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The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) GBU-57A/B is a project by the U.S. Air Force to develop a massive, precision-guided, 30,000 pound (13,608 kg) "bunker buster" bomb. This is substantially larger than the deepest penetrating bunker buster presently available, the 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) GBU-28. 2002, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were working on the development of a 30,000 pound earth-penetrating weapon, said to be known as "Big BLU", although funding and technical difficulties resulted in the development work being abandoned. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysis of sites that had been targeted with bunker-buster bombs revealed poor penetration and inadequate levels of destruction. This renewed interest in the development of a super-large bunker-buster, and the MOP project was initiated. The U.S. Air Force has no specific military requirement for an ultra-large bomb, but it does have a concept for a collection of massively sized penetrator and blast weapons, the so-called "Big BLU" collection, which includes the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) bomb. Development of the MOP is now underway at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Design and testing work is also being performed by Boeing. It is intended that the bomb will be deployed on the B-2 bomber or B-1 bombers, and will be guided by the use of GPS. Northrop Grumman announced a $2.5-million stealth-bomber refit contract on July 19, 2007. An undisclosed number of the U.S. Air Force's 20 B-2s will be able to carry two 15-metric-ton MOPs. On October 6, 2009, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had requested and obtained permission from the U.S. Congress to shift funding in order to accelerate the project. The GPS-guided GBU-57A/B has a 2.7 metric ton high explosive warhead, and can penetrate 200 feet (60 meters) of 5,000 psi reinforced concrete, 26 feet (8 meters) of 10,000 psis reinforced concrete, or 130 feet (40 meters) of moderately hard rock. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Kirov, the lead ship of her class of missile cruisers, is one of the major and biggest surface warships of the Russian Navy, though it was originally built for the Soviet Navy. It is one of the biggest warships of the world and is similar in size to a World War I battleship. Although commissioned as a missile cruiser Kirov's size and weapons complement have given her the unofficial designation of a battlecruiser throughout much of the world. The appearance of the Kirov class was a significant factor in the U.S. Navy recommissioning the Iowa class. She was named after Sergey Kirov, a Bolshevik hero. Kirov suffered a reactor accident in 1990 while serving in the Mediterranean Sea. Repairs were never carried out, due to lack of funds and the changing political situation in the Soviet Union. She may have been cannibalized as a spare parts cache for the other ships in her class. Admiral Ushakov at Severomorsk in 1992.In June 2004 the name Admiral Ushakov was transferred to the Sovremenny class destroyer Besstrashny. In September 2004 it was revealed that the Severodvinsk-based Design Bureau Onega had been tasked with developing the dismantlement project for the cruiser, currently moored at the Severdovinsk Zvezdochka plant. According to the Zvezdochka plant, dismantlement of the former Admiral Ushakov would cost $40 million, all of which was allocated by Norway. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Cheonan was launched in November 1989 from Hyundai Heavy Industries. The ship's primary mission was coastal patrol, with an emphasis on anti-submarine operations. The Cheonan was one of the ships involved in the First Battle of Yeonpyeong in 1999. It is also known that the ship suffered slight damage on the rear in the First Battle of Yeonpyeong. The ship had been scheduled for decommissioning in 2019. On 26 March 2010, an explosion occurred near the rear of the ship causing it to break in two. The cause of this explosion was not immediately determined, although experts said that an external explosion was likely, as the structure of the ship was bent upwards, rather than evenly splitting as would have happened if metal fatigue had been the cause, and that an internal explosion was unlikely, as explosives on board the ship were undamaged. The 1,200 tonne ship started sinking at 21:20 local time (12:20 UTC) about 1 nautical mile (1.9 km) off the south-west coast of Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. The island is located on the South Korean (ROK) side of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto boundary dividing South from North Korea (DPRK). The ship had a crew of 104 men at the time of sinking, and a total of 58 crew were rescued. Another 46 crew were unaccounted for. Cheonan's Captain, Commander Choi Won-il, said that the ship broke into two and the stern sank within five minutes after the explosion and while he was still assessing the situation. On 17 April 2010, North Korea denied any involvement in the sinking of Cheonan. Initially six South Korean Navy and two South Korean Coastguard ships assisted in the rescue as well as aircraft from the Republic of Korea Air Force. It was reported on March 27 that hopes of finding the 46 missing crew alive were fading. Survival time in the water was estimated at about two hours and large waves were hampering rescue attempts. The ship sank in 45 meter deep waters with a small portion of the overturned hull still visible above water. It was expected that it would take up to 20 days to salvage the ship. On 20 May 2010, an international commission investigating the sinking of the Cheonan presented its findings, and said that the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack. The torpedo parts recovered at the site of the explosion by a dredging ship on May 15th, which include 5x5 bladed contra-rotating propellers, propulsion motor and a steering section, perfectly match the schematics of the CHT-02D torpedo included in introductory brochures provided to foreign countries by North Korea for export purposes. The markings in Hangul, which read "1?" (or No. 1 in English), found inside the end of the propulsion section are consistent with markings on a previously obtained North Korean torpedo. Russian and Chinese torpedoes are marked in their respective languages. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Tornadoes are subject to a great deal of speculation and misinformation. Some tornado myths are remaining bits of folklore which are still passed down by word of mouth. The idea that the southwest corner of a structure is the safest place in a tornado was first published in the 1800s, and is still quoted today despite being thoroughly debunked in the 1960s and 70s. Many tornado myths are actively spread by media outlets. News reporters unfamiliar with the science behind tornadoes tend to repeat "common wisdom" which has since been proven incorrect. One notable instance of mass media spreading a tornado myth was after the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, where TIME magazine ran a caption on a picture suggesting that highway overpasses were safer tornado shelters than houses. The spread of some myths can even be attributed to sensationalism in the media or in popular tornado-themed movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Twister. Despite the fact that many misconceptions about tornadoes are no longer prevalent, many still remain. This can be attributed to many factors, including stories and news reports told by people unfamiliar with tornadoes, sensationalism by news media and the presentation of incorrect information in popular entertainment. Common myths cover various aspects of the tornado, and include ideas about tornado safety, the minimization of tornado damage, and false assumptions about the size, shape, power, and path of the tornado itself. It is thought by some people that taking shelter under highway overpasses or in the southwest corner of the building provides extra protection from a tornado, but both of these likely increase the danger of injury or death. Some still believe that opening windows ahead of a tornado will reduce the damage from the storm, but this is not true. Some people also believe that escaping in a vehicle is the safest method of avoiding a tornado, but this can increase the danger in many situations. Other myths are that tornadoes can skip houses, always travel in a predictable direction, always extend visibly from the ground to the cloud, and increase in intensity with increasing width; all of these have some basis in fact, but they are certainly not always true. Finally, some people believe that tornadoes only occur in North America, do not occur in winter, are attracted to mobile home parks, or that some areas are protected from tornadoes by rivers, mountains, valleys, tall buildings or other geographical or man-made features; the truth is that tornadoes can occur almost anywhere at any time if the conditions are right. Some geographic areas are just more prone to these conditions than others. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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