On the days of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced the successful completion of the first step of the test systems and equipment of a nuclear bomb B61-12 (B-61 mod 12). Testing took place on February 4 at the state laboratory in Los Alamos. For obvious reasons, the program from the test did not go blasting ammunition.
Air-based nuclear bomb B61, since 1968 is one of the major types of thermonuclear weapons U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Total production of all modifications of B61 is about 3155 pieces. B61 is a bomb with variable power charge (power 0.3, 1.5, 5, 10, 60, 80 or 170 kilotons), it comes in a range of weapons most combat aircraft of the United States.
U.S. Department of Energy 3 March 2010 requested the requirements for upgrading bombs B61, at a rate of almost two billion dollars. Currently, developed brand new modification of bombs — B61-12 (B-61 mod 12). Its operation is scheduled to begin in 2018.
NNSA subordinated to the Ministry of Energy and supervises the development and protection of America’s nuclear arsenal. It oversees and modernization program from B61.
«Until such time as the United States continues to have a nuclear weapon, we must be convinced that it is harmless, reliable, and efficient, without the use of underground nuclear test explosions» — explained the deputy head of the NNSA Defense Programs Don Cook in press release. «First real system of environmental tests for B61-12 is a significant achievement, and gives us confidence in our ability to move forward towards increasing the safety and security of the bomb.»
As reported, B61-12 will use parts from previous versions 4 bombs (B61-3, -4, -7 and -10) from the arsenals of the U.S. and, in the end, will change these patterns.
There is a perception that the project of modernization of nuclear bomb B61, is an attempt to circumvent the U.S. government nonproliferation agreements nuclear weapons. By this method they expect to get a new facility for weapons promising aviation systems.
In the not so long ago the sounded report economical control of Congress, the number that Obama administration’s plans for nuclear weapons over the next decade, will cost 355 billion dollars. This figure contains the development costs B61-12 bomb, this programm is funded through the budget of the U.S. Air Force.
Last month, the last U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz called on the Pentagon to abandon plans to deploy nuclear weapons on the F-35. Motivated he is uneconomical, the lack of a joint monetary intrigued by the Allies.