World Reassured: US Conducts Successful Field Test Of New (More Accurate) Nuclear Bomb

horiz grey line


Tyler Durden's picture

With the world still abuzz over the first ever deployment of the GBU-43/B “Mother Of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, where it reportedly killed some 36 ISIS fighters, in a less noticed statement the US National Nuclear Security Administration quietly announced overnight the first successful field test of the modernized, “steerable” B61-12 gravity thermonuclear bomb in Nevada.

In a well-timed statement, just as tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program and potential US airstrikes run wild, the NNSA said that in conjunction with the US Air Force, it had completed the first qualification flight test of B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb on March 14 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.


In the press release, the NNSA said that the “non-nuclear assembly test” was dropped from an F-16 based at Nellis Air Force Base and was intended to evaluate “both the weapon’s non-nuclear functions as well as the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon.”

This test was the first of a series that will be conducted over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service. Three successful development flight tests were conducted in 2015.

“This demonstration of effective end-to-end system performance in a realistic ballistic flight environment marks another on-time achievement for the B61-12 Life Extension Program,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. “The successful test provides critical qualification data to validate that the baseline design meets military requirements. It reflects the nation’s continued commitment to our national security and that of our allies and partners.”

The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants, and mated to the tail-kit assembly section, designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

Phil Hoover, an engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, shows off a flight test body for a B61-12 nuclear weapon

The B61-12 consolidates and replaces four B61 bomb variants in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The first production unit is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

 What the world needs a more accurate nuclear bomb in the hands of the Americans—

The original B61 gravity bomb is the mainstay of the Air Force’s nuclear arsenal and one of the legs of the so-called nuclear triad, along with the intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed from either ground-based silos or oceangoing submarines. The B61 nuclear gravity bomb, deployed from U.S. Air Force and NATO bases, has almost 50 years of service, “making it the oldest and most versatile weapon in the enduring U.S. stockpile.” Numerous modifications have been made to improve the B61’s safety, security, and reliability since the first B61 entered service in 1968, and four B61 variants remain in the stockpile: the 3, 4, 7, and 11. However, the aging weapon system requires a life extension to continue deterring potential adversaries and reassuring our allies and partners of our security commitments to them.

The B61-12 LEP will refurbish, reuse, or replace all of the bomb’s nuclear and non?nuclear components to extend the service life of the B61 by at least 20 years, “and to improve the bomb’s safety,  effectiveness, and security” according to the NNSA. The B61-12 first production unit will occur in FY 2020. The bomb will be approximately 12 feet long and weigh approximately 825 pounds. The bomb will be air-delivered in either ballistic gravity or guided drop modes, and is being certified for delivery on current strategic (B-2A) and dual capable aircraft (F-15E, F-16C/D & MLU, PA-200) as well as future aircraft platforms (F-35, B-21).

President Trump has endorsed the ambitious and expensive plan to modernize the US nuclear triad, begun under his predecessor.

The March test of the B61-12 was the first in a series to take place over the next three years, with the final design review due in September 2018 and the first production unit scheduled for completion by March 2020.

Once the bomb is authorized for use in 2020, the US plans to deploy some 180 of the B61-12 precision-guided thermonuclear bombs to five European countries as follows:

  • Belgium – 20;
  • Germany -20;
  • Italy – 70;
  • Netherlands – 20;
  • Turkey -50;

… although in light of recent developments, and this weekend’s Turkish referendum which may grant Erdogan what are effectively dictatorial powers, it may consider reassessing the Turkish deployment.



Why contributing to the Greanville Post is urgent and makes sense.

CLICK ON THIS BAR AND FIND OUT
Among the many progressive and left-wing on-line journals that rely on the commitment of its writers, you may wonder what makes TGP especially worth supporting.

The answer is that we pay attention to the entire world, not just to the “me-centered” US.

Our contributors have spent a good portion of their lives among other peoples—roaming the world, or reporting from Beijing, Shenzhen, Rome, Paris, London, Lima, Wroclaw, and other important venues—gaining the kind of insight that can only come from a life-long commitment to understanding ‘the Other’.

Our dispatches are therefore always focused on the other side’s story, and as unprecedented changes come to Washington, and therefrom, across the globe, you will want to know what under-reported or under-analyzed events are driving US policy. You won’t have to wait weeks to read our columnists’ take on what’s going on, by which time, sixteen other major events will have taken place.

Because they have been watching the Big Picture literally for decades, they are able to locate daily events in both time and space, making it easier for you to sort out reality from imperialist fantasy. And the world of difference between our reporting and that of the mainstream media is magnified when it comes to backstories and forecasts.

Learning what is really happening in the world today is no longer an option. Our planet’s very salvation now depends on truth reaching as many people as possible. Get the facts here and pass them on.

Start by supporting the Greanville Post in its vital work. Now more than ever. Use the PayPal button below.






LEGAL DISCLAIMER NOTE. CLICK HERE.

THE GREANVILLE POST

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Greanville Post, a publication of The Voice of Nature Network, Inc., (VNN), a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.  The Greanville Post grants permission to cross-post original The Greanville Post articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of The Greanville Post articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: greanville@gmail.com

THE GREANVILLE POST contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues, and the furtherance of peace and social justice, the defence of our planetary ecosystems, and the prevention and eventual elimination of human abuse, exploitation,.and cruelty toward any and all non-human species The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries contact us at greanville@gmail.com 


horiz-long grey

uza2-zombienationWhat will it take to bring America to live according to its own self image?


black-horizontal

Make sure many more people see this. It's literally a matter of life an death. Imperial lies kill! Share widely.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •