With the world still abuzz over the first ever deployment of the GBU-43/B “Mother Of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, where it reportedly killed some 36 ISIS fighters, in a less noticed statement the US National Nuclear Security Administration quietly announced overnight the first successful field test of the modernized, “steerable” B61-12 gravity thermonuclear bomb in Nevada.
In a well-timed statement, just as tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program and potential US airstrikes run wild, the NNSA said that in conjunction with the US Air Force, it had completed the first qualification flight test of B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb on March 14 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.
— Frank Klotz (@FrankKlotzNNSA) April 14, 2017
In the press release, the NNSA said that the “non-nuclear assembly test” was dropped from an F-16 based at Nellis Air Force Base and was intended to evaluate “both the weapon’s non-nuclear functions as well as the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon.”
This test was the first of a series that will be conducted over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service. Three successful development flight tests were conducted in 2015.
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