back to article Mole-cruiser planned to attack Iranian nuke bunkers

The US military is looking for help in building a robotic subterranean mole-craft, intended to deliver burrowing kamikaze strikes against underground bunker complexes and suchlike. Poster art for the 70s film of At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs This is a bloody strange nuke bunker. This news comes to us courtesy …


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  1. SlabMan

    They turned down my idea

    A robotic bunker-busting bomb disguised as a Domino's pizza delivery man. Some people have no vision.

  2. Luther Blissett

    What are friends for?

    > The US military is looking for help in building a robotic subterranean mole-craft

    This presumably means it asked Israel, but the answer was no.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Give it a rest already

    Jesus, does the US spend any money on things other than finding new ways to kill people? It's getting really tedious now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the best of it is

      they seem to be spending Chinese money to do so.

    2. ArbitraryAlias

      Give it a rest already, Coward

      How's $400 million in aid to Haiti? Tax benefits (read: spending) on aid to Chile? $586 million to Kenya for HIV/AIDS & malaria treatment? $574 million to South Africa to fight TB & HIV/AIDS? $26 BILLION plus every year to over 150 countries.


  4. rpjs

    Reminds me

    Of a 60s SF movie where the perfidious Chinese were tunnelling across the Pacific to place nukes under American cities, and only a lone scientist realises what they're up to and has to convince the Pentagon that he's not crazy.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "Battle Beneath the Earth"

      IIRC It was a mole using lasers.

      The Sandia idea was *much* more futuristic.

      1. Justabloke 1
        Thumb Up

        A film so bad...

        ...that it became Good :D A movie very much of its time.

        I think it was an attempt to "cash in" on the "reds under the bed" MaCarthyism exploited so well by Invasion of the Body snatchers

  5. andrew mulcock


    I'd imagine a FEA would be a great war head for this,

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Tougher than it looks

    All conventional systems have big power systems have big drive systems to power them. making the whole lot self contained is unlikely to be trivial.

    However in the 1960s & 70s one of the US National laboratories (IIRC Livermore or Sandia) proposed the subterren to melt its way through the earth, providing a smooth self supporting tnnel ideal for underground transportation systems.

    However it did need either a nuclear reactor or a *very* big cable to power it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone call Bebop and Rocksteady

    They'll be needing some test pilots.

  8. Peter Clarke 1

    Part Two of the Requirement

    If you read a little futher down you'll see they need a huge multi-purpose, container-based transporter with short take-off and vertical landing capabilities. Green paint and large number two on the side is optional.

    Eyes are flashing in my photo- time to get my coat. FAB!

  9. Stevie Silver badge


    Anyone familiar with the Cthulhu Mythos should be able to put these guys straight.

    Instead of wasting taxpayer money on some pie-in-the-sky SF vehicle they should be researching the "Summon Cthonian" ritual.

  10. gollux



    1. Mashiara

      re: summon ctonian

      I recommend checking out The Atrocity Archives:

      Really good book in the alternative history genre.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Jules Verne And Rum

    ...don't mix well.

    The only way to kill the Iranian Nuclear program is to have a full sea-blockade because that would kill their economy and bring them at the bargaining table with serious intent to negotiate.

    But it would also drive up oil prices for heavy SUVs, so it will never happen....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why a conventional warhead?

    If they used a small nuke, they could then use the explosion to "prove" the Iranians (or whoever) were building a bomb there. No radar tracks, no evidence of a bomb on the surface, and nobody could dig there for hundreds of years to recover any nuclear material. Looks like their new bomb wasn't quite as good as they thought. Added advantage, it would make your target wonder if the tech they bought isn't fundamentally flawed, so they're less likely to try again elsewhere.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Somebody has been watching Stargate too much again

    The best mole cruiser is from episode 146 "Fallout", Stargate SG-1. With a rather cute (though not entirely safe) engineering crew as well...

  14. jake Silver badge


    How many weeks will it take to get to the target? Surely they'll hear it coming with plenty of time to clear the area ... Yes, I know, the mole will be able to destroy any gear too massive to be removed, but now they've built it once, no doubt rebuilding it won't take long. And at what cost to both sides?

    Overall, it seems counterproductive ... but then war usually^Walways is.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More like a pork-seeking missile

    and, no, not the 'fnarr fnarr' kind of pork.

  16. Anonymous John


    A rather pathetic acronym.

    "Robotic Underground Munition - Bomb at bunker aimed..

  17. Mike Powers

    No WH40K fans?

