F15 Strike Eagle Can Use the Oldest Nuclear Gravity Bomb in US Arsenal

The US has refurbished the oldest nuclear bomb,B61-12, so it is compatibility with the U.S. Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle jet fighter. The successful full-weapon system demonstration of the bomb’s compatibility.

The compatibility testing is an essential part of the B61-12 Life Extension Program to refurbish, reuse or replace all components and extend the bomb’s service life by at least 20 years and improve its safety, security and effectiveness.

The bomb, estimated at 12-feet long and weighing about 825 pounds, is being designed to be air delivered in either ballistic or guided-gravity drop modes. Along with the F-15E, the B61-12 will be certified for the Air Force’s B-2 strategic bomber, the dual capable F-16C/D fighter and, in the future, the fifth-generation F-35 fighter, as well as allies’ aircraft.

The first B61 entered service 50 years ago, and over the decades numerous modifications have been made to increase safety and reliability. The B61-12 consolidates and replaces most of the previous variants. The National Nuclear Security Administration recently announced plans to manufacture the first refurbished B61-12 in fiscal year 2022.

Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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