A clear threat: upgrading GBU-57 / B anti-bunker bombs

The US Air Force is armed with GBU-57 / B Massive Ordnance Penetrator anti-bomber bombs of several major modifications that differ in combat characteristics. Not so long ago, the latest version of the GBU-57E / B bomb was adopted, and now the air force is getting this weapon new assembly. In addition, plans were identified for the modernization of bombs of old modifications on an actual project. According to the results of their implementation, the entire stock of MOP products will correspond to the latest project and have the maximum achieved characteristics.



GBU-57 / B bombing from B-2 aircraft


Production and modernization


Bombs of the GBU-57 / B series are not very old. Serial production of the first GBU-57A / B modification was launched at the end of the last decade. It was soon established that such a weapon does not fully meet current requirements, as a result of which modernization was carried out. Recently, the fourth modification of the MOP was created with improved characteristics and certain advantages over the previous weapon.

The latest version of the MOP was tested with 2015. At different times and in different sources, this bomb appeared under the designations GBU-57D / B and GBU-57E / B. In recent posts there is an index with the letter "E". Already during the first tests, significant advantages were shown over existing modifications, as a result of which the bomb was recommended for adoption.

In February 2018, Boeing, the MOP product development company, received an order for mass production of the latest weapons. Until July 2020, the contractor must manufacture and hand over the unspecified number of new bombs to the US Air Force. A certain refinement of the carrier aircraft is also necessary, taking into account the new capabilities and characteristics of the weapon.

Production of brand new GBU-57E / B bombs under the 2018 contract continues and is gradually nearing completion. At the same time, the Pentagon is launching a program to modernize its existing weapons under the latest project. On 28 on October 2019, data for a similar order were published.

The contract was awarded to Superior Forge & Steel Corp. (Lima, Ohio) and Ellwood National Forge (Irwin, PA). They have to make an unnamed number of cases for penetrating warheads of the BLU-127C / B type. The order must be completed before October 2027. For this work, two contractors will receive 90 million dollars.


GBU-57 / B in the B-2 cargo bay. Large ammunition occupies the entire amount provided


According to foreign media reports, the corps will be used in the assembly of warheads to upgrade existing bombs. The U.S. Air Force has a certain stock of GBU-57 / B products of the first modifications that do not fully meet the requirements. They are planned to be modernized and brought into line with the latest GBU-57E / B project, which requires modern BLU-127C / B warheads.

Thus, the arsenals of the Air Force are updated, and this process will continue for several more years. In 2020, the Boeing company must complete the production of completely new bombs, and over the next few years, modernization of already manufactured weapons of old versions will be carried out. As a result of this, only the latest modifications of bombs will remain in the arsenals of the air forces, which will in a certain way affect their combat effectiveness.

Special tool


Products of the GBU-57 / B MOP line are designed to destroy buried structures for various purposes. With their help, the US Air Force can hit command bunkers, underground bases and other enemy targets. A specific tactical role affected the technical appearance of the weapon, and also affected the volume of its production.

MOP bombs have a cylindrical cone-shaped cowling and are equipped with wings and tail rudders. Product length - 6,2 m, body diameter - 1 m. Curb weight - 13,6 t. Of these, 2,5 t is a high-explosive warhead with a reinforced hull that can penetrate soil, concrete, etc.

The aerial bomb is made controllable. On-board automation receives signals from the GPS navigation system and corrects the flight path using the tail rudders. This ensures high accuracy of the hit, increasing the likelihood of a successful hit on the target.


Bomb drop during tests. In the role of an experienced carrier - B-52H


The first modification of the GBU-57 / B showed limited combat characteristics. When reset at the recommended flight modes, it could only go deeper into the ground at 20 m. During subsequent upgrades, it was possible to increase such parameters. Product GBU-57E / B is able to land on the 60 m. Also, the bomb can penetrate up to several meters of concrete. Undermining the charge occurs after passing through an obstacle and stopping the bomb at a depth.

Together with the combat modification of the bomb, a combat training is produced. It is distinguished by the use of an inert warhead, which has a full-time housing and a weight simulator of charge. Such a product is proposed to be used in training events. In addition, it can be used with full weapons. In this case, the inert MOP is dropped first. It must penetrate the soil above the target, shake and soften it before the battle bomb falls. This increases the penetration depth of a full-fledged ammunition and increases the effectiveness of its use.

