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The B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb has gone through its first series of tests on the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

Nuclear Gravity Bomb Completes First Qual Tests on B-2 Bomber  , Military.com 30 Jun 2018 By Oriana Pawlyk

The B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb has gone through its first series of tests on the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

The Air Force, together with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, earlier this month released a B61-12 non-nuclear test assembly from the Spirit. The kit included a NNSA-designed bomb assembly and the Air Force’s acquired tail-kit to be used on the B61-12 variant of the bomb, according to a Department of Energy release……….

Using the B61-12 will help consolidate and replace the existing B61 bomb variants in the U.S.’s nuclear stockpile, the release said. The first completed bomb kits are scheduled to debut sometime in fiscal 2020.

In May, top Air Force officials announced trials with the B61-12 were progressing successfully.

“We’ve already conducted 26 engineering, development and guided flight tests,” said Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. “The program’s doing extremely well.”

The B61-12 modification program, which has been in the works for at least seven years, is slated to be carried by the B-2, as well as the future B-21 Long Range Strategic Bomber, known as the Raider.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office has also been working on integrating the latest modification into its weapons arsenal.

The F-35 was designed with a requirement to carry a nuclear payload. In 2015, an F-35 flew with the B61-12 to measure its vibration in the aircraft’s weapons bay.

Both of the fourth-gen fighters will be able to deploy the B61-12 bomb. The B61-12 also conducted its third and final developmental test flight aboard an F-15E in 2015. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/06/30/b61-12-nuclear-gravity-bomb-completes-first-qual-tests-b-2-bomber.html

— Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

 

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July 2, 2018 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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