The Department of Defense will advance the development of a B61 nuclear gravity bomb variant to meet the needs of an evolving security environment as discussed in the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review.
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration would develop and produce the proposed B61-13 bomb as part of efforts to strengthen deterrence and assure U.S. allies and partners, DOD said Friday.
“The B61-13 represents a reasonable step to manage the challenges of a highly dynamic security environment,” said John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy at DOD.
“While it provides us with additional flexibility, production of the B61-13 will not increase the overall number of weapons in our nuclear stockpile,” added Plumb.
The B61-13 weapon would be deployed using aircraft, would replace some of the B61-7s in the stockpile and use the production capabilities backing the B61-12 bomb.
Congress has yet to authorize and appropriate funds for the B61-13 program.