Air-Launched Weapons

US forces in Afghanistan drop first GBU-43/B MOAB in combat

13 April 2017
The 9.45 m-long GBU-43/B MOAB is dropped from Lockheed Martin MC-130Hs. Source: Department of Defense

US Forces - Afghanistan struck what officials described as an Islamic State "tunnel complex in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan" on 13 April.

Notably, the strike used a "GBU-43 bomb dropped from a US aircraft", US Forces - Afghanistan said in a statement. The 21,000 lb GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) combines a KMU-593/B guidance section and BLU-120/B warhead with an 18,633 lb Tritonal explosive fill.

The MOAB is credited with a blast yield of 11 tonnes (TNT) and, at 9.45 m long, is too large to be dropped from a conventional bomber so is deployed from Lockheed Martin MC-130H special mission aircraft.

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