Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
U.S. Drops B-61 Bomb Exterior in Earth-Penetration Test
The United States on Tuesday said it dropped a B-61 nuclear-bomb exterior in a test that rammed the unarmed weapon through the earth's surface.
Sandia National Laboratories said it saw no surprises in the outcome of exercise, which used a B-61 Mod 11 bomb lacking any atomic materials. The analysis at the Coyote Canyon Test Range was the New Mexico facility's first test in seven years to scrutinize how such a weapon -- rocket-propelled for the trial drop -- makes contact with the earth's surface, according to a press release.
Laboratory personnel outfitted the armament with thrusters to slam it into the ground, as well as measurement tools to gather data on its physical behavior. As part of the examination, workers chilled the weapon's inner and outer parts to a level significantly below 0 degrees Fahrenheit prior to its release.
Such "surveillance" assessments focus on how bomb parts act in a specific environment, and can involve a range of physical situations.
Initial findings from the latest test indicate that the weapon's performance was satisfactory in the least-accommodating environment in which it is still expected to be highly dependable, senior manager Patrick Sena said in provided comments.
"One important way to assure deterrence is to have a successful surveillance test that shows our systems work," he said.
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
June 25, 2015
Iran is currently negotiating a nuclear agreement in Vienna with representatives of the so-called E3/EU+3. A major feature of any agreement will be the limits it places on the number and type of centrifuges that Iran is allowed to use. Visualize the numbers with and without a comprehensive agreement.
May 4, 2015
This primer provides background on some of the key issues being discussed during the 2015 NPT Review Conference and recommendations made by more than 100 global leaders.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.