Weapons

USAF CARRIED OUT SECOND SET OF B61-12 NUCLEAR BOMB QUALIFICATION TESTS

The B61-12 consolidates and replaces four B61 bomb variants in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The first production unit is scheduled to be completed by March 2020

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) announced in a press release on Aug. 28 that two qualification flight tests of B61-12 gravity bombs were carried out at Tonopah Test Range, Nevada on Aug. 28.

The non-nuclear test assemblies, which were dropped from a U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagle based at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), evaluated the weapon’s non-nuclear functions and the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon, according to the press release.

Noteworthy these tests are part of a series over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service. The first qualification flight test took place on Mar. 14, 2017, when an F-16 from the  at Nellis Test and Training Range Complex, released an inert B61-12 to demonstrate the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon and testing the functioning of the weapon’s non-nuclear components, including the arming and fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors and weapons control computer.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-15E Strike Eagle 366th Fighter Wing, 391st Fighter Squadron, MO/90-0249 – Mountain Home AFB, ID – 2008

“The B61-12 life extension program is progressing on schedule to meet national security requirements,” said Phil Calbos, acting NNSA deputy administrator for Defense Programs. “These realistic flight qualification tests validate the design of the B61-12 when it comes to system performance.”

The flight test included hardware designed by Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, manufactured by the Nuclear Security Enterprise plants, and mated to the tail-kit assembly section, designed by the Boeing Company under contract with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

The B61-12 consolidates and replaces four B61 bomb variants in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The first production unit is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

Photo credit: NNSA and SSGT Phil Schmitten / United States Department of Defense

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

US Navy A-7 pilot recalls taking his Corsair II as high as possible during Post Maintenance Check Flights

The Corsair II The A-7 Corsair II was initially developed in response to a 1963… Read More

15 hours ago

USAF F-16 pilot tells why the F-15E Strike Eagle can’t hold a candle to an F-22 Raptor in an up close and personal engagement

F-15E Vs F-22 Developed to meet the US Air Force (USAF) requirement for air-to-ground missions, the… Read More

15 hours ago

Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Wing unveils first two operational USAF F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets

Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Wing first two F-15EX Eagle IIs On Jul. 12, 2024… Read More

2 days ago

F-104 Starfighter Pilot recalls when he and his Wingman scored five Simulated Kills against an F-15B Eagle in a Single Training Mission

The F-104 Starfighter Designed by Lockheed’s ace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson to surpass the MiG-15… Read More

2 days ago

USAF A-10 pilot recalls his job as “Snacko” (Snack Officer) when he got to his first operational squadron

The Snacko In US Air Force (USAF) flying squadrons are busy places. According to BogiDope.com,… Read More

3 days ago

From damaged neck discs to being momentarily incapacitated during a dogfight: US Navy fighter pilot tells how high Gs over many years damaged his body

G-LOC G-induced Loss Of Consciousness (abbreviated as G-LOC) is a term generally used in aerospace physiology to… Read More

3 days ago