Developmental updates to a U.S. nuclear gravity bomb include “significant” alterations to key weapon components, says a new independent report.
The B-61 bomb’s “Mod 12” variant incorporates a fully revamped back section, and lacks the parachute incorporated in predecessors, according to the Friday image analysis by Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.
The altered weapon’s Air Force-developed “tail kit” is designed to improve its targeting precision. Kristensen wrote that the new variant’s exact accuracy remains uncertain, but there is a roughly 98-foot margin of error in non-nuclear weapons fitted with the Internal Navigation System thought to be included in the forthcoming B-61 bomb update.
“Even if [the precision] were a little less for the B-61-12, it is still a significant improvement of the [360- to 590-foot] accuracy that nuclear gravity bombs normally achieve in test drops,” Kristensen wrote in his assessment, published on the FAS Strategic Security blog.
Bombs refurbished under the U.S. B-61 life-extension program are slated for deployment in several allied NATO states in Europe, replacing older versions. Kristensen wrote that despite plans to revamp the weapons with new detonation features and components to increase their accuracy, lawmakers in Belgium and the Netherlands said Washington had not alerted them to “the upcoming deployment of improved nuclear capabilities in their countries.”
“The [Belgian and Dutch] government position is that there is no improvement and therefore no need to inform anyone,” he wrote.
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French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the website of National Review, where French is a staff writer, he is a constitutional lawyer, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and an author of several books who lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children."
California Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed Hillary Clinton today, calling her "the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump." While praising Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign, Brown said "Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee. ... This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun."
In a New York Magazine profile, Hillary Clinton said she still encounters misogyny at her own events: “‘I really admire you, I really like you, I just don’t know if I can vote for a woman to be president.’ I mean, they come to my events and then they say that to me.”
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”