Last year in April, America dropped the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan. The 10,000 kilograms weapon (also known as Mother Of All Bombs) demonstrated its destructive capabilities as it created a mushroom cloud that could be seen up to 20 miles away. The bomb, that packs 8,000 kilograms of explosives, is way too powerful for a conventional bomb (that is roughly 250 kilograms). Unlike most conventional bombs, the MOAB is designed to take out field-fortified targets — like caves, canyons and tunnels — that are not easily reachable.
On January 4, China tested its own version of MOAB. According to state-run newspaper Global Times, the new bomb marked the first public display of the country’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb. The weapon is developed by Chinese arms giant China North Industries Group Corporation, better known as NORINCO
China also released a promotional video on the website of Norinco. The video showed that the bomb was airdropped by a H-6K strategic bomber onto a plain, resulting in huge explosion.
As per reports, the bomb can destroy everything within a 3,000-foot (914-metre) radius. Due to its massive destructive capabilities, the MOAB has not previously been used on the battlefield.
As per military experts, the Chinese weapon is smaller and lighter than its American counterpart.
The bomb is suitable to clear a landing zone for troops on helicopters, if the area is covered by obstacles such as forests.
If we do a comparative analysis, then the most powerful non-nuclear weapon possessed by India is SPICE (smart precise impact and cost effective) bomb. SPICE is an air-droppable unguided bomb which can be carried by Mirage 2000 fighters. It is manufactured by Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. SPICE, which is used by IAF weighs around 450 Kgs and is around 3 meters long. However, it does not fall in the same category as MOAB or Chinese version of MOAB.
Watch the footage of China dropping MOAB here:
As China developed and tested its version of MOAB, it remains to be seen how India responds to this. According to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong, China is currently playing a psychological warfare with India and the recent tension between Chinese and Indian armed forces are a proof of this. If you remember, last year Indian and Chinese troops were mired in a long-standing face off at Doklam – a once obscure patch of disputed territory between China and Bhutan.
Meanwhile, according to another media report, China is also getting closer to equipping its warships with electromagnetic railguns, which will make them one of the most advanced weapons technology on the planet.