The United States has successfully tested the latest upgrade to its B61, sending General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter to drop the intermediate yield strategic and tactical thermonuclear bomb over a military training area in Nevada. The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said that the test was the first in a series of similar events necessary to qualify the upgrade for service.
An Air Force F-16 aircraft released an inert B61 nuclear bomb in a test recently, demonstrating the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon and testing the functioning of the weapon’s non-nuclear components, including the arming and fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors and weapons control computer, the Sputnik International quoted the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, as saying.
The latest version of the bomb will replace four previous modifications, known as Mod 3, 4, 7, and 10. The test of the B61-12 was carried out on March 14, but the announcement was made on April 13, the same day that Washington dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) in Afghanistan.