US Air Force Conducts Mock Supersonic Nuclear Test

A US Air Force F-35 jet conducted a successful test drop of a mock nuclear bomb while breaking the sound barrier.

A US Air Force F-35 jet conducted a successful test drop of a mock nuclear bomb while breaking the sound barrier.

CNN posted a video of the test showing the jet dropping a mock payload from its internal fuselage. 

The flight test of the B61-12 bomb with the F-35A Lightning II was the first ever conducted at Sandia National Laboratories’ Tonopah Test Range using the brand new F-35.

Compared to other jets, the F-35A carries the bomb internally and the flight test was the first demonstration of a fully instrumented B61-12 and the first such release at speeds of Mach 1 or greater.

“We’re showing the B61-12’s larger compatibility and broader versatility for the country’s nuclear deterrent, and we’re doing it in the world of COVID-19,” said Steven Samuels, a manager with Sandia’s B61-12 Systems Team.

According to Samuels, they are still testing B61-12 compatibility activities on different platforms to assess its reliability. 

Sandia along with the National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Air Force developed the non-nuclear components of the nation’s nuclear stockpile, including the B61-12.

Sandia has already completed a B61-12 full-weapon system demonstration with the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet last March, and another in July with the Air Force’s B-2 Spirit bomber.


© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.