The US military has announced it will try to develop a new nuclear bomb more than 20 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in August 1945 that led to the end of World War II.A Defense Department fact sheet says that the new weapon, dubbed the B61-13, would have a blast yield similar to the B61-7 bomb’s 360 kilotons of TNT.By comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a blast yield of 15 kilotons of TNT — making the new bomb 24 times more powerful. The creation of the B61-13 must first be approved and funded by Congress.If that happens, manufacture of the new weapon would be the job of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.“Today’s announcement is reflective of a changing security environment and growing threats from potential adversaries,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb said in a Friday statement.“The United States has a responsibility to continue to assess and field the capabilities we need to credibly deter and, if necessary, respond to strategic attacks, and assure our allies.”The announcement comes almost exactly a year after the publication of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review, which called on the US to modernize its aging nuclear stockpile with China on pace to possess at least 1,000 warheads by 2030.“At a time of rising nuclear risks, a partial refurbishment strategy no longer serves our interests,” that report said. “We must develop and field a balanced, flexible stockpile capable of [keeping up with] pacing threats, responding to uncertainty, and maintaining effectiveness.”It’s estimated that Russia has 5,977 nuclear warheads, while the US has 5,428, according to the Federation of American Scientists.The B61-13 would be made with warheads repurposed from older bombs, and would be designed to attack “harder and large-area military targets,” according to the Pentagon. It would also “include the modern, safety, security and accuracy features” of the Obama-era B61-12.The announcement drew cautious approval from the top Republican members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, who said it was “only a modest step in the right direction.”“The B61-13 is not a long-term solution, but it will provide our commanders, particularly in [the Indo-Pacific] and [Europe] with more flexibility against these target sets,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). “As the Strategic Posture Commission recently noted, China and Russia are in a full-on arms race, and the US is running in place. Dramatic transformation of our deterrent posture – not incremental or piecemeal changes – is required to address this threat.”“Since coming into office, the Biden Administration has taken a balanced approach between maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and strong and credible extended deterrence, and taking those steps needed to the reduce the global salience of nuclear weapons and bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons,” a National Security Council spokesperson told The Post Monday. “Pursuing the B61-13 is in line with that approach.”In July, the Congressional Budget Office reported that “the nation’s current nuclear forces are reaching the end of their service life, and some delivery systems may not be capable of having their service life extended further.”One month prior, President Biden warned that the threat of Russian President Vladimir Putin using tactical nuclear weapons is “real.”Earlier this month, the Pentagon’s annual assessment of “Military and Security Developments involving the People’s Republic of China,” produced for Congress, revealed that China has likely surpassed last year’s estimated number of nuclear warheads.As of May, Beijing had roughly 500 nukes – up from the 400 estimated a year prior.China has also grown its navy to roughly 370 ships, up from about 340 last year, according to the report.With Post wires.
30 Ekim 2023 - 22:35
US wants nuclear bomb 24 times more powerful than one dropped on Japan
Amid ongoing wars in Israel and Ukraine, the United State Department of Defense is proposing the creation of a new nuclear bomb that would be more than 20 times more powerful than the one dropped o…
30 Ekim 2023 - 22:35