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US completes test flight of 'most dangerous nuke bomb ever'

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    10:59, August 30, 2017

File photo credit: Twitter account of  Lieutenant General Frank Klotz, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration

The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has announced in a press release on Monday the successful flight tests of its B61-12 gravity bombs. The tests of the “most powerful nuclear weapon ever made” come amid rising tension between the US and DPRK.

The second qualification flight test of the gravity bomb was carried out by the NNSA and the US Air Force on August 8, with the first qualification flight test having been successfully conducted in March.

The B61-12 gravity bombs in non-nuclear test assemblies were dropped from an F-15E fighter jet at Nellis Air Force Base at the Tonopah Test Range in the US state of Nevada, and were intended to evaluate the weapon’s “non-nuclear functions and the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon,” according to an NNSA statement.

The B61-12 will replace the B61 bomb variants in the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The US sees the B61-12 gravity bomb as a powerful way to deter adversaries and assure allies. The first production unit is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

Established by Congress in 2000, the NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the US Department of Energy responsible for enhancing America’s national security through the military application of nuclear science.

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(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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