he's not and had we used it where we found him, it would have exploded 200 ft below his house and probably blown him clear.

so would one really want to take out an underground nuclear facility with one of these? .. It would really mess our air up.
 
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:07 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 24):
so would one really want to take out an underground nuclear facility with one of these? .. It would really mess our air up.

Probably not so much as you think. Remember these are deep underground facilities, some radiation might be released, some burned up by the fireball, and the rest sealed in as the ground, concrete, and debris collapsed back into the creater. The radiation threat would be highest around the target, making clean-up and recovery very difficult. The nuke plant in Japan, I believe, has a 20 km safe zone around it, established within days of the tsunami. Outside of that 20 km zone the radiation levels drop significantly and eventually are down to safe levels.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:45 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
Quoting NSMike (Reply 4):
In terms of penetrating power I wonder how it compares to the old Grand Slam from WWII...

The 22,000 lb Grand Slam was designed to penetrate 20-25 feet of reinforced concrete. Whereas this weapon is designed to "to penetrate as much as 60 meters (200 feet) through 5,000 psi reinforced concrete, and 8 meters (25 feet) into 10,000 psi reinforced concrete (these number seem suspiciously high and may in fact be first in feet, not meters)."

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/mop.htm

Of that 30,000 lbs around 5,300-6,000 lbs are the actual explosive. So, approximately 80% of the weapon is casing or dedicated to the penetrator. Compare that with the 22,000 lb Grand Slam where approximately 50% was explosive. It had a concrete rather than titanium core as well.

When the RAF used the "Grand Slam" on the U-boat pens in Bremen they penetrated 2.5-4.5 meters.

I believe the B-2 can only carry two of these.

Actually Wallis had a 30.000 lbs supersonic penetrating bomb designed, but there was no aircraft available during WW2 to carry it.
The main purpose of the Grand Slam and the smaller Tallboy bombs was to penetrate the underground beside the target (bomb aiming technology wasn´t that advanced during WW2, especially sincde the bombs had to be dropped from 35.000 feet to achive their full supersonic freefall speed. The idea was that such a big bomb exploding in the underground near the target would transmit a multiple of the explosion energy to the target than a bomb exploding on the surface of the target. This would cause an earthquake effect, enabling to collapse the target. This was done e.g. to collapse a railway viaduct, which´s pillars made a difficult target for normal bombs. Similarly a railway tunnel in France was permanently blocked in 1944 by one Grand Slam bomb, which penetrated 40 meters of hill above it and exploded inside the tunnel.
Another effect of the Grand Slam was to create a cavity under the target, which would cause it to collapse.

Jan
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LMP737
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:13 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
The main purpose of the Grand Slam and the smaller Tallboy bombs was to penetrate the underground beside the target (bomb aiming technology wasn´t that advanced during WW2, especially sincde the bombs had to be dropped from 35.000 feet to achive their full supersonic freefall speed. The idea was that such a big bomb exploding in the underground near the target would transmit a multiple of the explosion energy to the target than a bomb exploding on the surface of the target. This would cause an earthquake effect, enabling to collapse the target. This was done e.g. to collapse a railway viaduct, which´s pillars made a difficult target for normal bombs. Similarly a railway tunnel in France was permanently blocked in 1944 by one Grand Slam bomb, which penetrated 40 meters of hill above it and exploded inside the tunnel.
Another effect of the Grand Slam was to create a cavity under the target, which would cause it to collapse.

The Tallboy was used to great affect in the sinking of the Tirpitz. Several of the near misses obliterated the sandbanks built up around her to prevent capsizing. When she took hits amidships the flooding casued her to rollover rather rapidly.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:18 pm

Still, both the Tallboy and the Grand Slam were downscaled versions of Wallis´s original design of a 30,000 lbs bomb, for which no aircraft could be found.

Jan
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wn700driver
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:42 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):

Really? Didn't Chamberlin try that with Hitler in 1939? How did that work out? Chamberlin proclaimed "peace in our time" upon his return to England, later that same year Hitler invaded Poland.