Media problem


GBU-57 / B MOP bombs weigh more than 13,6 tons. In addition, they do not have a high flight range after a reset. All this makes special demands on the carrier aircraft. According to some reports, at present, only 20 aircraft from the US Air Force can use such weapons.

In the recent past, only the inconspicuous long-range bomber B-57 Spirit received new equipment for carrying and using bombs GBU-2 / B. The possibility of carrying such weapons is provided by the correct combination of cargo compartment dimensions and carrying capacity. In addition, an inconspicuous aircraft has the ability to reach the drop point of the bomb even while maintaining part of the enemy’s air defense. However, the Air Force has only 20 of such vehicles.

During the tests, the B-52H was also an experienced carrier of anti-bunker bombs, but it is not known whether combat aircraft have such capabilities. In the foreseeable future, MOP bombs will have a new carrier. To replace several current bombers, a new B-21 Raider aircraft is being developed. It will be compatible with a wide range of aircraft ammunition, and anti-bunker bombs may be included.


GBU-57A / B bomb, Boeing specialists and Air Force personnel, 2007


Because of this, for some time, the air force will have at least two types of carrier aircraft for the GBU-57 / B. Noticeable quantitative growth is also expected. In the ranks there are only two dozen B-2, and the B-21 is planned to be built in a much larger series.

Clear threat


News On the creation of new modifications of the GBU-57 / B anti-bunker bomb, they are usually accompanied by statements on tasks of a military-political nature. Weapons of the MOP family are associated with specific targets and objects of the likely enemy.

Special weapons are intended to destroy strategically important targets in the DPRK and Iran. For example, in recent reports, the Iranian nuclear facility in Fordo appears as a possible target, where the uranium enrichment process has recently been resumed. This enterprise is located in an underground bunker, which can only be hit with the help of specialized weapons.

Whether the GBU-57 / B bombs will be used to hit real targets in Iran or North Korea is unclear. The United States and these countries regularly exchange aggressive statements, but the difficult political situation has not yet reached a direct clash. Accordingly, anti-bunker bombs remain in the arsenals. However, it cannot be ruled out that the further development of the political situation will lead to their combat use for real purposes.

Until this happens, the Pentagon takes all necessary measures to develop existing weapons and improve their combat qualities. Last year, an order was placed for the production of anti-bunker bombs of the latest modification from scratch, and now the program for upgrading available weapons is starting. Thus, if an order is received to destroy the underground facilities of a potential enemy, the US Air Force will be ready for its implementation - and will be able to use the most successful and effective weapons.
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  1. Doctor 8 November 2019 18: 25 New
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    Our answer.
    In Omsk, resumed production of "fire tanks."
  2. bk316 8 November 2019 18: 35 New
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    Well, thank God this is not about us. The free fall bomb that only the B-52 can carry is against a country that does not have air defense, not at all.
    1. Doctor 8 November 2019 18: 40 New
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      Well, thank God this is not about us. The free fall bomb that only the B-52 can carry is against a country that does not have air defense, not at all.


      About us. The first strike on air defense. Missile. Then to the decision centers.
      1. bk316 8 November 2019 18: 44 New
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        Then to the decision centers.

        Decision centers are hit by strategic means. While air defense will be crushed, and most importantly, until the B-52 reaches our centers, our entire strategic nuclear forces will be shot 10 times already.
        Yes, and a rather weak bomb will be here at least 100 kilotons needed. It’s possible to open a underground plant, but there is no longer a first-class bomb shelter ... Well, there’s no question of anti-nuclear bunkers.
        1. Doctor 8 November 2019 18: 57 New
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          But anti-nuclear bunkers are out of the question.

          It's just about them.
          1. bk316 8 November 2019 19: 15 New
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            It's just about them.

            Where are you from so uneducated and stubborn? This bomb will not even reach all the stations of the Moscow metro. Googling at your leisure "Victory Park station depth". And forget about the anti-nuclear bunkers - there are hundreds of meters of soil, dozens of concrete, shock absorbers, energy absorbers, and the exact location is unknown.
          2. Wilderness 9 November 2019 22: 46 New
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            In a situation where war is inevitable, no one will sit in concrete holes. This is such a persistent literary myth. The purpose of shelters is to manage in a threatened period when a sabotage threat is possible.
            1. Doctor 9 November 2019 22: 56 New
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              In a situation where war is inevitable, no one will sit in concrete holes.

