January 17, 2020 0 By William Hollis

Tensions between the U.S and Iran has ceased
to die down. In a statement carried by Iraq’s official
news agency INA, the Iraqi military media center said on Sunday the al-Balad airbase,
located some 80 km or about 50 miles from the capital, was hit by eight Katyusha rockets. As per reports, some projectiles fell on a
restaurant inside the airbase, while others hit the runway and the gate. The base houses troops from the United States. As per reports, at least four Iraqi soldiers
have been wounded though there were no US casualties as no US soldiers present at the
base during the attack. In this video Defense Updates analyzes why
B2 Spirit armed with GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator is a non-nuclear option that Iran
has no answer to? Let’s get started. This video is sponsored by the free-to-play
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ship and three days of premium account time as a bonus. Iran has several kinds of cruise missiles
as well as short and intermediate range ballistic missiles. Iran has approximately 1,000 strategic missiles
that are controlled by the Revolutionary Guard. It consists of 300 short-range ballistic missiles,
including Iranian-made Shahab-1 (Scud-B), Shahab-2 (Scud-C), as well as Tondar-69 (CSS-8). It also has domestically produced several
intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM). This includes Shahab-3 with a reported range
of up to 1,000 km or 620 miles, the Ghadr-1 with an estimated 1,600 km or 995 miles range
and a Shahab-3 variant known as Sajjil-2 with a reported range of up to 2,400 km or 1490
miles. These can’t reach the American mainland
but these do represent a significant threat for bases in Iraq that house American troops
as well as for American allies like Israel. These are deployed on highly reinforced mountain
fortresses which will be very difficult to destroy especially if using conventional options. But the U.S has an ace up its sleeve. The B-2 Spirit was developed to take over
the United States Air Force’s (USAF) vital penetration missions, able to travel deep
into enemy territory to deploy their ordnance, which could include nuclear weapons. The B-2 is a flying wing aircraft, meaning
it has no fuselage or tail. The blending of low-observable technologies
with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 significant advantages
over previous bombers. Stealth capability provides greater freedom
of action as the bomber can evade enemy air defenses. As of today, no country has a bomber like
the B 2 Spirit. Currently, only Russia may have the radar
technology to detect B 2, though the effectiveness in real-life scenarios is suspect. B-2 Spirit has a maximum speed of Mach 0.95. The U.S. Air Force reports B2’s range as
approximately 6,900 miles or 11,000 km. B2 has an excellent payload, which makes even
a single one to be extremely destructive. It has 2 internal bays for ordnance and payload
with an official limit of 40,000 lb (18,000 kg) and a maximum estimated limit of 50,000
lb (23,000 kg). Each B2 can carry 16 B61 or B83 nuclear bombs
on the Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA). Its payload enables it to carry not only a
significant number of nuclear bombs but also allows it to carry a huge cache of conventional
once. So it can have different weapons configuration,
which is noted as follows: 1. 80× 500 lb class bombs like Mk-82 or GBU-38 2. 36× 750 lb CBU class bombs 3. 16× 2,000 lb class bombs like Mk-84 or GBU-31 4. AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) 5. Two GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrators
can be carried which is the focus of this video. 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. Development of the MOP was performed at the
Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida with design
and testing work performed by Boeing. It was intended that the bomb will be deployed
on the B-2 bomber, and will be guided using GPS. Northrop Grumman announced a $2.5-million
stealth-bomber refit contract on 19 July 2007. Each of the U.S. Air Force’s B-2s is to be
able to carry two 14-ton MOPs. The initial explosive test of MOP took place
on 14 March 2007 in a tunnel belonging to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. On 7 April 2011, the USAF ordered eight MOPs
plus supporting equipment, for $28 million. The Air Force took delivery of 20 bombs, designed
to be delivered by the B-2 bomber, in September 2011. In February 2012, Congress approved $81.6
million to further develop and improve the weapon. A 2013 report stated that the development
had been a success, and B-2 integration testing began that year. In May 2019, the US Air Force had released
footage showing B-2 Spirit dropping the MOP in a test. The MOP is a precision-guided as it uses GPS,
similar to the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). This enables it to be used against high-value
assets. The weapon is designed to dig through layers
of concrete and steel and then explode. This allows it to destroy even very hardened
facilities. The limited Iranian response, which caused
no casualties, appeared to be mainly a show of force. The situation seems poised to de-escalated
but has actually not yet and things can spiral out of control at any time. In this situation, Iran’s cache of missiles
is a real threat. Air defenses can’t be expected to protect
against such a significant number of missiles and a preemptive strike against the missile
sites is the best option. A B2 Spirit armed with a pair of MOP has the
ability to creep deep into enemy territory and destroy high-value strategic bunkers. This is a unique capability, not possessed
by any other military in the world. The B-2 bomber is thought to have an RCS of
0.0001m2, the same as the F-22 Raptor. To give viewers a perspective, first stealth
jet F-117 Nighthawk from the 1980s had an RCS of 0.003 m and were not hit by Iraqi air
defenses during the 1991 Gulf War though it attacked more than 1500 targets. The effectiveness of American stealth design
can be gauged by the fact that even a modern Russian fighter like Sukhoi Su 35 has an RCS
1m2 to 3m2. Though Iran has several air defense systems
like Russian S 300 as well as indigenous once, there is a very limited possibility that Iran
can detect, track and engage a B-2. Also, the recent unfortunate downing of commercial
airline indicates that its air defense mechanism has serious flaws. The training of its personnel, as well as
engagement tactics, are exposed even without a full-fledged battle. Taking everything into account, it can be
concluded that Iran will not know what hit them when a B 2 drops MOPs and takes out its