Futuristic Ordnance Penetrators

The Air Force’s future bomber will demand equally futuristic bombs.”We hope to build an aircraft . . . in the mid twenties, [so] why would we build that aircraft to carry the weaponry of today,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, USAF vice chief of staff, asked rhetorically on Thursday during his speech at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla. USAF is working diligently with Boeing on the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, which is designed to strike hardened and deeply buried targets difficult for US forces to hold at risk, but there is still work to be done, said Breedlove. MOP will bring “incredible capabilities to our combatant commanders,” but designing a bomber around such a gigantic weapon would be prohibitively expense, he asserted. As such, officials envision building a series of lighter, more compact weapons, with a yield similar to MOP, “so that an airplane can carry more of them, longer and deeper,” Breedlove said.