I'll refer you to the case of apples v oranges...

A more relevant analogy would be how the previous admin and its intel/defense industry tried to make the case that invading Iraq was a matter of dire necessity. How'd that work out again? I recall neither victory nor even the avoidence of severe embarrassment being no part of that equation.

The truth is that thinking like that would have worked well up until about Korea. But nowadays the world economy (something most of the defense industry either doesn't know much about or simply pretends doesn't exist) is so intertwined and interdependent among nations that a WWII type event is more or less impossible. For that to happen, you'd have countries borrowing money from each other to fight each other.

In fact, Israel vs a small selection of its more aggressive neighbors is about the last major conflict we're likely to see. And even then, I would imagine that Israel would probably ask us to mind our own business and stay out anyway on one side, and us being afraid to join in over oil supply issues on the other.

While "cool" on technical level, this project represents the huge amount of reckless and wasteful spending (defined as being an awful lot of money going out the door with no possibility of meaningful return...), that this country can do without. 30mil for just one of these when we still have hundreds of perfectly serviceable nukes? There's no financial sense behind this.
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:33 pm

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 29):
30mil for just one of these when we still have hundreds of perfectly serviceable nukes? There's no financial sense behind this.

Really? You'd rather use a nuke as a bunker buster? We'd spend the better part of a billion just cleaning up the radiation afterward. Not to mention the $$$ that would be spent on the new arms race that would follow the use of a nuke.

Did I miss a   ?
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wn700driver
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:04 am

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 30):

Really? You'd rather use a nuke as a bunker buster? We'd spend the better part of a billion just cleaning up the radiation afterward. Not to mention the $$$ that would be spent on the new arms race that would follow the use of a nuke.

No, I just think this is a ridiculous waste of money. And I can't imagine the political consequences of using one of these things as being all that different from a nuke, which we already have and don't need to spend 30 mil on. The truth is that there are political ramifications even to using predator drones, let alone something this big. The fact that war is conducted with "instant replay" to examine literally everything we do is the new world order, so to speak. Weapons like this really have no tangible benefit now or for the foreseeable future.
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Stealthz
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:12 am

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 31):
And I can't imagine the political consequences of using one of these things as being all that different from a nuke, which we already have and don't need to spend 30 mil on. The truth is that there are political ramifications even to using predator drones, let alone something this big.

Been thinking about this thing and how specialised and rare it is, there may be few political ramifications.

It is intended to explode so deep that there may be little to show for it on the surface.. not much more than a conventional weopon anyway.

Another thing that might limit the political fallout, the owners of the intended targets may not be willing to admit to their existance, operational or destroyed.
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nomadd22
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:16 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 23):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):

But there are 20 B-2As, meaning we can strike up to 40 individual targets in a day, once the "MOP" inventory begins climbing above the 20 under contract now. After the first or second day, we can start using the B-52H.

Internal capacity of a H is 60,000 lbs correct? It would seem the limiting factor to how big we can make these specialty bombs is the internal payload capacity/bomb bay volume of the B-2 and B-52H.

I was wondering about that. I thought the B-2 was good for about 38,000 lbs (16 M83s) of bombs plus the weight of 2 rotary launchers.

[Edited 2011-11-20 01:18:31]
Anon
 
zanl188
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:33 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 32):
Been thinking about this thing and how specialised and rare it is, there may be few political ramifications.

It is intended to explode so deep that there may be little to show for it on the surface.. not much more than a conventional weopon anyway.

   That's all it is - a big conventional bomb.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 31):
And I can't imagine the political consequences of using one of these things as being all that different from a nuke, which we already have and don't need to spend 30 mil on.

I'm just stunned at your willingness to use a nuke vs a big conventional bomb. Using a single nuke on a tactical mission like this would cost many times over what this entire conventional bomb program cost... $300M is nothing in the big scheme of things....

