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With eye on Iran, U.S. upgrades bunker buster

May 3, 2013 | 10:30 am

A B-52 releases a test version of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) during a test of the weapon over White Sands Missile Range, N.M. in 2009. Photo courtesy Department of Defense.

A B-52 releases a test version of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) during a test of the weapon over White Sands Missile Range, N.M. in 2009. Photo courtesy Department of Defense.

U.S. officials reportedly told Israel that the United States has improved weapons capable of destroying Iran's underground nuclear site in Fordow.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting unnamed American officials, reported Thursday that the United States had assured Israel that advanced features added to its bunker buster bombs vastly improved its ability to destroy underground facilities.

The Journal reported that the United States hopes the improved Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, will serve to convince Israel to hold off on unilaterally attacking Iran and give Washington more time to address Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program diplomatically.

The MOP bomb weighs 30,000 pounds and has been improved with "adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and high-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex," according to the Journal.

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