The Air Force B-2 Stealth Bomber Will be Armed with a New B61-12 Nuclear Weapon
WASHINGTON, (BM) – New weapons and technologies arming the Air Force’s stealthy B-2 bombers are expected to bring “massive firepower to even the most heavily-defended targets,” learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting RealClear Defense and according to an official service acquisition report.
The Air Force report says the B-2 will be armed with a new B61-12 nuclear weapon by as soon as August of this year.
The B61-12 adds substantial new levels of precision targeting and consolidates several different kinds of attack options into a single weapon. Instead of needing separate variants of the weapon for different functions, the B61-12 by itself allows for earth-penetrating attacks, low-yield strikes, high-yield attacks, above surface detonation and bunker-buster options. Air Force officials described the B61-12 as having an “All Up Round.”
The latest version of the B61 thermonuclear gravity bomb, which has origins as far back as the 1960s, is engineered as a low-to-medium yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon, which also states the weapon has a “two-stage” radiation implosion design.
The joint program completed developmental testing on June 20, 2018, and successfully conducted all 31 developmental flight test events. The B61-12 transitioned from the engineering and manufacturing development phase to the production phase October 26, 2018.
The evidence that the B61-12 can penetrate below the surface has significant implications for the types of targets that can be held at risk with the bomb.
By bringing an “earth-penetrating” component, the B61-12 vastly increases the target scope or envelope of attack. It can enable more narrowly targeted or pinpointed strikes at high-value targets underground – without causing anywhere near the same level of devastation above ground or across a wider area.
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Source: RealClear Defense