US defense planners have rebuilt the country’s biggest bomb, the bunker buster, to ensure the country can still destroy Iran’s fortified underground nuclear plant.
Iran’s fortification of the Fordow Enrichment Plant, where it has thousands of centrifuges refining uranium that could be converted into a nuclear bomb, has drawn warnings from Israel that the opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme is closing rapidly
Pentagon officials have reportedly shown Israeli officials details of the extensive upgrade in recent weeks to convince their allies that the time to attack Iran has not run out, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper reported that engineers had installed cyber warfare capabilities and new explosive targetting designs on the 30,000 lbs device, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator.
Videos of the secret tests of a previous version of the device have been shown to Israels as Americans attempt to explain the changes.
The new bunker buster has a fusing system that intensifies its burrowing power as well as sophisticated new stealth and electronic guidance technology to overcome recent advances in Iran’s air defences and electronic warfare systems, the newspaper said.
Iran’s fortification of the Fordow Enrichment Plant, where it has thousands of centrifuges refining uranium that could be converted into a nuclear bomb, has drawn warnings from Israel that the opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme is closing rapidly.
Israeli officials have said the country would act before it is too late but have so far accepted American assurances that there is still time to keep sanctions at the forefront of efforts to stop Iran making a bomb.
US officials said last year that the previous version of the bomb would probably fail to destroy all the centrifuges at Fordow, which has been built in a mountain. Now they appear confident that the upgraded device has restored that conventional weapons capability.
Officials also told the newspaper that the device would be more devastating if used against North Korea’s nuclear programme, which is also subject to UN sanctions, because Pyongyang defences are not as solid as Iran’s.
Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, said that the US would look more closely at a military attack on Iran after successful testing of the new device.