HERE'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 'MOTHER OF BOMBS'
It was first created as a psychological weapon, designed to scare the enemy into surrendering.
But today, the GBU-43/B - dubbed the 'Mother of all bombs' - has been dropped on an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan.
A crater left by the blast is believed to be more than 300 meters wide after it exploded six feet above the ground. Anyone at the blast site was vaporized.
This is the first time the Moab (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) explosive in combat for the first time. But what is the huge explosive, and how does it work?
The Moab or GBU-43/B is the world's largest non-nuclear weapon.
It is designed to destroy heavily reinforced targets or to shatter ground forces and armour across a large area.
Its blast is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT. By comparison, the nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima had a blast yield of 15 tons of TNT.
First tested in 2003, it was developed by by US forces in preparation for the Iraq invasion but was never deployed during the war.
The huge bomb measure 30 feet (9 metres) long and 40 inches (1 metre) wide, and weighs 21,000lbs (9,500kg) – heavier than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.
While it has a blast radius that stretches a mile in each direction the bomb leaves no lasting radiation effect because it is non-nuclear.
Deploying such a large bomb isn't easy as even the world's largest bombing aircraft can't manage the Moab's size and weight.
The bomb can only be deployed out of the back of large cargo plane using a unique system.
A parachute pulls the bomb out of the plane on a box-like pallet that quickly separates from the explosive.
Grid fins then extend from the body to help control the bomb's descent.
It accelerates rapidly to its terminal velocity and is partially guided to its target via satellite.
The bomb explodes six feet (1.8 metres) above the ground using an 'airburst' mechanism to spread its destructive power horizontally rather than vertically.
Today, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb hit a 'tunnel complex' in Achin district in Nangarhar province, US Forces Afghanistan said in a statement.
A specialized MC-130 'Hercules' cargo aircraft released the weapon at 7:00 p.m. local time.
It was too big to drop from a traditional bomb-bay door or release from an aircraft wing, so 'we kicked it out the back door,' a U.S. official told Fox News.
The weapon's sheer power produces a blast that can be felt miles away, largely because of its construction.
Engineers used an unusually thin aluminum skin to encase MOAB's payload, in order to avoid a thicker steel frame interfering with the impact on a target.
The Moab was first developed as a psychological weapon to scare enemy troops into surrender.
A video of the original 'Elgin' test was released to the public in order to unsettle the Iraqi forces.
'The goal is to have the pressure be so great that Saddam Hussein cooperates,' then-Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said.
'Short of that - an unwillingness to cooperate - the goal is to have the capabilities of the coalition so clear and so obvious that there is an enormous disincentive for the Iraqi military to fight against the coalition.'
HOW THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS KILLS PEOPLE: VAPORIZED BODIES, CRUSHED INTERNAL ORGANS AND SUFFOCATED TO DEATH
The GBU-43, otherwise known as the Mother of All Bombs, or MOAB unleashes a devastating fireball that incinerates anything within 300 feet when it first detonates.
In the milliseconds following the initial blast, all the oxygen would have been sucked out of the tunnels and for hundreds of feet around, literally sucking the life out of terrorists, suffocating them as their lungs imploded.
Then, in a flash the fiery shockwave would have blasted outwards at the speed of sound for up to a mile, causing huge concussive injuries to anyone caught in its path, essentially smashing them to death, while at the same time leveling buildings and trees.
Ears would have been left bleeding and internal organs battered by the staggering force of the blast.
Anyone caught inside the tunnels would have been crushed as the force of 19,000 pounds of highly complex explosives caused them to collapse on the ISIS terrorists.
Anyone left alive would have been shocked and left in awe by the ferocity of the blast - the psychological scars staying with them forever.
Its frightening power was unleashed by the United States for the first time on Thursday when it was dropped on an ISIS camp in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province, in order to obliterate underground tunnels used by the terrorists.
A crater left by the blast is believed to be more than 300 feet wide after it exploded just six feet above the ground. Anyone at the blast site was vaporized.
The energy released by the nearly 19,000 pounds of highly complex explosive, would have caused a barometric shock wave known as 'overpressure' that moves at the speed of sound away from ground zero.
Classed as a thermobaric bomb - 'thermo' for heat and 'baric' for pressure, the MOAB features a two stage detonation powered by H6 explosive which contains powdered aluminum.
The first blast detonates and spreads highly flammable aluminum dust and the second is the baric blast - which literally sucks oxygen out from cave tunnels before rapidly becoming an expanding shock wave.
Both the implosion and the blast wave cause massive internal damage to anyone who has not been already been incinerated by the detonation, with most injuries to hollow organs such as the ears, lungs and stomach.
Anyone in the tunnels who did not have the life sucked out them would have then been crushed to death by the sheer force of the explosion.