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A bomb for Iran? U.S. tests new nuclear weapon

The United States, with the support of NATO, tested the modification of the B61 atomic bomb in August. A bomb for Iran? U.S. tests new nuclear weapon

A bomb for Iran? U.S. tests new nuclear weapon

The United States, with the support of NATO, tested the modification of the B61 atomic bomb in August, according to the National Nuclear Safety Administration under the US Department of Energy. What are the new modifications of the B61 and where will they be placed, Gazeta.Ru understood.

On August 21, the United States tested B61-12 warheads, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNS) spokeswoman. The bomb, not equipped with a nuclear warhead, was dropped at the Tonopah training ground (Nevada). The tests were carried out as part of the B61 life extension program, which provides for the modernization of its nuclear and non-nuclear components while increasing the reliability of both the bomb itself and its security systems.

The NLNS indicated that the final tests of the bomb will be carried out next year. It is assumed that the B61 will be dropped in the following tests from the F-16 fighter-bomber.

“The B61-12 will strengthen strategic deterrence and reassure our allies,” said Brigadier General Ty Newman. “These successful trials are the result of close collaboration between the NSAEs, US national laboratories, the Air Force, and NATO .”
Bomb B61 currently exists in the form of modifications B61-3, -4, -7, -10 and -11. The first four of them as part of the modernization program should be replaced by B61-12.
It will differ from its predecessor, in particular, the absence of a parachute and the presence of a new tail with an inertial guidance system that increases the accuracy of the application. The estimated cost of the modernization program for such atomic bombs will be $ 9.6 billion.
In turn, the B61-11 bomb is supposed to be written off in the 2030s.
As previously reported by “Gazeta.Ru” (, the B61 bomb itself is a nuclear munition developed in the 1960s.
"Despite its considerable age, the bomb today is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces," Konstantin Makienko, then deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies explained to the publication.
Over the past few decades, the ammunition has been upgraded 12 times - just the last modification of this bomb was named B61-12, the expert recalled.
According to him, the fundamental differences between the B61-12 type nuclear bomb and all previous modifications are that if the B61 bombs used to be free-fall aviation munitions, the next modernization of this munition turned it into a highly accurate guided weapon.
"Now the B61-12 bomb consists of two parts - the actual nuclear munition and a set of equipment based on GPS technology that converts a free-falling bomb into an all-weather corrected munition (Joint Direct Attack Munition, JDAM)," Makienko said.
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JDAM, a specialist recalls, is a combination of a tail unit with controlled plumage, allowing the bomb to carry out the necessary manoeuvres in the guidance process, and a computer with navigation equipment.
Bombs equipped with the JDAM kit are sent to the target with an integrated inertial guidance system paired with an improved GPS receiver, providing them with a range of up to 30 km from the drop point. The value of the quadratic probable deviation, in this case, is within 10 m.
“That is, by and large, this kit will transform a conventional B61 nuclear bomb into a high-precision munition,” says Konstantin Makienko.
Among other things, the combat use of bombs such as JDAM does not depend on weather conditions. This compares favourably with ammunition with laser and infrared guidance, which require a certain transparency of the atmosphere.
As previously reported by “Gazeta.Ru” (, it is possible that the Americans assume the combat use of a nuclear bomb of type B61-12 in the form of a planning aircraft means of destruction, and in this case, the range of its flight can be about 60-70 km, and in some cases up to 100 km. This will allow the US Air Force carrier aircraft to avoid entering the zone of destruction of anti-aircraft missile systems and medium, short-range and short-range systems.
According to open sources, the total production of all modifications of the B61 nuclear bomb is about three thousand units. In five European NATO countries, about 200 B61 bombs are currently deployed. It is known that the United States intends to deploy B61-12 type bombs at European bases - in Germany, Italy, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Not the fact that these bombs will be directed exclusively against Russia. Gazeta.Ru ( previously wrote that in the event of a war with Iran, the United States will have to conduct an almost full-scale strategic aerospace operation involving a significant portion of its air and naval forces.
There is no doubt that the very first missile and air strike will involve a large number of precision munitions, especially anti-bunker bombs, including the "mother of all bombs" such as the GBU-43 / B Massive Ordnance Air Blast.
And given that America’s hypothetical adversary has buried too deep in the ground, it cannot be ruled out that the United States will solve its problems in the upcoming conflict using both conventional and nuclear weapons, which have recently been given the properties of precision weapons by the Pentagon.
For example, the US Air Force in Iran could well strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities with B61-12 type free-fall bombs. At the same time, nuclear weapons sharply increase the capabilities of the U.S. Air Force and can simultaneously hit the entire group and infrastructure of the enemy, thereby solving all the tasks inherent in aviation in air operations using only conventional weapons.
It was previously stated that the production of the latest version of the B61-12 bomb will start in 2020, but the United States has moved the start of mass production indefinitely. The reason for the delay was the detection of the fragility of some components used in the construction of special ammunition, which jeopardizes the reliability of the weapon.
The development of the B61-12 aircraft bomb, a new generation of ammunition in the B61 family, has been underway since 2012. New nuclear bombs will replace all types of B61, as well as B83 bombs, which have been in service since 1983. In this case, new B61-12 will not be released - this version will be redone with a partial replacement of components and parts with new existing B61 ​​bombs of different versions.

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  1. I like it. Nothing wrong with modernizing your weapons to keep up with technology.


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