US for First Time Uses Most Powerful Non-Nuclear Bomb in Afghanistan

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The GBU-43, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb, has been for the first time used by the US in combat conditions.

US for First Time Uses Most Powerful Non-Nuclear Bomb in Afghanistan

Photo: AFP 2017 / Noorullah Shirzada

The US has for the first time used the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in combat conditions, targeting terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) group, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing the Pentagon.

“The strike was carried out in Achin district in Nangarhar province on Thursday. The target was IS militants, their system of tunnels, which they used to move. The GBU-43 [Massive Ordnance Air Blast] was used,” a representative of the Pentagon press service told the news agency.

He confirmed that the bomb had become the most powerful non-nuclear weapon, used by the US. According to him, the ammunition was dropped from the MC-130 aircraft.

A Pentagon’s press release quoted the words of commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, John Nicholson, who noted that the powerful bomb is needed to destroy tunnels and bunkers of terrorists.

According to data from open sources, the weight of such a high-explosive aerial bomb is 9.5 tons. An explosive mixture of hexogen, tritol and aluminum powder is used in the bomb. The GBU-43 is equipped with a satellite guidance system. The first test of the bomb was conducted in 2003. As it is claimed, in total, there are 15 such munitions on the US arsenal.

Earlier, it was reported that the US President Donald Trump’s administration was developing a new strategy for Afghanistan and planned to use more military forces in the country.

The US has been conducting its military operation in Afghanistan since 2001, helping local authorities to fight against the Taliban and the IS. Also, since 2015, NATO has been conducting the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.

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