The US Air Force says it has recently test-dropped an upgraded gravity nuclear bomb to see whether its aircraft can carry the deadly weapon.
The B61-12 bomb, which was the first of the upgraded B-61 variant, was dropped by an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet over the Nellis Test and Training Range Complex in Nevada, the UPI reported on Friday, citing military officials.
During the test, the bomb’s non-nuclear components, such as the arming and fire control system, radar altimeter, rocket motors and weapons control computer, as well as the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon were reviewed.
The US Air Force’s Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) has been working with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to extend the B61-12 bomb’s life. The new variant would replace four ageing versions of the B61 in the US nuclear arsenal.
“The B61-12 gravity bomb ensures the current capability for the air-delivered leg of the…