Why is Putin terrified about US gravity bombs?
Things are tight in Europe, with Vladimir Putin threatening nuclear war for every failure, but it may be the United States' new weapon that has Putin up at night. Hop on this unbelievable narrative to learn more about the B61-12 gravity bomb's secrets.
Things are tight in Europe, with Vladimir Putin threatening nuclear war for every failure, but it may be the United States' new weapon that has Putin up at night. Hop on this unbelievable narrative to learn more about the B61-12 gravity bomb's secrets. 💣🎯😰🎯💣
- The situation in Europe is tense as a result of Vladimir Putin's threats of nuclear war in response to each city that the Ukrainians have reclaimed and each shipment of weapons from NATO. Putin may be having nightmares because of the US's new weapon, though. What is the B61-12 gravity bomb's secret? Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, but it only acquired it during the Cold War, and little has changed since then. Its massive, outdated missiles, many of which are no longer in operational condition, were built for an intercontinental nuclear showdown. It also possesses tactical nuclear weapons, but they have never been used in battle, and nobody knows how powerful they are or when they were built.
- Tactical nuclear weapons are intended to defeat small enemy forces rather than destroy entire cities. The best tactical weapon in the US arsenal cannot be said to be comparable. Introducing the B61 nuclear bomb, a mainstay of the US arsenal since the end of the Cold War. It is a strategic and tactical nuclear weapon of low to intermediate yield that has a range of 0. It has a two-stage radiation design and can produce 3 to 340 kilotons of nuclear energy. It was initially authorized in 1962 and was intended to replace the outdated nuclear arsenal, which resembled the large bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that could hardly be transported in the aircraft that carried them.
- A sizable arsenal of easily deliverable bombs was the intended outcome. The B61 is as low-tech as it gets. The best nuclear scientists in the US have created a complex nuclear ignition sequence for it, but it skips a crucial step in the process. There is always a chance that something could go wrong when launching nuclear missiles, whether from nuclear submarines or ground silos. The B61 gravity bomb doesn't have a dead bomb, or worse, an active bomb that can't launch, as might be the case with older technology or ships hit by enemy fire before launch because the system is fundamentally new. That's it; the bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- Gravity was all that was required to deliver them, and they exploded due to a straightforward mechanism set off by time and barometric pressure. These smaller strategic bombs are made to be dropped from any bomber aircraft, and that is the case with them. Since they weigh about 715 pounds, they are not particularly lightweight and require multiple people to transport. Since they are only a fraction of the size of the majority of nuclear missiles and are about ten feet long and a foot in diameter, small teams can handle and transport them without the use of bulky machinery. The question is why is Putin so afraid of this old weapon when it is no longer an old weapon?
- Although the United States hasn't engaged in a major conflict in decades and hasn't gone up against a superpower in 80 years, it is always prepared. The defense budget also includes a significant amount for updating outdated weapons. Therefore, in the six decades since the B61 entered the arsenal, it has undergone eleven updates into new models, each of which is marginally more potent and marginally more efficient than the one before it. We know more about this nuclear bomb than most people do, including almost everything that goes into it because of its small size and numerous stages. It also has a hidden weapon. The B61's five-second spin motors, which increase stability during high-speed delivery, have been a part of the bomb since its testing, which is why they are so effective.
- Additionally, it increases the likelihood that the bombs' sharp tips will pierce the ground and cause more damage and shockwaves when they explode. Despite being much smaller than its bigger competitors, the B61 knows how to maximize every last bit of its power. The B61 is one of the most frequently used military bombs because it can fit into the weapons bays of the majority of mid-sized aircraft, and it is also widely available due to its small size and portability. It serves as the backbone of the air division of the US nuclear military triad, but its use is not just restricted to the US. As part of the nuclear weapons sharing program, it has also been deployed with NATO allies.
- Along with the fast F-35 aircraft that can deliver them, it is present at air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. This is a crucial component of the deterrent against the forces supported by Russia on NATO's eastern front. Like all nuclear weapons, though, this one is trickier than it appears. This bomb's yield is variable, or "dial-a-yield." The ability to deliver a different nuclear payload depending on the mission means that it can be modified accordingly. It is a powerful bunker-buster nuke that is intended to destroy a specific target or base when it is at its most vulnerable. When at its strongest, it could seriously harm a city. Additionally, each bomb has a control panel that is activated before it embarks on its mission.