              And where will they sit when the war is inevitable.
              1. Wilderness 10 November 2019 09: 01 New
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                Tear claws away from these holes to whom it is possible and to whom it is impossible. Any such object is a cross on the map - "shoot here." In Soviet times, it was like this: permanent KPs - for peacetime, basic (spare) - for the threatened period (it can last for months, therefore reserves are provided), mobile - for wartime (they are more tenacious).
                1. Doctor 10 November 2019 12: 18 New
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                  In Soviet times, it was like this: permanent KPs for peacetime, the main (reserve) ones for a threatened period (it can last for months, therefore reserves are provided), mobile ones for wartime (they are more tenacious).

                  How to organize the protection of command centers in a nuclear war without deep bunkers? It's impossible. After the September 11 terrorist attack, Bush darted on a plane from an air base to an air base, but is this possible after a massive nuclear strike? The territory of the country will be a leopard skin with spots of radioactive contamination in the area of ​​large cities and military facilities. We need to sit out somewhere.
                  1. Wilderness 11 November 2019 08: 33 New
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                    But why organize defense if this center cannot fulfill its task - management? Cable lines are destroyed, wells of NUPs, manipulation lines to transmitters, antenna fields, pull-out devices - everything is easily destroyed. There is a difference between a post with a missile launch button (pressed - and free) and command and control. Bush just did not rush, and changed the location.
        2. YOUR 9 November 2019 05: 57 New
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          Verify the truth. The bomb is not for a big war. Because in order to reset it you need to fly. Try to fly if such shelters are inland and are covered by a triple air defense belt. Bomb to finish off the enemy. But if air defense is no longer there, then the same bombers will be gone. The United States has 69 units in service. and the first blow may be enough, and then .....
          1. Doctor 10 November 2019 11: 46 New
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            Bomb to finish off the enemy.

            Yes. Nuclear war begins with the exchange of missiles. The task of the bombers is to take off and wait for the end of the suppression of air defense. Up to 4 hours approximately. Then fly to finish off with refueling. For the remaining command posts including.
            1. YOUR 10 November 2019 12: 36 New
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              The beginning of the war can be different. Simultaneous launch of all carriers of land and sea-based ballistic missiles and aviation. By the time aviation approaches the borders there, nuclear baboons will have ceased. Another option is a simultaneous approach to the borders of all nuclear weapons of missiles and aircraft. Naturally, airplanes will not bomb, and from the distance they will launch the KR.
              But this is what prevents strategic aviation of the main enemy from considering, its small size. Pintos have 150 aircraft of which 20 are B-2A bombers, they have no missiles. Those. 120 aircraft, compared to ballistic missiles and missiles launched from offshore platforms, is not too much.
              The same is with us. We have about the same amount, if you count the Tu-22.
              Therefore, anti-aircraft systems of the S-400 type are now being actively developed, capable of combating not only enemy aircraft, but also warheads of the BR, missiles themselves and cruise missiles.
              1. Doctor 10 November 2019 12: 53 New
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                The simultaneous start of all media ... Another option is the simultaneous approach to the boundaries of all means


                The guys overseas have long figured out the best option. If ballistic missiles and especially aviation will be the first to enter the air defense zone, then the percentage of their destruction will be about 60. Therefore, cruise missiles will be first. According to the KP air defense districts, it’s first to cut down the guidance of the RTV, especially since there is no smell of bunkers there, especially in individual companies and battalions. Stationary stations will not be able to provide constant guidance on the CR, going a difficult route, along the folds of the terrain, taking into account the closure angles of the stations. Checked by Matthias Rust.
                1. YOUR 10 November 2019 13: 07 New
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                  Everything can be. But it’s better not to check.
      2. Prisoner 8 November 2019 18: 51 New
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        After the first strike, they will have to solve so many problems that they will not be up to the centers of others. As they say, not to fat, I would be living.
        1. rocket757 8 November 2019 19: 06 New
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          Quote: Captive
          After the first strike, they will have to solve so many problems.

