American F-35A fighter jet certified as a carrier of nuclear weapons

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American F-35A fighter jet certified as a carrier of nuclear weapons

The American F-35 fighter is officially certified as a nuclear carrier weapons, the aircraft is capable of carrying both tactical and strategic weapons. Breaking Defense writes about this.

According to the publication, the US Air Force completed certification of the F-35A fighter as a carrier of the B61-12 nuclear bomb in October last year, ahead of schedule. Only the F-35A aircraft received the certificate; it does not apply to the F-35B vertical take-off and landing fighter and the carrier-based F-35C. Thus, the aircraft became a dual-purpose fighter, capable of carrying both tactical and strategic weapons.



Testing of the F-35 fighter jets as a carrier of a nuclear bomb started in 2019 and ended on October 4, 2021. The testing involved two fighter jets, each of which dropped one mock-up of the B61-12 nuclear bomb at the Tonopah Test Site in Nevada. The certification itself was planned to begin in 2023 and be completed in January 2024. It was also planned to update the software to the Block 4 version so that the F-35A fighters would be able to regularly carry and use B61-12 thermonuclear bombs.

Development aviation B61-12 bombs have been underway since 2012. The new ammunition received a guidance system and a variable power warhead. The maximum yield of the B61-12 is 50 kilotons. The F-35 fighter is capable of carrying this bomb in the internal weapons bay.
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  1. -1
    9 March 2024 07: 14
    For those who are embarrassed by the presence of tactical nuclear weapons in the RF Armed Forces.
    This thermonuclear bomb was produced in quantities of more than 3 copies. Its reserves are stored in Europe. Now let's look at the power:
    The B61 is a variable-yield bomb called the "Full Fuzing Option" or "Dial-a-yield". On modifications 3, 4 and 10, power can be set to 0,3, 1,5, 5, 10, 60, 80 or 170 kilotons.

    Do Russia have tactical nuclear weapons with a capacity of 0 kilotons? Or just 3 megatons at once?
    How can one expect to launch tactical nuclear weapons strikes if there is no specified power?
    The newest bomb variant is the B61-11 (B61 mod 11). A bomb with a reinforced body (according to some sources, containing depleted uranium) and a delayed fuse, which allows it to penetrate several meters into the ground before exploding, allowing it to destroy particularly fortified underground structures[4]. The mass of the bomb is about 540 kg. Developed in 1994, the 11th modification was adopted into service in 1997, replacing the old B53 9-megaton surface-fire bombs, the last of which was dismantled on October 25, 2011[5], since in an underground explosion less energy goes into the air and the buried B61 in seismic effects on bunkers and mines becomes equivalent to a 9-megaton B53 when exploded at the surface. In total, about 50 bombs of the 11th modification were produced; their warheads have 7 different options for setting the detonation power. Currently, the main carrier for the B61-11 is the B-2 strategic bomber.
    Most versions of the B61 are equipped with a nylon-Kevlar retarder parachute (diameter approximately 7,5 meters). It is designed for the safe departure of the carrier aircraft, as well as to avoid an explosion upon contact with the ground in the event of an abnormal bomb or mine laying. The B61 fuse can be set to detonate in the air, explode on the surface of the earth, detonate on the ground upon a signal, and also underground at a depth of several meters.

    What if the delivery person has a small EPR?
    1. +2
      9 March 2024 07: 58
      The carrier aircraft can have any EPR.
      But a guided air-to-ground missile with a nuclear warhead can be made inconspicuous, like the Scalp or Taurus, and in weight/size suitable as an aircraft weapon for a multirole fighter (MiG-29, Su-27, Su-57 family).

      Inflicting a nuclear strike is clearly a more serious task, and the objects that will be struck will most likely be better protected than conventional ones, so it is not worth the risk of dropping a bomb in the affected area of ​​an air defense system (even if the aircraft is inconspicuous), it is necessary to use stealth missiles launched outside this area zones (they have a lower ESR than a stealth aircraft, and launch outside the air defense zone), and produce them accordingly.
      1. +1
        9 March 2024 10: 05
        Quote: Maxim G
        The carrier aircraft can have any EPR.

