The USAir Force (USAF) has undertaken a major initiative with National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to upgrade its fleet of Cold War-era strategic weaponry. They have kickstarted this with an upgrade to a nuclear delivery bomb and are testing it near the deserts of Nevada. The B61-12 nuclear gravity based bomb had been developed in the 1960s and its safe version was tested at the Nevada test range with success. The experiment has seen the government receive flak from the international observers and peace initiatives as it raises questions about US’s resolve for a nuclear-free world.
The NNSA in a statement said that the bomb’s lifespan was increased with this upgrade, and it will serve the nation’s interests for many years to come. It has also supposedly improved the morale of US allies in the face of military disasters surrounding its weapons programmes like F-35, F-22 as well as obsolete missile systems.
The life-extending program for the nuclear bomb was started in 2012 when it got approval from Nuclear Weapons Council, a joint committee of Department of Defense and NNSA. The weapons programme also falls in the category of other sensitive projects being developed by the weapons committee. All of have them have received international criticism as the US is held responsible for global weapons penetration and proliferation.
In an attempt at damage control, a spokesperson of the USAF said that as long as the US continues to have nuclear weapons, it is the job of national players to maintain their effectiveness and safety. For starters, if the country is so concerned about the safety, why is developing more warheads and improving delivery systems? Using it as a fissile material may not be possible, but what about the future use of smart bombs? Can the researchers and politicians guarantee it won’t be utilized in that capacity? I don’t think they can! Further development must be stopped until rational justification is given.
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