Well, I recently posted a comment talking about the efficiency of the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) in battle, and thought it would be a
great idea to create a thread delving into more detail about this hidden gem of weaponry.
What is the MOAB?
The MOAB or Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb is a bomb developed in 2002 by L. Weimorts Jr for use by United States Military.
The MOAB contains approx 8.48 tonnes of H6 explosive compound at a rate of 1.35 times more powerful than its sister component TNT
On March 11th 2003 the MOAB made its first walk to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where it was tested for the first time using Tritonal as its
explosive filler and then again in November of that year.
What made the MOAB special from the rest, laid within the MOABS style of detonation and share power within. With guidance capabilities, the MOAB is
typically delivered from air by a C-130 Hercules. On the way down, base has the ability to guide the MOAB with accuracy every time.
Now to the special part, the part that gave the MOAB the title of being the most powerful non-nuclear device. The Detonation! The MOAB’s
damage does not come from its explosion, but it comes from the shock wave it releases. The MOAB was designed and intended to detonate above ground
rather than penetrate and explode as you often see with a missile. By doing so allows the MOAB’s destructive power to have a much greater range and
Below is a video showing a small scale (fuel air explosive) demonstration of what the shock wave of a MOAB can do to close range targets.
Remember, that MOAB has a greater shock wave than the one below.
Bomb Radius Damage caused by the MOAB below, from a 2003 article.
Up to 1,000 yards: Obliterates everything.
Up to 1 mile: Knocks people, tents, light buildings, cars and jeeps over within 1-mile radius.
Up to 1.7 miles: shock wave kills people, causes severe damage to buildings, equipment, blows trucks, tanks off road.
Up to 2 miles: causes deafness.
Up to 5 miles: shakes ground, breaks windows.
Up to 30 miles: 10,000 foot high mushroom cloud visible.
Future Weapons exert of an episode highlighting the MOAB.
You may ask, what the MOAB could hold for the future of Weaponry. With 17 units officially built (2 tested) and 15 remaining, we are yet to see its
destructive power in the battlefield. Still a young device, we may soon see smaller scale MOAB’s produced in the form of missiles for more efficient
use. Until then, we wait and see.
It still is technically a weapon of mass destruction. However no radioactivity as far as we know. I guess that would depend on the use of depleted
uranium in its casing. Either way it's quite a shoe in the face of an opponent! I remember the first test and remember being underwhelmed until I
learned about the pressure wave. Holy Moses!
With such an explosive, it's going to be heavy. I don't think we'll ever see it replace icbm nuclear warheads. But that would just defeat the
purpose since an ICBM is pretty much a "last straw" weapon.
It will be interesting to see the application! Dropping on large navy vessels is a no brainer.
the germans in WW2 developed simelar technology but it never went into full scale production,they used powderd coal dust.
they managed to release a large qwantity into the air so it mixed and became this massive cloud then it was exploded.another crude but effective shock
the shot of the MOAB is poor it should of included various buildings and vehical's and stuff so we could see the effects it had at various distances.
FAE's have been around for a while and this is just the next development. During WW2 Germany fired AA rounds loaded with ethylene oxide. On
bursiting, the vapor was dispersed and if an aircraft flew through the cloud it was destroyed. One problem with FAE's is size limitation because of
diffusion. This means that at a certain size, it's tough to get the fuel to mix with the air properly. What has been done with MOAB and others is to
mix an oxidizer in with the fuel. The BLU-82 Daisycutter cleared off LZ's and firebases during the Viet-Nam war. I remember that the BLU-82 used
ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum in an organic binder [polystyrene?].
The MOAB is an updated version of the Daisycutter.
This weapon does create an impressive blast. In fact, before it has been exploded live, we had to notify the Russians because the heat signature is
sufficient to register on their surveillance satellites in a manner that could otherwise be potentially mistaken for that of a small tactical nuclear
However, the thermobaric weapons, such as the BLU-96, also require notification to our NATO allies and the Russians prior to test explosions, and in
most cases, any scenarios for their real-world use. Since we have never used a thermobaric weapon against them, or any associated countries, that
remains a theoretic concern.
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