U.S. Tests Nuclear 'Bunker-Buster' Bomb

  • By Cho Yi-jun

    June 11, 2020 09:50

    A U.S. weapons development laboratory has succeeded in a drop test of a low-yield "bunker-buster" bomb.

    In a press release Monday, Sandia National Laboratories announced, "We were able to test the B61-12 through all operational phases, and we have extremely high confidence the B61-12 is compatible with the F-15E Strike Eagle," a state-of-the-art fighter jet.

    "The results speak for themselves, the tests met all requirements, both in performance and safety," the developers added. "It was delivered with precision accuracy; it worked, and it worked well."

    The U.S. Air Force's F-15E Strike Eagle jet fighter tests a B61-12 bomb, in this grab from footage provided by Sandia National Laboratories.

    The bomb is said to be capable of hitting a target underground within a 30-60 m radius and has a yield of 0.3 to 50 kilotons and huge explosive power. The atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of only about 15 kilotons.

    Flight tests at higher and lower altitudes already took place in March, with two F-15Es dropping the bombs without their nuclear warheads.

    Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation, told Voice of America, "It is probably the preferred weapon that you would use against North Korea's nuclear underground facilities because it's not going to generate near as much fallout. If you want to make sure that you're taking out their nuclear weapon facilities, this should do it."

    "And they're going to make hundreds of this weapon, so they would have enough to take out North Korean underground facilities," he added.

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