The 'Mother Of All Bombs' (MOAB) Did Not Cost $314M Total Or $16M A Unit, Says US Air Force Official

Ashley Hoffman

Many on social media and several news outlets alleged that the MOAB bomb cost $314 million dollars. The much-talked about price per unit for the MOAB bomb was never confirmed by the US military, although many outlets including the New York Times and Business Insider inaccurately stated that the cost of the MOAB was in the millions.

Several Trump critics and celebs across social media quickly showed dissent for cited multi-million dollar cost to drop the "mother of all bombs" on an ISIS target in Afghanistan.

Where did $314 million dollars per MOAB unit originate? The LA Times published a 2011 article detailing the delivery of a batch of 30,000-pound bombs. The total cost for this batch in 2011 was cited at $314 million.

The Daily Caller added that the number was then picked up by various media outlets.

"Many news organizations, including TIME and CNBC, also cited, 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."

The weapon, whose acronym, MOAB, inspired the nickname, the "Mother of All Bombs," was produced by the Air Force. According to an Air Force official. "... We don't have a standard procurement cost associated with them."

The Air Force has not confirmed the development costs associated with the larger weapons system. The $170,000 cost for the MOAB seems accurate considering a general-purpose 1,000-pound MK-83 would cost about $12,000.

The U.S. bomb was dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The "mother of all bombs" was dubbed from the ear-splitting blast from the weapon.

The image above is from an April 13, 2017, video that was released by the U.S. Department of Defense. The photo shows a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb strike on an Islamic State militant cave and tunnel systems in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan.

The MOAB features additional high explosives and larger fins intended to precisely direct the GPS-guided munition.

Many Trump critics and celebs used Twitter to express their frustration at the administration's authorization of using such an expensive bomb. However, the unverified cost believed to have been associated with the entire development program ran rampant on social media.

This million dollar number was never confirmed by the US military, which has developed 20 such bombs.

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said the goal was to destroy "a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces in the area."

According to the Daily Mail, ISIS fighters were networking through a series of underground tunnels. The MOAB bomb also destroyed weapons and ammunition. A Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed that no civilians were hurt.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai considered the attack to be "an inhuman and most brutal misuse of our country." The ministry added the bomb struck a village near Momand valley.

The incredible blast emanating from the massive bomb is equivalent to 11 tons of dynamite. The nuclear weapon which was dropped on Hiroshima had a full blast yield of 15 tons of TNT.

An Afghan army soldier who was driving toward the targeted area affected by the MOAB bomb revealed to the Guardian what the explosion felt like.

"The explosion felt like a big earthquake, even in the surrounding districts."