Nuclear Bomb Variant Completes Wind-Tunnel Test

A model of the forthcoming B-61-12 nuclear bomb awaits testing in a wind tunnel at the Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee. The Energy Department on Monday announced that the "Mod 12" variant had successfully completed the full-scale wind test.
National Journal
Rachel Oswald
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Oswald
April 15, 2014, 10:54 a.m.

A pro­ject to re­vamp the U.S. B-61 nuc­le­ar bomb achieved a key mile­stone when one of its new vari­ants passed a first full-scale, wind-tun­nel test.

The U.S. Na­tion­al Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced the com­pleted as­sess­ment in a Monday press re­lease, not­ing that the ac­com­plish­ment by its San­dia Na­tion­al Labor­at­or­ies brings the so-called “B-61-12” Life-Ex­ten­sion Pro­gram one step closer to planned “drop tests” next year.

The eight-day as­sess­ment took place in a tran­son­ic wind tun­nel — which al­lows for the test­ing of aerospace products at ex­tremely fast speeds — at the Arnold En­gin­eer­ing De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter in Ten­ness­ee. The tri­al con­sisted of a num­ber of dif­fer­ent sim­u­lated flight en­vir­on­ments that ex­amined how well the B-61’s forth­com­ing “Mod 12” vari­ant handles “counter-torque,” a phe­nomen­on in which the plumes from rock­et mo­tors work against the per­form­ance of the tail fins, ac­cord­ing to San­dia.

“This wind tun­nel test helps to un­der­stand the B-61-12 flight char­ac­ter­ist­ics in pre­par­a­tion for our first three full-scale de­vel­op­ment drop tests,” agency Deputy Ad­min­is­trat­or for De­fense Pro­grams Don Cook said in provided com­ments.

Be­cause the Mod 12 vari­ant is equipped with a tail sec­tion that is not­ably dif­fer­ent than earli­er ver­sions of the B-61, a wind tun­nel test was ne­ces­sary to de­term­ine that the new com­pon­ent can per­form in the re­quired spin en­vir­on­ment dur­ing flight, said Vicki Rags­dale, a B-61-12 tech­nic­al basis test en­gin­eer at San­dia, in a sep­ar­ate Monday re­lease from the labor­at­ory.

The pro­ject to mod­ern­ize the B-61 in­volves the res­tor­a­tion of atom­ic and con­ven­tion­al parts and is aimed at ex­tend­ing the ser­vice life of the grav­ity bomb, which is cur­rently de­ployed in sup­port of NATO nuc­le­ar de­terrence in Europe. The Mod 12 vari­ant is in­ten­ded to sup­plant the cur­rent B-61-3, -4, -7, and -10 vari­ants, in ad­di­tion to sup­port­ing the planned moth­balling of the large B-63 nuc­le­ar war­head.

What We're Following See More »
FLINT FUNDING STILL AT ISSUE
Spending Bill Fails to Clear 60-Vote Hurdle
21 minutes ago
THE LATEST
SURPASSED 80 MILLION VIEWERS
Monday’s Debate Was Most Watched Ever
55 minutes ago
DEBATE UPDATE
‘WASN’T PREPARED’
Hill Republicans Don’t Like What They See in Debate
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"It was obvious he wasn't prepared." “He only mentioned her email scandal once." "I think he took things a little too personal and missed a lot of opportunities to make very good debate points." That's just a smattering of the reactions of some elected Republicans to Donald Trump's debate performance.

Source:
MOST WATCHED EVER?
Little Ratings Drop-Off from Beginning to End of Debate
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

The conventional wisdom is already emerging that Donald Trump opened last night's debate well, but that he faded badly down the stretch. And most viewers apparently witnessed it. "The early Nielsen data confirms that viewership stayed high the entire time. Contrary to some speculation, there was not a big drop-off after the first hour of the 98-minute debate." Final data is still being tallied, but "Monday's face-off may well have been the most-watched debate in American history. CNN and other cable news channels saw big increases over past election years. So did some of the broadcast networks."

Source:
FUNDING RUNS OUT ON FRIDAY
Federal Agencies Prepare for Govt Shutdown
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.

Source:
×