The F-35 fighter will soon be armed with an upgraded multifunctional version of the B61-12 nuclear bomb. Fifth-generation fighters have fired two inert munitions from a joint test assembly as part of final preparations for the introduction of a nuclear-capable stealth fighter. AiF.ru figured out what new opportunities the United States will have after combining the latest fighter and the most powerful nuclear bomb. & Nbsp;

A month ago, the United States conducted a certification test of the fifth generation F-35A Lightning II fighter to strike with the B61-12 thermonuclear bomb, the first use of the B61-12 bombs by F-35A Lightning II fighters.

Fighters The F-35A, according to the plan, must undergo nuclear certification no earlier than January 2023. However, tests with the B61-12 began for aircraft of this type already in 2019.

The first B61-12 discharge from the F-35 AF-1 aircraft (pilot Jason Schulze) was carried out on June 27, 2019. The first test for the separation of the B61-12 from the AF-6 aircraft (the second production F-35 fighter that entered the US Air Force) was carried out on November 25, 2019.

In 2020, the US Air Force, together with Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory have declassified a video in which a fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter jet from an internal compartment drops a test model of a thermonuclear bomb B61-12. & Nbsp;

The US Air Force points out that not all fighters of this type will be designed to carry nuclear weapons & mdash; only their special squadrons.

What is a thermonuclear bomb?

Let us recall how it differs from an atomic bomb. A thermonuclear bomb can be made much more powerful than an atomic bomb. The explosive power of the atomic bomb & mdash; it is the result of an ultra-fast release of energy that occurs as a result of a chain reaction of nuclear fission of a heavy chemical element, for example, uranium-235 or plutonium.

The explosion of a thermonuclear bomb (also called a hydrogen bomb) occurs in two stages. It begins with the detonation of an atomic bomb called the initiator. As a result of this first explosion, conditions are created for the convergence of two hydrogen nuclei so that they can combine. This second stage is called synthesis.

This type of bomb includes B61 & mdash; the hydrogen bomb, which is the main nuclear weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces. The B61 was developed in 1963. It was built at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Production was carried out at the Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant, commissioned by the US Atomic Energy Commission. & Nbsp;

Option 12

A total of twelve variants (or “ modifications '') of the B-61 nuclear bomb were produced. Each modification has a thermonuclear charge with different power levels. The last option is modification 12: a guided aerial bomb tested without a warhead in 2015. They want to equip fighters with it. Interestingly, the crew is not allowed to use the term 'B61' while operating the bomb. Instead, in all crew conversations, she is referred to as 'uniform', 'silver bullet' or even 'external suspension'. & nbsp;

Tests of the 12th modification of the B61-12 nuclear bomb without a warhead took place in 2015 at a test site in Nevada. Its peculiarity is the tail unit. It makes the bomb manageable and more accurate, which makes it possible not to lower it with a parachute (for which it was required to fly exactly over the target), but to discharge the charge from an aircraft flying at high altitude, after which the bomb autonomously plans many kilometers towards the target, if necessary & nbsp;

The new modification of the B61, developed back in the 1960s, became the first American tactical bomb with a variable charge power. Previously, experts noted that the B61-12 would be Washington's most dangerous nuclear weapon. & Nbsp;

The accuracy of hitting the B61-12 at the target will increase so much that the bomb will have the same ability to destroy specially protected targets as a much more powerful weapon that it replaces, according to foreign publications.

According to experts, such ammunition will be used against buried and underground points of the highest military and state administration of potential US adversaries.

https : //www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2021/10/27/the-f-35-is-one-step-closer-to-carrying-nuclear-bombs-whats-next/

Источник aif.ru

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