    It's the old Imperial Guard Mole Mortar, brought to life!

    Of course, it's also a rather destabilizing first-strike weapon. Seems to me that this study is more about "what if someone ELSE had this" than "we need one let's buy it".

  18. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Shame on you all!

    Have you all forgotten the tunnelling Twister missile used by Judge Dredd in The Apocalypse War (Part 5) to take the war to the nasty East Meg? Dredd took the warhead out so he could sneak a team of Judges into the East Meg's bunkers and launch the East Meg's own missiles against them.

    /Yeah, I've got an anorak, so what?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Matt Bryant

    You did not tell us how Itanic could help to make the Robo-Mole work !

    I am sure you are sceptical about it because it is controlled by a SPARC CPU, right ?

    GO Itanium, GO, we are desparate for your massive 1.7 GHz !!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    They Are Already Trying It !

    HMS Superb is already doing test runs into solid material in the Red Sea:,1518,683738,00.html

    Success is inevitable !

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Autonomous Robotic Subterranian Exploder

    Acronym sorted, now all I need is a few millions lobbed my way to research using ley lines as power sources. But nothing may come of that, including receipts. Got accurate delivery sorted, not sure about 'soft landing'. Would an Airbus A380 landing you can walk away from count?

    rpjs- I remember that movie, anyone know what it was called?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: @Matt Bryant - spot the obsessive Sunshiner

      ".....we are desparate for your massive 1.7 GH !!" Well, if you were reliant on Rock for your plans then you probably are desperate for a real enterprise CPU like Tukzilla.

      How sad that you have to bring your petty vendetta into a forum which has nothing to do with CPUs. I mean, it's a pretty sad thread with the amount of geek Sci-Fi worship going on, but at least that's funny, self-deprecating geek stuff, whereas you're obviously just bitter. I suggest you take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if your Sunshiner life really is so empty that you have to drag it into every discussion.

      I suggest a lot more time spent either getting out and meeting real people (no, Second Life "people" don't count), or at least more time watching the Sci-Fi Channel. The former would probably be better for you but probably a big shock to your system, but at least the latter would allow you to join discussions on these forums in an equally geeky, humourous and not quite so bitter fashion.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Can't resist.....

      If it was made General Atomics it could be the Autonomous Robotic Subterranian Exploder Reaper....

      /I'm going, I'm going, no need to push!

  22. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Reminds me

    The film was called Battle Beneath The Earth

    "In the opening scene in the police car the back projection is shown flipped so that all the store names read backwards. This is probably because the scenes were shot in Britain, who drive on the left, but set in the USA, who drive on the right."

    PH because she knows all about things that bury themselves into tunnels.

  23. David Gillies

    This seems a bit James Bond-y

    Wouldn't a 340 kT B61 Mod 7 nuke in laydown mode be a safer bet? What am I missing?

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Does look more of a first strike weapon

    The sort of thing you'd use *before* anyone realized you had it.

  25. Sweep


    Does the request actually mention burrowing? From the text it seems like it could be intended for it to just go in the front door? More like an exploding ferret in a rabbit warren than a mole....

  26. Tim #3


    Isn't this machine overdoing it a bit, surely all they need is badgers with lasers.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Robotic badger paws,

      ... with biomemetic badger ears for guidance and dragging a bunker-buster would suffice.

      I can see the movie now. Run Silent Run Deep II - Bunker-dwelling beef-cake nuc-boffin types w/obligatory sex-pot assistants (this isn't another macho sewer-pipe flick), hunched against the walls, all sweaty for lack of ventilation - secured for silence, listening to the sound of claws - getting louder and louder, closer and closer... Oh, the suspense, the horror, the lusty last-chance orgy, the climax ooOOoo.

  27. Spectrokid


    The big problem with moles is heat. You create an awfull sogging lot of it, and you don't really have anywhere to put it.

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      I always found

      The big problem with moles is the damage they do to your lawn.

      I got some cats.......

      1. gollux
        Black Helicopters

        My cat took one whiff...

        Said Peeyuu and ran. So I ended up resorting to these 5 story mole traps. I'd be willing to sell one to the Iranians on the black market.

  28. Ammaross Danan


    I guess everyone is forgetting about the mole used in The Matrix III to penetrate "Zion." Of course, such a bunker-buster will probably be just as obvious and take just as long to bust through. Even using conventional drilling, it takes several hours to reach any reasonable depth. Post a requirement for human conveyance and they might as well hope for the mole machine from Core.

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