(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) The Department of Defense said that it plans to build a new nuclear bomb that would be 24 times more powerful than the bomb that was dropped on Japan during World War II.
A DOD press release also added that the Pentagon is currently seeking approval and funding to pursue a modern variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb, which will be designated the B61-13, Fox 9 reported.
“Today’s announcement is reflective of a changing security environment and growing threats from potential adversaries. 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,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb said.
As it was indicated in a fact sheet that was included in the press release, the B61-13 will have a similar yield to the B61-7, which has a maximum yield of 360 kilotons. It was also pointed out that the load is 24 times larger than the Hiroshima, Japan, bomb and 14 times larger than the Nagasaki, Japan, bomb, both of which were dropped on Japan during World War II.
“[The new bomb] will include the modern safety, security, and accuracy features of the B61-12,” the fact sheet added.
The announcement of the new bomb came amid rising tensions around the world, with the U.S. conducting a high-explosive experiment at a Nevada nuclear test site that happened earlier this month.
“[The test was meant to advance] our efforts to develop new technology in support of U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals. They will help reduce global nuclear threats by improving the detection of underground nuclear explosive tests,” Corey Hinderstein, the deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, said.
Plumb agreed with Hinderstein.
“The B61-13 represents a reasonable step to manage the challenges of a highly dynamic security environment. While it provides us with additional flexibility, production of the B61-13 will not increase the overall number of weapons in our nuclear stockpile,” he said.