The National Nuclear Security Administration has concluded three non-nuclear flight tests of a gravity bomb in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force and allies from NATO. NNSA said Tuesday that it worked with partners to test the B61-12 gravity bomb last month at Tonopah Test Range, Nevada in preparation for the weapon system's final demonstration next year.
The tests support the B61-12 Life Extension Program that aims to have the bomb operational for at least 20 more years. The program consists of efforts to refurbish the weapon's nuclear and non‐nuclear parts.
The Nuclear Weapons Council, an organization jointly established between the departments of Defense and Energy, oversees the program. The B61 is an aircraft-dropped nuclear gravity bomb that has been operational in the U.S. military for almost half a century.