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U.S. Successfully Tests Its New B61-12 Nuclear Gravity Bomb On F-15E Strike Eagle Jet

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U.S. Successfully Tests Its New B61-12 Nuclear Gravity Bomb On F-15E Strike Eagle Jet

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On June 8th, the US Air Force announced that it had carried out flight test to see if the B6-12 nuclear gravity bomb is compatible with the F-15E Strike Eagle multirole strike fighter jet.

The tests were successful and the mock nuclear bomb was dropped from 25,000 feet and was in the air for approximately 55 seconds before hitting and embedding in the lakebed, splashing a 40- to 50-foot puff of desert dust from the designated impact area at Sandia National Laboratories’ Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.

The strike was one of a series to show the compatibility of the retrofitted nuclear bomb with the F-15E fighter jet.

U.S. Successfully Tests Its New B61-12 Nuclear Gravity Bomb On F-15E Strike Eagle Jet

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The successful full-weapon system demonstration of the bomb’s compatibility with the jet “increases confidence that it will always work when called upon by the president and never under any other circumstances.”

“Sandia National Laboratories and the Air Force conducted the full-weapon system demonstration under a full end-to-end test scenario, demonstrating operational crews, representative carriage, release conditions and weapon functionality,” said Steven Samuels, a manager with Sandia’s B61-12 System’s Team.

“We were able to test the B61-12 through all operational phases, and we have extremely high confidence the B61-12 is compatible with the F-15E Strike Eagle,” he said. “The results speak for themselves, the tests met all requirements, both in performance and safety. It was delivered with precision accuracy; it worked, and it worked well.”

Prior to this, tests were carried out in March 2020.

The final two end-to-end flight tests in March demonstrated Air Force crews’ ability to handle, load, and otherwise simulate the employment of the bomb in both high and low-altitude release profiles.

On Mar. 9, 2020, Air Force crews loaded an inert B61-12 “containing non-nuclear and mock nuclear components” onto an F-15E at an undisclosed location “to ensure the mock weapon was secure and digital and analog interfaces were properly configured and communicating between the aircraft and weapon,” according to Sandia’s release.

Sandia did not say when the subsequent high-altitude test took place exactly. In that case, the F-15E flew at over 25,000 feet, while again flying at near Mach 1, and it took 55 seconds for the bomb to reach the ground.

“This is a full demonstration of a B61-12 delivery on an F-15E – verifying compatibility in real pre-flight and flight environments,” Steven Samuels, a manager with Sandia’s B61-12 System’s Team, said in a statement. “This is the real deal, minus the nuclear package. This test brought together years of planning, design, analysis, test, and qualification to fully demonstrate the B61-12 on the F-15E Strike Eagle.”

The B61-12 has been in development since at least 2011 and is technically a refurbishment and consolidation of four existing variants, the B61-3, -4, -7, and -10.

The U.S. military has also indicated that the new variant could eventually replace the specialized B61-11 bunker-buster version, though it’s unclear how it would be able to provide the same capabilities against deeply buried targets.

The F-15E, as well as the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, have been involved in numerous earlier flight tests. A B-2 actually flew an end-to-end test with the B61-12 for the first time in 2018, but has not yet been certified to employ the weapon.

The ultimate goal of the US Air Force is to certify the bomb on one of its F-16C/D Vipers, as well as at least some of its F-35A Joint Strike Fighters.

The B61-12 project had already suffered numerous delays and cost increases. It has been famously pointed out in the past that each one of the bombs will cost more than its literal weight in gold. It weighs approximately 825 pounds. The bomb is expected to cost approximately $27.5 million per piece and the total cost for building 400 such bombs sits at $11 billion.

U.S. Successfully Tests Its New B61-12 Nuclear Gravity Bomb On F-15E Strike Eagle Jet

Click to see full-size image

U.S. Successfully Tests Its New B61-12 Nuclear Gravity Bomb On F-15E Strike Eagle Jet

Click to see full-size image

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Chinese Dog

Test it on Chinese assholes please.

occupybacon

Should be tested two, one with neutrons and one with chinese and see which one is more effective

chris chuba

Because it’s a perfect first strike weapon against China and China will not respond to a nuclear attack. Even the deranged Tom Cotton wouldn’t do that.

JIMI JAMES

Nah,use it on kweer/leppar land california,fix all faults along the way too,no more soros looting:

chris chuba

What a monstrosity. Let’s see who has F15-E’s, the U.S. and Israel. This is designed to be used against Iran. Our war criminal in waiting, a President Tom Cotton will find an excuse to use it.

chris chuba

Recently read an article in Forbes where the guy was flipping out that in the future the IRGC might equip Venezuela with small speed boats which would be ideal for smuggling. He’s caterwauling about speedboats and here we are developing tactical nukes for a weapons platform that Israel already has.

Assad must stay

even more reason why iran should never engage in any sort of treaty with the US anymore as they always do one thing and say another

Wayne Nicholson

The USA is busy dropping out of all nuclear arms agreement. Perhaps the NPT is next ….. considering the weapons the USA already has at it’s disposal the only way this makes sense is if it’s for export

SnowCatzor

What a waste of time and money. No plane would get close enough to a target to bomb it this way in any realistic scenario.

kenpachi

just good for picking on people that have no real air defense. just cheaper and less mess, not a game changer

Lone Ranger

It would be impressive….if the year was 1967…

chris chuba

Unlike its predecessor, the new B61 has a variable yield payload. Since this changes its casing it has to be requalified and some testing has to be conducted. It does make me wonder, how on earth could this ever be used except against the Taliban or maybe a country like Syria or Iran if one was convince their air defenses were leveled. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that they could fly this near Russia or China without it getting blown out of the sky. I don’t like it, it gives us the notion that a limited use of nukes is practical.

Oh it’s a glide bomb, I suspect its predecessor was not, so this might extend its range a bit. You drop it from altitude and it goes another 30 miles. Didn’t see the specs, just giving an example of how it might be ‘better’ than the predessor.

kenpachi

I remember seeing the post from the Yemen war zone, was massive blast from normal looking missile. the people were describing it as a proton bomb. definitely seemed like a nuke

Assad must stay

think of how much better well spent the money for this could have been spent on education, health care, infrastructure, etc.

cechas vodobenikov

in a war with either Russia or China, the USA would lose—they lose all wars—-insecure robots that fear death always lose—their antiquated carriers, weapons are for show—these cowards hide in fortresses, hire mercenaries from other nations to fight their wars for them—as their world leading debt buries them these mercenaries will frag and kill them, recognizing that their inflated fake money no longer retains any value—they will become like Germany in the 30’s or Zimbabwe today—food lines, poverty, crime, civil war, rape…good riddance to the fake empire

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