- And that panel doesn't look all that different from an appliance panel in general. For regulating the arming and safety mechanisms, it has nine dials, two sockets, and a handle. Of course, it is more secure than most appliances because it has a keypad that requires the right code to be entered before it can be fully activated or deactivated. It can also be altered in some intriguing ways. Even the way it explodes can be changed, with options for a ground-burst detonation that will deny the enemy territory by scattering a lot of debris or an air-burst detonation for maximum damage. Additionally, it can be set for a laydown landing, a free-fall with a slow descent, or any combination of the three, the last two of which benefit from a parachute.
- This bomb is intended to be an all-purpose weapon, so why would you want a slower delivery? You might want to deliver the bomb intact to an ally, or you might want to delay the explosion so the plane can get away before the detonation. Since being adapted to new versions, it has only become more adaptable. The original B61, also referred to as "model 0," was a tactical nuclear bomb with a yield ranging from 10 to 300 kilotons, and there were about 500 made. In close proximity to allied soldiers on the battlefield, tactical bombs are typically used. These will typically be lower-yield bombs that friendly forces may be able to survive, but they are very effective when used to disperse sizable formations of hostile troops and equipment without devastating the immediate vicinity.
- However, there would be significant changes. The first strategic nuclear weapon in the line, the B61-1, was developed only two years later. It was designed to be used as a component of a larger mission far from the battlefield—often to destroy enemy bases or weapon storage facilities—and 700 of them were produced. It had a kiloton delivery range of 10 to 340. The original nuclear bomb was designed with this purpose in mind, so it is not surprising that the B61-1 resembles some of the earliest nuclear bombs. And the B61-2 would continue with another change in style. For the third model, we were back to a tactical nuclear weapon, but this one had a lower yield, only 1 to 150 kilotons. 235 of these were made when it was first produced in 1975.
- The device represented a shift toward lower-yield tactical weapons that could be employed without permanently destroying a nation or jeopardizing the survival of the human race. Along with its two predecessor models, this model was retired in 1994 and replaced by newer versions. The B61-3 and B61-4 models were both developed in 1979, and they both added a new feature: the ability to be set to a particular kilowatt level. The B61-3 was capable of delivering zero payloads. The earlier model had the same first two options but a lower second tier of 10 and 45 kilotons. The later model had 5, 60, or 170. In the event of a nuclear attack, the second model would probably be used to deploy nuclear weapons on contested territory, while the first model would probably have been used in a large-scale conflict against the Soviet Union.
- These models, which had 545 and 695 units produced in each case, are still in use today, demonstrating their durability. The next few cannot be predicted in the same way. Only sixteen years were spent in service after the B61-5's introduction in 1977. In place of the four preset yields, it was designed with a kiloton yield range of 10 to 150. Although 265 of these models were produced, they were eventually phased out in favor of more cutting-edge improvements. The B61-6, on the other hand, was never actually put into production. It was supposed to have the same yields as the previous model, but it was eventually replaced by the B61-7, which went back to the preset yields, though those are highly classified.
- This model is anticipated to have a maximum yield of 340 kt, which would make it the first strategic bomb since the B61-1. There were 600 made, and the model is still in use. It took some time before the next model would have an impact, so why mess with what is working when there are bigger and better bombs to be made? The eighth and ninth models, whose variable yields were intended to start at 10 and increase to either 10 or 300 kilotons, were both never put into production.
- It is unclear why they were never put into production, but it's possible that the technological advances were simply not cost-effective. The B61-10 wasn't a big project either; 215 new bombs had preset yields that could reach 80 kilotons and were made from repurposed Pershing II warheads. Despite not having been officially retired, they still serve as an inactive stockpile. But the big leap remained to be made. Originally developed in 1996, the B61-11 was a class of strategic bombs with a maximum yield of 400 kilotons.
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