Ever since the announcement that the United States was leaving the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, Russia has been in a complete panic.
Russian president Vladimir Putin even threatened European countries that accept any new American missiles after the withdrawal. Intermediate U.S. missiles would shift the balance of power in Europe even further away from Russia, sparking the threats.
The BBC reports Putin claiming the Russian reaction would be “very quick and effective.”
All that panic isn’t for nothing, but it’s not missiles they should be worried about.
Engineers at New Mexico’s Sandia National Laboratories have spent years designing a nightmare for American adversaries: the B61-12.
The B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb capable of being equipped to F-35s, and is slated for full production in less than two years.
Putting a guided bomb on a stealth fighter is a no-brainer. Deployed on a carrier-based aircraft, this would give the weapon almost unmatched range and versatility for its power.
Power can be adjusted down to a fraction of the maximum yield, allowing for more flexibility in use.
The maximum yield tops out at 50,000 tons of TNT equivalent. A factory run of around 400 of the bombs is expected to cost $11 billion, which Mother Jones reports as the most expensive nuclear bomb ever made.
The bomb is able to deliver triple the power of the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The power of nuclear bombs is incredibly attractive to any military.
Seen as a status symbol of national power, these weapons have attracted the likes of Iran and North Korea. Both nations have pursued nuclear technology.
The horrors of nuclear warfare still have many wary about America developing more weapons.
Nobody ever wants more nuclear weapons. With their destructive potential, a single launch would cause a snowball effect, creating a worldwide catastrophe.
With the United States plugging gaps in its nuclear program, the chances of other countries risking hitting “the button” are getting much slimmer.
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