The giant bomb U.S. forces dropped Thursday on an ISIS training camp in Afghanistan did not cost $314 million to develop, or $16 million per unit as reported by multiple news outlets.
Every news report about cost of the “Mother of All Bombs” relied on a misreading of a 2011 article or a dubious internet website that InfoWars once linked to with a “healthy bit of skepticism.”
From The Daily Caller
The actual cost of the bomb is unknown. The actual cost of the program isn’t publicly available because the Mother of All Bombs, officially known as GBU-43 or the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), is manufactured by the military and not a private defense company.
In fact, the Air Force doesn’t even keep track of the per unit cost, nor the cost of the program as a whole, because it is not manufactured privately.
“We don’t have a cost per unit” for the MOAB, Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “These munitions were produced in-house so we don’t have a standard procurement cost associated with them.”
The Air Force mostly used existing technologies and hardware for the first MOAB prototypes and never contracted out the full production of the bomb, so they did not need to itemize and add the cost of each weapon component, Stefanek told TheDCNF.
Many reports Thursday, including USA Today, the Washington Examiner, CNBC and others, claimed the MOAB cost $314 million to develop, citing a 2011 Los Angeles Times report.
The cost estimates in that article, however, only refer to the cost of the Air Force’s biggest bunker busting bomb, the 5,300 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), or GBU-57, which is built by private defense contractor Boeing Company. “At a total cost of about $314 million, the military has developed and ordered 20 of the GPS-guided bombs, called Massive Ordnance Penetrators,” the LA Times report says.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 13, 2017
While the two bomb types are related, they serve different functions — the MOP is designed to destroy underground bunkers as deep as 200 feet below the surface, while the MOAP wipes out everything on the surface within a mile radius. The MOAB, like its Daisy Cutter predecessor, can only be dropped out of a C-130 built by Lockheed Martin, and the MOP is deployed from the B-2, a Boeing aircraft.
Many news organizations, including TIME and CNBC, also cited Deagel.com, a site with extensive lists of weapons assets owned by multiple countries, which claims the MOAB costs $16 million per unit, the same amount as the reported cost of the MOP.
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