BTW: This conventional bomb program is far better than what was proposed during the 2nd Bush administration: Use a decommissioned ICBM, that we already have, to launch a conventional penetrating warhead to take out a bunker. Big downside: there's no way for the other guy to tell the difference between a conventional ICBM and a nuclear armed ICBM. Good way to start WWIII
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:48 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 34):
Use a decommissioned ICBM, that we already have, to launch a conventional penetrating warhead to take out a bunker. Big downside: there's no way for the other guy to tell the difference between a conventional ICBM and a nuclear armed ICBM. Good way to start WWIII

That is something I wouldn't have thought of, but of course that is perfectly correct. Damn!
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:43 pm

Quoting rolfen (Reply 15):
Yes, not your everyday bomb. But I was thinking maybe a succession of smaller (and cheaper) penetrating bombs striking at the exact same spot will achieve the same effect at a lower price.

While superficially =P logical, bomb is not equal to bomb. As has been written above, this monster first burrows deep before exploding its primary load. Very unqiue design ( which is where the money mainly went towards ), and I think the mass is definitely required for the mission. You can't dent a knight's armor by shooting a thousand peas at it either!

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
Actually Wallis had a 30.000 lbs supersonic penetrating bomb designed, but there was no aircraft available during WW2 to carry it.

Interesting, especially your following excursion into destruction by indirection.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 29):
A more relevant analogy would be how the previous admin and its intel/defense industry tried to make the case that invading Iraq was a matter of dire necessity. How'd that work out again? I recall neither victory nor even the avoidence of severe embarrassment being no part of that equation.

The truth is that thinking like that would have worked well up until about Korea. But nowadays the world economy (something most of the defense industry either doesn't know much about or simply pretends doesn't exist) is so intertwined and interdependent among nations that a WWII type event is more or less impossible. For that to happen, you'd have countries borrowing money from each other to fight each other.

In fact, Israel vs a small selection of its more aggressive neighbors is about the last major conflict we're likely to see. And even then, I would imagine that Israel would probably ask us to mind our own business and stay out anyway on one side, and us being afraid to join in over oil supply issues on the other.

While "cool" on technical level, this project represents the huge amount of reckless and wasteful spending (defined as being an awful lot of money going out the door with no possibility of meaningful return...), that this country can do without. 30mil for just one of these when we still have hundreds of perfectly serviceable nukes? There's no financial sense behind this.

Yep, Iraq was the end of any kind of prudence ( that proven thing behind our entire constitutional setup ). Also quite shameful how there was no planning for the post-victory period, as opposed to WW II for instance, where an insane ( or rather, sane ) amount of planning went into the post-military phase.

It's equally dangerous to mistake interconnectedness with constraint. Before the First World War, people were saying the same thing. It very rarely pays to merely hope for a good tomorrow. Better to intellectually tackle our greatest fears head on ( and resort to action very sparingly, effectively, tenaciously ).

However, the nuclear threshold is totally different from this bomb, and should by every effort be made to remain that way. Which is precisely why I see this as a wise man's weapon - the opposite of reckless. It's also clearly aimed at extremely high value targets we greatly profit from holding at risk.

This mole on a mission leverages the unique ( and likewise scarce ) capabilities of the B-2, another one of our asymmetric assets, and will alter quite some calculations. It comes with a message that is as effective a diplomatical laser pointer as a specialized, non-nuclear weapon of boom can be.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:03 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
Still, both the Tallboy and the Grand Slam were downscaled versions of Wallis´s original design of a 30,000 lbs bomb, for which no aircraft could be found.

And, apparently relatively few can carry still today!

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
The idea was that such a big bomb exploding in the underground near the target would transmit a multiple of the explosion energy to the target than a bomb exploding on the surface of the target. This would cause an earthquake effect, enabling to collapse the target. This was done e.g. to collapse a railway viaduct, which´s pillars made a difficult target for normal bombs.

As "earthquake bombs" they were very effective. Mostly against soft targets like railway bridges and viaducts. But, as the attack on submarine pens showed, they were not nearly as effective on hardened targets since they had a core of concrete. Although the attacks on Hamburg did result in considerable damage.