        Quote: Crimean partisan 1974
        ...and that doesn't matter...

        Quote: Svetlana
        They are not needed.

        I can’t understand what you saw wrong in my message, that you are interpreting exactly such your own ideas to me. I most likely expressed myself too long and verbosely, when the essence lost its meaning. I am very concerned about US developments in the field of controlled yield of nuclear weapons and methods of their delivery. Therefore, I would like to decide:
        1. Are you against further development and modification by Russia of such developments?
        2. Do you think that ONLY the strategic nuclear forces are called upon to establish a balance between those who entered the war, regardless of how far away the enemy forces (enemy) are and in what quantity and with what means they are fighting?
        3. How do you intend to demonstrate the seriousness of your intentions if the target area is within several (tens) of square kilometers?
        4. Do you think it is possible to deliver such Su-57 aerial bombs to the desired point and use them without disturbing the lithospheric layer of the planet?
        * * *
        The USA has this. But for Russia it is important either in half or in pieces? Or should we follow the advice of the late seer?
    2. +1
      9 March 2024 08: 25
      What if the delivery person has a small EPR?
      ...and this doesn’t matter...in the conditions of a total nuclear exchange there will be no one to service the bombers...at the moment the danger is posed by drones...which can be plopped around without strain in any basement by tens of thousands....as practice shows on today... bombs are only effective if the enemy has no or insufficient air defense... bombers are a thing of the past
    3. -3
      9 March 2024 09: 21
      Do Russia have tactical nuclear weapons with a capacity of 0 kilotons?

      They are not needed. If even the most militaristic nuclear weapons are used on Russian territory, then megatons will fly in response.
      1. +1
        9 March 2024 11: 11
        Quote: Svetlana
        then megatons will fly in response.

        The whole question is: where will they fly?
        What if an “unknown” force is used in the conflict zone? 1. Do you have the courage to press the button and get started? 2. Who to bomb first? After all, it is common knowledge that there are not enough arsenals for all objects, which means you have to choose...
        1. -2
          9 March 2024 12: 49
          Enough spirit is enough. Don't get your hopes up.
    4. +2
      9 March 2024 10: 06
      61 units of B-3155 bombs were produced, including 150 strategic, 400 tactical and 200 tactical are in reserve, according to other sources 1350, but they are older. Next in Europe are according to data for 2022; Italy: 60-70, Germany: 10-20, Belgium: 10-20, Netherlands: 10-20, Turkey: 60-70 B-61 bombs of various modifications, in total: 150-200. There is also information that Great Britain will deploy 60-70 ABs on its territory. There are also 650 B-83s in storage in the United States. Now regarding the Russian nuclear potential: presumably we have about 7000 nuclear weapons, of which about 1550 are strategic and are on carriers with ready-made weapons. There is no exact data on the number of tactical nuclear weapons, but there are at least 2000 units, the power is comparable to American products. The carriers can be any missile launcher, infantry fighting vehicle and cannon artillery.
    5. 0
      9 March 2024 11: 10
      In fact, we have no less tactical nuclear weapons than the United States and NATO. There was an article on this resource, you can read it: https://topwar.ru/202412-takticheskoe-jadernoe-oruzhie-rossii.html
      Naturally, you are unlikely to recognize modern data. But you can be sure that there are shells from 152 mm (obviously not 10 Mt), and bombs, and special warheads for many missiles.
      1. 0
        9 March 2024 12: 12
        Quote from shikin
        In fact, we have no less tactical nuclear weapons than the United States and NATO.