          In fact, they will have to scoop up problems BEFORE the first blow breaks out! This is what a deb - one needs to be oriented, in order to assume that someone will wait when they buy him ???
          There is such a tree Ivoi is called .... and on it a bird sits Naivnyak.
          1. Prisoner 8 November 2019 19: 11 New
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            The lads forget that the war is not quite, or rather, not at all KShU. A map or a mockup will not send an answer, the “adversary” will not kill. But in real life a little different what N ... yes!
    2. knn54 8 November 2019 20: 04 New
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      Today, Iran and the DPRK .. And tomorrow? In addition to the B-52, there is also the B-2.
  3. rocket757 8 November 2019 18: 42 New
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    This weapon is not the first wave of attack and only against those who cannot answer the first wave with anything substantial, vigorously reasoned.
  4. The leader of the Redskins 8 November 2019 19: 10 New
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    Do I have all? Like a couple of days ago, if not yesterday there was news about the modernization of anti-bunker bombs ?!
  5. Undecim 8 November 2019 19: 31 New
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    B-2 and GBU-57. Weapon and carrier.
    1. alstr 8 November 2019 19: 39 New
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      The problem is that for the application to use it needs a height. And significant.
      This completely kills the possibility of use in any more or less preserved air defense.
      Therefore - this weapon is only for the Papuans. In addition, they already wrote here that our CPs are buried even deeper.
      1. Sasha_rulevoy 8 November 2019 23: 35 New
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        Quote: alstr
        Therefore - this weapon is only for the Papuans


        Is the Papuans Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia?
    2. rocket757 8 November 2019 19: 43 New
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      The target and the under-born .... everything in one heap will burn out, unless the bomb goes deeper below.
    3. Undecim 8 November 2019 20: 35 New
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      During the tests, the B-52H was also an experienced carrier of anti-bunker bombs, but it is not known whether combat aircraft have such capabilities.
      They have. They can carry two such bombs in the bomb bay.
  6. Tank jacket 8 November 2019 22: 00 New
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    Another argument for the purchase of Russian air defense systems. "Let them choose" (c)
  7. 7,62h54 8 November 2019 22: 03 New
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    The presence of such bombs is not always the determining factor in the victory over an opponent. You also need to have the political will and the banal courage to apply them. The consequences will not be long in coming.
  8. Observer2014 8 November 2019 22: 04 New
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    Thank you for the interesting continuation of the topic. hi It was really interesting to read interesting material.
  9. Prisoner 9 November 2019 00: 54 New
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    "The Iraqi airbase, where American troops were stationed, was attacked by 17 Katyusha missiles. The Associated Press reports referring to Iraqi dignitaries. It is clarified that the base was located south of Iraqi Mosul." 17 Katyusha missiles hit the Iraqi airbase " ", - the sources specified. According to preliminary data, American troops were stationed in this place. At present there is no data on the victims ..." (c) Interesting girls are dancing. winked
  10. Freedim 9 November 2019 01: 01 New
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    Immediately the system of dynamic protection of the bunker suggests itself, to detonate the bomb before it is deepened ... Surely they have already invented something like that.
    1. Sergey_G_M 9 November 2019 04: 21 New
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      Well, this is already too much))
      To stop 13 tons, a very powerful dynamic defense is needed.
      The bunker area is too large to cover it with dynamic wired (plus take into account the angle of incidence of the bomb, which covers the area further increases).

      Honestly, not every anti-aircraft defense can cope with this bomb - it’s a very thick-walled corps (I heard somewhere that the bomb corps were made from old battleship barrels). For example, air defense of the type of Shell, Thor can only damage the control planes of the bomb in the final section of its flight, while the bomb will fly to the target by inertia, albeit not so accurately.
    2. bk0010 9 November 2019 09: 36 New
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      Better some kind of metal grill in the format of a corner (or a needle?), A corner up with a step of half a caliber of this bomb. To cause a split in the body, and then it will destroy itself.
      1. duchy 9 November 2019 17: 57 New
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        You take the divider for the gas burner, fix it on your head, and everything. no bomb, with a direct hit on your head --- nothing.
    3. Doctor 10 November 2019 12: 34 New
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      Immediately the system of dynamic protection of the bunker suggests itself, to detonate the bomb before it is deepened ... Surely they have already invented something like that.


      The first bunkers were built on the basis of the Second World War, taking into account the capabilities of the then nuclear weapons. It was enough to choose the depth and quality of the soil. With the growth of capabilities, weapons were buried deeper. The ideas of dynamic protection were probably considered, but how to implement them on a finished object? It is necessary to create a complex engineering structure in the depths above it. Crazy money.
  11. Old26 9 November 2019 10: 39 New
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    Quote: 7,62x54
    The presence of such bombs is not always the determining factor in the victory over an opponent. You also need to have the political will and the banal courage to apply them. The consequences will not be long in coming.

