The US will soon start the production of the upgraded nuclear bomb B61-12. At the moment, the bomb is in its final development phase.
The announcement was made by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA). According to the official announcement on the NNSA website, the production of US nuclear bomb has been approved.
The first production unit will be finalized in Fiscal Year 2020. Afterwards, a full-scale production will follow.
Reaching the final development-engineering phase of the program is considered as a major breakthrough as years were invested in this process.
NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz added that the upgraded nuclear bomb B61-12 will last 20 years longer than the prior model.
The upgraded nuclear bomb B61-12 was tested in 2015. The test was supposed to examine its technical specifications. The test was successful and NNSA confirmed that all technical specifications were confirmed.
The test took place in Tonopah, Nevada. A fighter-bomber F-15E was used for this test and it successfully released the bomb.
The original model of nuclear bomb B61 is different than the modified model. The upgraded model B61-12 will replace one of the four different modifications on the original.
The modified model does not have a parachute and is upgraded with a new guidance system.