US drops 'mother of all bombs': Here's a look at the world's biggest non-nuclear munitions

The GBU-43/B bomb is the US military's largest non-nuclear device.

What you need to know about the 'Mother of all Bombs' used to bomb Isis in AfghanistanIBT

The US military dropping the GBU-43/B – the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever used in a conflict – in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province made global headlines on Thursday, 13 April.

After the attack, which killed at least 36 Isis militants, many analysts said that the US used the bombing as a signal to North Korea.

However, US President Donald Trump responded to the interpretation, and said, "I don't know if this sends a message; it doesn't make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem; the problem will be taken care of."


Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said that though the weapon was developed during the Iraq War in 2003, it was the first time when it has been used in combat.

The GBU-43/B bomb contains 11 tonnes of explosives and is the US military's largest non-nuclear device. It is nicknamed 'the mother of all bombs' - an acronym given by the US Air Force - on its proper name, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb.

It is said that most of the countries do not have this kind of powerful non-nuclear device which can match the intensity of GBU-43/B. So which country possess the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal?

Here's a look at the world's biggest non-nuclear bombs, whose efficiency and power can almost match nuclear weapons.

Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power: Popular as "Father of All Bombs" (FOAB), this Russian bomb is the most powerful conventional weapon all over the globe as it is reportedly four times as powerful as the US military's GBU-43/B.

The bomb was successfully tested in 2007, almost four years after the birth of GBU-43/B. At 15,650lbs (7098kg) it is said that FOAB is lighter than GBU-43/B and has the capability of unleashing 44 tons of explosives.

GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator: Weighing 30,000lbs, the MOP is perhaps the heaviest conventional weapon in the world. It was designed by the US Air Force to eradicate underground nuclear facilities and deeply buried enemy targets. However, the MOP's explosive ability doesn't match that of the FOAB and MOAB.


GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrator: This non-nuclear air-delivered monster was developed by the US. It is a 5,000lbs laser-guided "bunker busting" bomb, nicknamed "Deep Throat". It was developed, manufactured and deployed in less than three weeks during Operation Desert Storm to target hardened Iraqi command centres located deep underground. The air forces of Israel and South Korea currently posses the bomb.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb is pictured in this undated handout photoReuters

GBU-24 Paveway bombs: GBU-24 is suitable for well-defended, high-value targets. Introduced into service in 1983 the weapon is with the USAF, US Navy, US Marine Corps, and various NATO air forces.

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