GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)
GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)

Boeing Awarded Contract for Procurement of GBU-57 MOP Modification Phase III

The Boeing Corp., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a $7,801,212 contract for the procurement of GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) Modification Phase III. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by May 10, 2023. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2021 research and development funds in the amount of $5,628,043 are being obligated at the time of award. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

In, 2012, Boeing was awarded a $98.8 million contract to procure an enhanced threat response redesign for the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) as a quick reaction capability program. The program, which originally started as the “Big BLU” program in 2002, has been in the works for 10 years. The U.S. Air Force has not officially communicated a specific military requirement for an ultra-large bomb, but it does have a concept for a collection of massively sized penetrator and blast weapons: the so-called “Big BLU” collection, which includes the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) bomb. The Air Force has received 16 MOPs as of November 2011.

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GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) sits in the bomb bay of the B-2 weapons load trainer at Whitman Air Force Base, Mo. (Photo by U.S. Air Force)

The GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a precision-guided, 30,000-pound (14,000 kg) “bunker buster” bomb used by the United States Air Force. This is substantially larger than the deepest penetrating bunker busters previously available, the 5,000-pound (2,300 kg) GBU-28 and GBU-37. The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a weapon system designed to accomplish a difficult, complicated mission of reaching and destroying an adversary’s weapons of mass destruction located in well-protected facilities.

In 2019, The U.S. Air Force has released a remarkable video showing a B-2 bomber dropping its highest-powered ‘bunker buster’ bombs. The video shows two GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bombs being employed against a ground targets at an undisclosed location. Footage shows the 33,000-pound bombs being dropped from the weapons bay of a B-2 stealth bomber and disappearing deep into the earth before exploding in an enormous ball of flames. MOP provides the US military with a robust toolkit for neutralizing enemy underground structure of the kind widely used by the North Korean and even Chinese militaries.

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