Pentagon war planners worry that their 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” bomb, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, might not destroy some of Iran’s deepest facilities, so they want a better bomb:
The Defense Department has spent about $330 million so far to develop about 20 of the bombs, which are built by Boeing Co. The Pentagon is seeking about $82 million more to make the bomb more effective, according to government officials briefed on the plan.
According to Air Force officials, the 20.5 foot-long MOP carries over 5,300 pounds of explosive material. It is designed to penetrate up to 200 feet underground before exploding. The mountain above the Iranian enrichment site at Fordow is estimated to be at least 200 feet tall.
A small, “tactical” nuclear bomb would likely have a yield measured in kilotons, although we have made artillery shells with yields in the dozens of tons.
A tactical nuclear missile would probably work better than a bomb, because it could avoid almost all air defenses, but we’re deathly afraid of sending nuclear missiles up and scaring other nuclear powers into reacting.
Our other option is to use small conventional weapons on all known entrances and exits to a well-fortified bunker.