The Obama administration has quietly supplied Israel with bombs capable of destroying buried targets, like terrorists’ arms caches or perhaps sites in Iran suspected of being part of that nation’s nuclear weapons program, American officials said Friday.
The administration’s transfer of bunker-busting bombs, first reported in an online article by Newsweek, began in 2009. American officials who confirmed the shipments spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. They declined to comment on the number of bombs that had been supplied to Israel or on their capabilities.
Interesting. The GBU-28 was originally developed in a crash program to defeat buried/hardened targets in Iraq during Desert Storm there were invulnerable to the standard GBU-27/BLU-109 2000lb penetrating laser guided bomb.
How “crash” was the program? Well, development started after the shooting started. The original bombs were hand-crafted, and built using surplus 8″ howitzer barrels as the body of the bomb, and the explosive filler was hand poured into them.
The first examples were flown to Saudi Arabia and were so new, the explosive filler was still warm.
Later production examples were built with purpose built bomb casings, and refinements to controls and guidance software. It is still the largest, heaviest penetrating weapon in the active inventory, though the Air Force is developing some larger special purpose weapons for deployment on B-2 bombers.