The Air Force is test-dropping an upgraded, multi-function B61-12 nuclear bomb which improves accuracy, integrates various attack options into a single bomb and changes the strategic landscape with regard to nuclear weapons mission possibilities.
“So far the releases have gone as we have wanted them to. We are very happy with the tail kit which is the DoD portion,” Gen. Timothy Ray, Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command and Commander, Air Forces Strategic – Air Strategic Command, told reporters at the Air Force Association…
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.
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, according to nuclearweaponsarchive.org, which also states the weapon has a “two-stage” radiation implosion design.