The Pentagon has plans for a show-and-tell for Iraq that will consist of footage of a massive 21,000-pound bomb scheduled to be tested in the Florida panhandle today.
The MOAB, or "massive ordnance air burst" bomb - affectionately called the "mother of all bombs" by military insiders - will be tested on the western range of Eglin Air Force Base.
The massive blast rivals that of a small nuclear weapon, though the damage from it is much less, reports the Pensacola News Journal.
Air Force officials yesterday alerted residents of communities surrounding Eglin's 724-square-mile military installation and told them they may hear an explosion that sounds like thunder or a slamming door between noon and 5 p.m. Central Standard Time. Depending on the wind, some may not even hear the blast.
Eglin officials told Pensacola News Journal they are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of surrounding communities, and that the test would only be conducted under "optimum" weather conditions to minimize its impact.
"They've indicated that this one's going to be a larger magnitude than anything we've experienced around here," Pensacola Mayor John Fog told Fox News. "They're even concerned to the point of where the level of the humidity in the air can translate the shock wave more aggressively than normal."
The Evening Standard reports the Pentagon intends to videotape the results of today's test as a warning to Iraq of what the U.S. could inflict. Military planners believe the footage could scare Iraqi soldiers into surrendering.
The GPS-guided MOAB is an updated version of the 15,000-pound BLU-82. The BLU-82, nicknamed "Daisy Cutter," had been considered the world's most powerful non-nuclear bomb. Daisy Cutters were first used in Vietnam to create jungle clearings for use as helicopter landing areas.
It was used in the Persian Gulf War to clear minefields and most recently dropped in Afghanistan on caves where al-Qaida leaders were suspected of hiding.
Like the Daisy Cutter, MOAB is shoved out of the back of C-130 cargo planes. It produces a "mushroom" cloud of smoke and dust similar to that created by a nuclear explosion, and creates a force sufficient to knock over tanks and kill any people within several hundred meters of the detonation, according to StrategyWorld.com.