March 10, 2012 by staff
Bunker-buster Bomb, A 13,600 kg bunker buster bomb designed to smash through some 65 meters of concrete before exploding is a “great weapon” that could be used by US forces in a clash with Iran over its nuclear program, an Air Force general said late on Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, 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 defense programs.
The Pentagon has begun working on military options if sanctions and diplomacy fail to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear weapon.
Defense 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 program, which they view as an attempt to build an atomic weapon. But Tehran says it is meant for peaceful energy production.
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.
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