OAN’s James Meyers
1:48 PM – Tuesday, October 31, 2023
The United States has announced that they want to create a nuclear bomb 24 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, to end World War II.
The development of the B61-13, what the Department of Defense (DOD) called a “variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb,” is pending Congressional approval.
The B61-13 would have a blast radius similar to the B61-7 bomb’s 360 kilotons of TNT. This comes in comparison to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which had a blast radius of 15 kilotons of TNT, making the new bomb 24 times more powerful.
If approved, manufacturing of the new weapon would be the responsibility of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
“Today’s announcement is reflective of a changing security environment and growing threats from potential adversaries,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb said in a Friday statement.
“The United States has a responsibility to continue to assess and field the capabilities we need to credibly deter and, if necessary, respond to strategic attacks, and assure our allies,” he continued.
The announcement comes after the DOD revealed China is on pace to increase their amount of nuclear warheads to over 1,000 by 2030.
“At a time of rising nuclear risks, a partial refurbishment strategy no longer serves our interests,” that report said. “We must develop and field a balanced, flexible stockpile capable of [keeping up with] threats, responding to uncertainty, and maintaining effectiveness.”
According to the Pentagon, the B61-13 would be made with warheads remodeled from older bombs, and would be designed to attack “harder and large-area military targets.”
However, the move received cautious approval from the top Republican members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees.
“The B61-13 is not a long-term solution, but it will provide our commanders, particularly in [the Indo-Pacific] and [Europe] with more flexibility against these target sets,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). “As the Strategic Posture Commission recently noted, China and Russia are in a full-on arms race, and the U.S. is running in place. Dramatic transformation of our deterrent posture — not incremental or piecemeal changes — is required to address this threat.”
“Since coming into office, the Biden Administration has taken a balanced approach between maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and strong and credible extended deterrence, and taking those steps needed to the reduce the global salience of nuclear weapons and bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons,” a National Security Council spokesperson told The New York Post Monday.
A report done by the Congressional Budget Office in July said that “the nation’s current nuclear forces are reaching the end of their service life, and some delivery systems may not be capable of having their service life extended further.”
The U.S. does not stick to a “no first use” policy and stated nuclear weapons would be used only in “extreme circumstances.”
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