Posted tagged ‘More Bang for the Bucks’

Pentagon Accelerates Testing Of New B61 Nuclear Gravity Bomb

May 3, 2018

by Tyler Durden Thu, 05/03/2018 Zero Hedge

Source Link: Pentagon Accelerates Testing Of New B61 Nuclear Gravity Bomb

{Speak softly and carry a big stick. – LS}

President Donald Trump’s promises to rebuild the American nuclear arsenal are starting to bear fruit, and according to a US Air Force general update from May 1, the US has already conducted more than two dozen tests of its new B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb.

As Military.com reports, plans to spend over $1 trillion to modernize the US “nuclear triad” – nuclear bombers and missiles launched from land-based silos and submarines – have been fast-tracked thanks to the new Nuclear Posture Review, as well as increased military spending authorized during the Trump administration.

As discussed before, the new gravity nuke has been in development for years, but Trump’s orders have sped up testing to the point where most of the air force’s mainstay military planes have been approved to carry it. And it’s widely expected that the B-2 Spirit and the futuristic B-21 Raider will be approved to carry the B61 as well. In addition to testing the B61-12, the NPR also calls for modernizing the air-launched cruise missile and intercontinental ballistic missile components of the nuclear triad.

As it stands, the US nuclear triad consists of the submarine-launched ballistic missiles, strategic bombers, which carry both gravity bombs and cruise missiles, along with land-based ICBMs. But the B61 possess an advanced capability that its cousins don’t: Underground penetration. This allows it to strike fortified command and control centers, while its explosive yield is estimated at 50 kilotons.

“We’ve already conducted 26 engineering, development and guided flight tests,” of the B61-121 gravity bomb Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein told the Air Force Association breakfast on Tuesday. “The program’s doing extremely well,” he said. – Sputnik.

{Actually, the above quote came from Military dot Com. – LS}

Weinstein explained that the bombs are capable of being carried by the B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit, which can launch both conventional or nuclear payloads, and also legacy fighters such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15E Strike Eagle.

“When I say ‘dual-capable aircraft,’ I need to be really specific,” he said. “Dual-capable aircraft is called the B-52 and B-2 – it does conventional and nuclear. It also means F-16s and Strike Eagles, and other aircraft our NATO partners fly.”

During tests back in 2015, the F-35 flew with the B61-12 to measure its vibration in the aircraft’s weapons bay. Both of the fourth-generation fighters will be able to deploy the B61-12 bomb. The B61-12 also conducted its third and final developmental test flight aboard an F-15E in 2015.

RT points out that the US could deploy its new B61 bombs to NATO bases in Europe – something Russia says would be tantamount to a violation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. {Of course, RT would say such a thing. – LS}

The US isn’t the only superpower revamping its nuclear arsenal: earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the world by unveiling during his annual state of the union address a new nuclear ICBM capable of evading US anti-ballistic missile defenses.

One hopes that the US Military Industrial Complex will be foiled in its attempts to put these two weapons in head-to-head combat, even if it means lower profits for shareholders.

 

 

Saudi crown prince: If Iran develops nuclear bomb, so will Saudi

March 15, 2018

CBS News March 15, 2018, 4:32 AM

Source Link: Saudi crown prince: If Iran develops nuclear bomb, so will Saudi

{Everyone had to see this coming. – LS}

The next leader of Saudi Arabia says his country would quickly obtain a nuclear bomb if arch rival Iran successfully develops its own nuclear weapon. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the statement about a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East to “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell, in an interview set to air on this Sunday’s “60 Minutes.”

The interview is the first with a Saudi leader for a U.S. television network since 2005. O’Donnell, a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes,” asked the 32-year-old crown prince about the political, economic and social reforms unfolding in his kingdom.

The heir to the throne has ushered in significant changes for women in the conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom, including granting them the right to drive for the first time. The crown prince discussed foreign policy, including his views on Saudi Arabia’s longtime foe, Shiite Muslim-ruled Iran.

Below is a preview of O’Donnell’s conversation with the crown prince, and above is a clip in which Mohammed explains why, in his view, Iran’s supreme leader is behaving like Adolf Hitler during the rise of Nazi Germany.

NORAH O’DONNELL: You’ve been rivals for centuries. At its heart, what is this rift about? Is it a battle for Islam?

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Iran is not a rival to Saudi Arabia. Its army is not among the top five armies in the Muslim world. The Saudi economy is larger than the Iranian economy. Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia.

O’DONNELL: But I’ve seen that you called the Ayatollah Khamenei, “the new Hitler” of the Middle East.

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Absolutely.

O’DONNELL: Why?

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Because he wants to expand. He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time. Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.

O’DONNELL: Does Saudi Arabia need nuclear weapons to counter Iran?

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.