    You're right. Even without these bombs, victory can be won. Everything rests on the total potential. And these bombs will be used only after the aviation and air defense of the country against which they are going to use them are taken out.
    Courage in using an anti-bunker bomb? But this is not a nuclear option, what courage can we talk about?

    Quote: FreeDIM
    Immediately the system of dynamic protection of the bunker suggests itself, to detonate the bomb before it is deepened ... Surely they have already invented something like that.

    Dynamic silo protection? But is it not a bust to come up with a plan to defend against such bombs? And if suddenly this dynamic defense works without a bomb, then what?
  12. Freedim 9 November 2019 17: 30 New
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    Quote: Old26

    Dynamic silo protection? But is it not a bust to come up with a plan to defend against such bombs? And if suddenly this dynamic defense works without a bomb, then what?

    Well, the tanks are weighted .. Even if it works, if they are correctly positioned (let's say that cumulative jets are issued parallel to the horizon at a shallow depth), nothing will happen even on the surface, not to mention the bunker itself. In addition, knowing that the points are equipped with such protection, 2 bombs will be needed ... and two will not fit into the B-2. And the cost of such a system will be penny, in comparison with the consequences of breaking through the "shell" of the command center ...
    PS. although it’s possible, like the Americans, to do nothing .. call the media, dig in a dummy, say that this is the most modern super-duper complex that will solve all problems, and to shake off the next few money from the budget.
  13. duchy 9 November 2019 17: 45 New
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    I read the headline and realized this was not about us. It’s a terrible weapon against banana republics, but the problem is that they (banana republics) do not need to dig a very deep bunker, it makes no sense (they didn’t get down from palm trees, humor). bully Developing countries, do not take this as an insult, this is life. (The use of MOA in Afghanistan is almost a gopher, but in Russia there are a lot of steppes, gophers are not measured, but who will let them get to them). soldier
  14. Old26 9 November 2019 20: 57 New
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    Quote: FreeDIM
    Well, the tanks are weighted .. Even if it works, if they are correctly positioned (let's say that cumulative jets are issued parallel to the horizon at a shallow depth), nothing will happen even on the surface, not to mention the bunker itself. In addition, knowing that the points are equipped with such protection, 2 bombs will be needed ... and two will not fit into the B-2. And the cost of such a system will be penny, in comparison with the consequences of breaking through the "shell" of the command center ...
    PS. although it’s possible, like the Americans, to do nothing .. call the media, dig in a dummy, say that this is the most modern super-duper complex that will solve all problems, and to shake off the next few money from the budget.

    Kamrad! A bunker is not a tank. There is no "empty space" where dynamic protection can work. After a layer of concrete is a layer of earth (stone). How will dynamic protection work underground and in the ground? In addition, the explosion will not necessarily be a contact, that is, it will happen when the bomb crashes into concrete. A blast of 2 tons of explosives, even if not in direct contact with concrete, can do a lot of trouble. All the same, in order to come up with means of destroying our own kind, we humans have succeeded

    Quote: duche
    I read the headline and realized this was not about us. It’s a terrible weapon against banana republics, but the problem is that they (banana republics) do not need to dig a very deep bunker, it makes no sense (they didn’t get down from palm trees, humor). bully Developing countries, do not take this as an insult, this is life. (The use of MOA in Afghanistan is almost a gopher, but in Russia there are a lot of steppes, gophers are not measured, but who will let them get to them). soldier

    They are preparing these weapons, in particular, against Iran to neutralize their underground production.
  15. Freedim 31 January 2020 09: 35 New
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    You still need to get into the bunker ... A "hole" in the ground where people go down can be located hundreds of meters from the shelter ... It's like throwing a stone into an ice-hole in the hope of killing a fish. A flaw detection of the soil (for the search for voids underground) from satellites is unlikely.
    1. agond 6 February 2020 22: 06 New
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      An anti-bunker bomb to defeat the bunker needs to overcome a 10-15m soil layer, if it meets a mine on its way in the soil, then it can detonate earlier, it can be destroyed in parts, the body can bend (if the bomb was made from a large gun barrel), if undermining a mine will occur on the surface of the earth and next to the bomb, it will probably deploy and it will enter the ground sideways. in any case, it’s not a fact that she will achieve the goal.