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US announces to make B61 Gravity Bomb which will be 24 times more powerful than dropped on Japan

The United States said it will pursue a modern variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb, designated the B61-13, pending Congressional authorisation and appropriation.

Ajeet Kumar Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Washington Published on: October 31, 2023 15:13 IST
US dropped an atomic bomb code-named “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan
Image Source : AP US dropped an atomic bomb code-named “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan

Amid the dynamic geopolitical situation in the world, the United States has announced its wish to build a nuclear bomb that will be at least 24 times more powerful than one of the bombs dropped on Japan during World War II, Fox News reported.

According to a press release by the US Department of Defence, the United States will pursue a modern variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb, designated the B61-13, pending Congressional authorisation and appropriation.

The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) would produce the B61-13. The decision to pursue this capability, which was undertaken in close collaboration with the NNSA, responds to the demands of a rapidly evolving security environment as described in the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, according to the statement.

"Today's announcement is reflective of a changing security environment and growing threats from potential adversaries," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb. "The United States has a responsibility to continue to assess and field the capabilities we need to credibly deter and, if necessary, respond to strategic attacks, and assure our allies." 

The B61-13 would be deliverable by modern aircraft, strengthening deterrence of adversaries and assurance of allies and partners by providing the President with additional options against certain harder and large-area military targets. It would replace some of the B61-7s in the current nuclear stockpile and have a yield similar to the B61-7, which is higher than that of the B61-12.  

Notably, this came weeks after IT conducted a high-explosive experiment at a nuclear test site in Nevada. Although the US said the test was scheduled it came hours after Russia revoked a ban on atomic weapons testing, which Moscow said would put it on par with the United States.

Changing geopolitical dynamics 

However, defending its move, the US Department of State said that "the initiative follows several months of review and consideration. The fielding of the B61-13 is not in response to any specific current event; it reflects an ongoing assessment of a changing security environment."

"The B61-13 represents a reasonable step to manage the challenges of a highly dynamic security environment," said Plumb. "While it provides us with additional flexibility, production of the B61-13 will not increase the overall number of weapons in our nuclear stockpile."
The B61-13 would take advantage of the current, established production capabilities supporting the B61-12, and would include the modern safety, security, and accuracy features of the B61-12.

Also Read: Russia hits back at Biden over nuclear weapon deployments, says 'Don't lecture us'

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