While Americans have remained focused on the use of the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ or MOAB being used in Afghanistan, scientists from the Sandia National Laboratories are celebrating something exponentially better. Apparently, they have recently had a successful test run with the newest series of nuclear bombs within the United States.
Scientists have been working hard on the B61-12 for many years, and according to government officials, mock versions of the bomb will be vital to the testing of their newest toy. An F-16 from the Nellis Air Force Base was successfully dropped in March over the Nevada desert for testing. Testers claim that the detonation of the superior weapon left a “neat hole” that crews were able to dig around in order to conduct further study.
“It’s great to see things all come together: the weapon design, the test preparation, the aircraft, the range and the people who made it happen,” Anna Schauer, director of Sandia’s Stockpile Resource Center, said in a statement.
The test was carried out in order to demonstrate the capabilities of the weapon and to see how the functionality of the non-nuclear components of the weapon was working. This would include the arming/fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors and weapons control computer.
“The successful test provides critical qualification data to validate that the baseline design meets military requirements,” said Brigadier General Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. The NNSA is part of the Department of Energy, which is charged with managing US nuclear weapons.
And of course, President Trump who has had major interests in various forms of bombs within the last few days has shown quite an interest in expanding the U.S nuclear triad which began under former President Obama. According to experts, the B61-12 would be able to consolidate and replace all other B61 variants that are currently in use. “In order to placate his critics, in the media and in politics, Trump has given a blank check to his generals. So they are having a grand time right now, and they are testing all the weapons they’ve been wanting to test, but not been able to,” said Brian Becker, director of Anti-War group Answer.