The United States on Tuesday said it “successfully” carried out an early performance analysis of a revamped nuclear gravity bomb.
The “full-system mechanical environment test” was the first in a line of assessments intended to verify how the B-61 bomb’s new “Mod 12” variant would behave under routine conditions or accident scenarios, the National Nuclear Security Administration said in a statement. The review included use of an Air Force-developed ”tail kit” intended to improve targeting accuracy for the updated bomb, which is to eventually stand in for several earlier versions.
The analysis by the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories “is a significant achievement and gives us confidence in our ability to move forward with our efforts to increase the safety and security of the bomb,” Don Cook, NNSA deputy administrator for defense programs, said in provided comments.
Engineering preparations for the Mod 12 update are now in their second year. The life-extension project aims to keep B-61 bombs ready for potential use, to service various atomic and non-nuclear parts of the Cold War-era weapons, and to bolster their dependability and security, the NNSA says.
The initial test “provides data for analytical model correlation and validation, insight into component environments and evaluation of developmental hardware,” the agency release states. “The mechanical environment test series will assist in qualifying the final B-61”12 design against the full suite of environments.”
Deployment of the Mod 12 weapon would enable the United States to mothball the larger and more powerful B-83 bomb “in the mid-to-late 2020s,” the NNSA statement adds.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."