It is interesting that after the end of the war the Allies did use the Grand Slam bombs to test bomb penetration against hardened targets. They even used B-29's to drop Grand Slam bombs on the Valentin sub pens and the British used Tall Boys/Grand Slam bombs on anti-aircraft structures/bunkers on Heligoland. Presumably one of the few times a B-29 was used to drop bombs in theater.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
Areopagus
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 26):
The main purpose of the Grand Slam and the smaller Tallboy bombs was to penetrate the underground beside the target (bomb aiming technology wasn´t that advanced during WW2, especially sincde the bombs had to be dropped from 35.000 feet to achive their full supersonic freefall speed.

In no way could a Lancaster have hauled a Grand Slam up to 35,000 feet. The Wikipedia article on Grand Slam gives the release altitude of one of the bombs as 11,965 ft (3,647 m). Another site I googled gave the Lancaster Mk I's ceiling as 23,000 ft and 24,500 ft (in the same sentence).
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:33 pm

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 38):
In no way could a Lancaster have hauled a Grand Slam up to 35,000 feet. The Wikipedia article on Grand Slam gives the release altitude of one of the bombs as 11,965 ft (3,647 m). Another site I googled gave the Lancaster Mk I's ceiling as 23,000 ft and 24,500 ft (in the same sentence).

The Bielefeld railway viaduct was attacked by the famous RAF No. 617 "Dambusters" squadron with the Grand Slam. They used a modified 'B1 Special' Lancaster. For that mission the bombs were dropped from around 22,000 feet. The attack on the Tirpitz was from about half that altitude.

This gives you a good idea of the size of these bombs:



Here's Boeing's version.

The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
Eagleboy
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:53 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
At a total cost of about $314 million, the military has developed and ordered 20 of the GPS-guided bombs,
Quoting stealthz (Reply 2):
For some steel casing, a few $k of explosive, some servos and a Navman... $15M a copy??
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 6):
Although with such a low production rate, the per unit price would be higher than usual.

Expect unit price for follow on orders to be lower.

I would hope that they would not need more than 20 of them. Lets assume it takes 2 for each target to insure redundancy........................how many such targets would a potential enemy have that would require such a weapon. (I'm assuming 'normal' bunker busters could handle most military command installations?)

Quoting stealthz (Reply 14):
n some ways that is the hallmark of the perfect weapon system.. to never be used.

Tony Stark would disagree!!!      
 
wn700driver
Posts: 1475
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RE: Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb

Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:31 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 34):

I'm just stunned at your willingness to use a nuke vs a big conventional bomb. Using a single nuke on a tactical mission like this would cost many times over what this entire conventional bomb program cost... $300M is nothing in the big scheme of things....

Actually, you should be stunned at my willingness to do nothing at all. My whole point (perhaps not clearly made I'll admit) is the we really need to spend a lot more effort determining the actual need for toys like this in the first place. As I said before, the political ramifications for using things like this are pretty huge if we do not have enough other parties on our side. The days of unilateral military action of virtually kind being at all acceptable in the modern world are long over.

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 36):

It's equally dangerous to mistake interconnectedness with constraint. Before the First World War, people were saying the same thing. It very rarely pays to merely hope for a good tomorrow. Better to intellectually tackle our greatest fears head on ( and resort to action very sparingly, effectively, tenaciously ).

They were. But there are still huge differences between then and now. Back then, the interconnection was primarily the issue of alliances, which is actually more likely to cause a war. While to some degree we still have those today, that issue is completely overshadowed by a few other types of interconnection, namely, product outsourcings and finance.

I feel like I'm way off topic to answer too much more specifically right here, but I'll just say this. Is a WWIII or IV type event flat-out impossible? No, but as a practical matter, it just won't happen that way. During the age of WWI & II, we also have to remember that just about every combatant made enough of their own weaponry to stay in the game, so to speak. Nowadays, that is a whole lot less true, the disastrous F-35 program being a good example...
Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear

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