US could use new, huge bomb in Iran

2012-03-09 12:13
A mock up of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator sits in bomb bay of the B-2 weapons load trainer at Whitman Air Force Base, Missouri. (US Air Force/ AFP)

A mock up of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator sits in bomb bay of the B-2 weapons load trainer at Whitman Air Force Base, Missouri. (US Air Force/ AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - A 13 600kg bunker buster bomb designed to smash through 65m of concrete before exploding is a "great weapon" that could be used by US forces in a clash with Iran over its nuclear programme, a US Air Force general said on Thursday.

Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle, US Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, said the massive ordnance penetrator, which the military began receiving only last year, is part of the US arsenal available for strikes against countries like Iran, which has some buried nuclear facilities.

"The massive ordnance penetrator is a great weapon. We are continuing to improve that. It has great capability now and we are continuing to make it better. It is part of our arsenal and it will be a potential if we need it in that kind of scenario," Carlisle told a conference on US defence programmes.

The Pentagon has begun working on military options if sanctions and diplomacy fail to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear weapon.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told the National Journal in an interview on Thursday that planning had been going on "for a long time".

Major powers are increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear enrichment programme, which they view as an attempt to build an atomic weapon. But Tehran says it is meant for peaceful energy production.

Greater impact

Israel also is worried about potential for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Washington this week that time was running out for diplomacy and sanctions.

Panetta, who has said diplomacy and sanctions should be given more time, told the National Journal he did not think Israel had decided whether to order a high-risk raid on Iran's nuclear sites.

He said the United States was committed to preventing Iran from acquiring atomic weapons and would have a greater impact than Israel if it decided force was necessary.

"If they decided to do it there's no question that it would have an impact, but I think it's also clear that if the United States did it we would have a hell of a bigger impact," Panetta said.

The tough rhetoric from the Pentagon came despite President Barack Obama's effort this week to tamp down "loose talk" and "bluster" about possible military action, saying there was still an opportunity for diplomacy.

Carlisle also told the Credit Suisse-McAleese defence conference that a conflict with Syria or Iran could see US military operations influenced by new tactical thinking at the Pentagon known as Air-Sea Battle.

Cyberspace attack

That approach aims to take advantage of highly networked and integrated US forces.

Carlisle said the tactics focus on operating in multiple domains, from air and sea to space and cyberspace, while networking and integrating information from the different areas, like satellites and sensors on stealth fighters and unmanned aircraft.

"There's a space capability, there's a cyber capability, there's fifth-generation, low-signature force capability," he said.

"All those things are on the table and being thought about as we do this operational planning," Carlisle added, noting that Syria and Iran have developed significant defences aimed at keeping potential attackers at a distance, a strategy Air-Sea Battle was designed to circumvent.

Carlisle said cyberspace could be a factor in a conflict with the two countries.

"All of the leadership has said nothing is off the table with respect to what we would employ and use," he said.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  barack obama  |  israel  |  us  |  iran  |  nuclear  |  iran nuclear programme
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
54 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food
 

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose

A device that converts nose breaths into speech will open new doors for people with Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease.

 
 

For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may take extra pride in your work today. You have a need to shine and be respected so you may put the extra effort and TLC...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.