The U.S. Defense Department announced plans to develop the B61-13, a new version of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb. This decision aligns with the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, which suggested modernizing the U.S. nuclear forces to effectively deter China and Russia. The B61-13 will have modern safety, security, and accuracy features while giving more strike options against large military targets. The move is seen as a compromise in Congress, amidst disagreements regarding the legacy B83-1 bomb.
- The U.S. is set to develop the B61-13, a nuclear gravity bomb, to replace some older versions like the B61-7.
- The decision to produce this new bomb is in response to the changing security environment and to counter nuclear-armed competitors such as China and Russia.
- The B61-13 will have features ensuring safety, security, and accuracy, and will be designed for striking larger and harder military targets.
- Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert, suggests the creation of the B61-13 is a compromise to resolve the longstanding dispute in Congress over the B83-1 bomb.
- The Pentagon asserts that the introduction of this bomb will not increase the military’s overall nuclear stockpile, and modern aircraft, including the B-21 Raider stealth bomber, will be equipped to deliver it.