Skip to comments.B61 Forever
Posted on 07/07/2010 10:22:51 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
When it comes to nuclear weapons, oldies are goodies. Take, for example, the American B61 nuclear device. About the same shape as a 1,000 pound (455 kg) bomb, many NATO fighter bombers were equipped (with the electronics) to use this bomb during the Cold War (and many can still do so). Some 3,200 B61s were built since it entered service in the late 1960s, and about a third of those remain available for use. Some are to be refurbished, but politicians are still debating doing this just to keep B61s good for another two decades. Without the refurb, all these older warheads will be useless in less than a decade.
In 1997, a bunker buster version of the B61 entered service. This was your basic B61 with a metal penetrator cap at the front end. This kind of B-61 would penetrate several meters of earth before setting off its nuclear warhead (probably 10 kilotons, but could be as high as 340). The basic B61 nuclear bomb weighs 319 kg/700 pounds, is 330mm in diameter and 3.9 meters/12 feet long. Most B61 warheads were variable yield, and could be set to provide an explosion ranging from less than a kiloton, to 340 kilotons.
For a long time, many of the "tactical" nukes, like the B61, were deployed close to where the fighting was expected to be. Thus during the early 1970s, the United States had over 7,000 nuclear warheads stored in Europe, most of them 8 inch and 155mm artillery shells. This was in the belief that, if the Russians, and their Warsaw Pact allies, invaded Western Europe, they would do so using these "tactical" (a yield of under 100 kilotons) nuclear weapons. Plans were drawn up to use hundreds of these warheads in battles with the invading Russians. But eventually, it was realized that such use would destroy Western Europe, and probably lead to a full scale nuclear war that would devastate the planet. So, by the end of the Cold War in 1990, there were only about 4,000 U.S. nukes left in Europe. By the end of the 1990s, there were only about 500 left. Most of these were for the use of NATO allies. During the Cold War, European nations were to be provided with American nuclear weapons, in the event of a major war. Most of these agreements are still in effect.
The U.S. Air Force still trains it pilots to use the B61, using dummy 1,000 pound bombs, filled with enough concrete to approximate the weight of a B61. In the case of the bunker buster B61, that would be 546 kg (1,200 pounds). The Department of Defense has asked for $40 million to equip the F-35 to use B61s.
I thought it was “Dear John.”
Its “Dear John”
We bomb-loaders had such a morbid sense of hunor back then. Damn kids probably still do.
Actually, When the Pershing missiles were being dismantled they were made into a B-61 variant. Each bomb is about 340 kilotons, about 15 times the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A feature is AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control): Equipment installed in an aircraft to permit monitoring and control of the safing, arming, and fuzing functions of a nuclear bomb or missile delivered by the aircraft.
Drinking and drunk around nuclear weapons don’t mix too well.
It is long past due for some B61s to be dropped on the middle east. After 9/11, we could have done that and saved all of our war heroe’s lives. We are losing by playing this P/C war.
It’s like eating potato chips: bet you can’t drop just one.
We should have done it long ago.
A credible threat is worth its weight in rubies.
What are you saying?
I loaded these on A-7 Corsairs...I always thought they looked like futuristic bombs out of a 1950’s comic book...
If potential adversaries believed that we had the resolve (balls, whatever) to use nuclear weapons, we wouldn’t have to use them. The most persuasive argument for nuking Japan was to show them that we not only had nuclear weapons, but the will to use them. Until August 6, 1945 Japan was a nation in thrall to a suicide cult. They got over it.
Same deal with Islamist.
Agree totally with you. These rag head islamists will stop at nothing to destroy this country and Israel. The joke is on us because we have been destroyed from within.
Totally true. Credibility is a must! As the saying goes, no better friend no worse enemy. Knowing that hombre wears a white hat and is a good chap, but muck about and he’ll be your death. Many cultures, including the Islamic death cult, the Chinese growing juggernaut, or the Russian re-awakening vampire ....alll GET strength. What they do not understand is weakness. What they do not see is the faint. What they do not comprehend is surrender. The great threat in the next 2 decades will be China. The US is currently far ahead, but that lead is getting degraded. They’ll never surpass the technological edge of the US, but they do not need to - they only need to get close enough, and that will suffice. The US is getting less and less credible. In my book, that’s a cogent risk.
A thing of beauty, if ever there was one.
You'd know, if anyone would.
Does “Broken Chopsticks” mean any thing to you?
Does Broken Chopsticks mean any thing to you?
It’s been 30 years, but yea I do remember Broken Chopsticks and Broken Arrow. My job during the movement of these and simulated accident drills was to operate a sound powered telephone in the flight deck bomb farm and relate to the Weapons Control down below everything that was happening above.
One of the best Cold War movie ever made.
I lobbied for just that on 9-12. We should have destroyed Mecca or Medina to the last man and building. To defeat the Muslims, you must defeat their belief in their god. Destroy every symbol of that religion, and you destroy the entirety of their faith and movement. That would be a very good thing on this planet.