        Actually, I am familiar with this from my studies and service. True, there is an Agreement dated October 10.10.1963, XNUMX...How long can tactical nuclear weapons remain there without testing?
        Well, why argue with you? There is and there is something to eat...
  2. 0
    9 March 2024 07: 23
    Well, now we can place them in Finland.
  3. +1
    9 March 2024 07: 25
    Two fighters took part in the testing, each of which dropped one mock-up of the B61-12 nuclear bomb at the test site
    Strange certification - two F-35s dropped bombs on a mock-up and that’s it? After this, the aircraft can be used as a carrier of nuclear weapons. It is clear that before this work was carried out to ensure that the F-35 had the ability to regularly carry and use B61-12 thermonuclear bombs, but isn’t one release enough for certification?
    1. -3
      9 March 2024 07: 43
      Quote: rotmistr60
      Strange certification - two F-35s dropped bombs on a mock-up and that’s it?

      Indeed, more than strange... Our Su-57s, like seagulls, circle over Ukraine and drop and drop... And these decided to scare with mock-ups...
      And before that they scared with Javelins...Then further and more, and thicker...They do not disdain anything...
      I provided data on the B61 above... And here it is the 12th modification... Not at all conventional...
      But what should we be afraid of? We have “Sarmatians”, “Nudoli”, “Poseidons”, “Peresvets”...
      They have a “demented” Biden, and we have “our everything”:
      1. 0
        9 March 2024 07: 55
        I didn’t understand your sarcasm at all regarding my comment about certification. You’re talking about Yerema, you’re talking about Thomas, and even with the addition of a poem, as I understand with your attitude towards the upcoming elections.
      2. Msi
        -1
        9 March 2024 08: 03
        and for us - “our everything”:

        Ross 42, an intimate question for you. Who will you vote for in the elections???
  4. 0
    9 March 2024 07: 32
    Quote: ROSS 42
    What if the delivery person has a small EPR?

    These are exactly what these bombs are intended for! B-2 or Tu-160 will not reach the target now, only “stealth” aircraft. We are lagging behind again, we are expanding production of an aircraft from the 80s.
    A bomb is incomparably cheaper than a rocket. hi
    1. -1
      9 March 2024 07: 38
      Quote: fa2998
      B-2 or Tu-160 will not reach the target now, only stealth aircraft
      Are you sure that stealth aircraft will confidently overcome the air defense line?
      1. +1
        9 March 2024 07: 49
        But with a greater guarantee than previous generation aircraft! You have a different opinion, then why are we throwing away billions on the Su-57, etc.? what
        1. -4
          9 March 2024 08: 48
          But with a greater guarantee than previous generation aircraft!
          ...this is a misconception...it’s enough to ask people like you a question...WHAT IS THE EPR OF A THUNDER CLOUDS?..this means that meteorological radars track them...come on...burn
    2. -2
      9 March 2024 07: 52
      They have an invisible plane only for taxpayers, but they are very visible, the Serbs shot down one with an old Soviet anti-aircraft gun....
      1. +2
        9 March 2024 08: 05
        A single plane may not be a problem for air defense, but when there are not just a lot of them in the sky, there are a lot of them and it is not at all clear who is carrying the “gift”, and they are also flying from different directions... add to this a missile attack. And then what? But it is an instant global strike that is the basis of their doctrine.
        1. -2
          9 March 2024 08: 50
          there are a lot of them and it’s not at all clear who is carrying the “gift”, and they’re flying from different directions...
          ..as practice has shown directly in the aviation empire of lies...it’s enough to shoot down a couple of planes and the ardor drops to zero...this is not an argument in favor of stealth
          1. +1
            9 March 2024 09: 01
            In Soviet times, a collection of essays entitled “Wars in which we did not participate” was published in our press. So in it, there are memories of a missile officer about battles with American aircraft in Vietnam. The characterization given by him is that he is a professional of the highest class. In his words, if the fired air defense missile system did not leave the launch site for 15 minutes, it simply had no chance of surviving. And do you really think that the combat capabilities of their aircraft are worse than in the 70s of the last century?
            1. -1
              9 March 2024 09: 17
              a collection of essays entitled "Wars in which we did not participate."
              ...I haven’t read it...but my neighbor Ivan Protasych (of blessed memory), was an S-75 operator in Vietnam...and told many stories...in particular about the deployment and collapse of the complex...so... Deployment of the S-75 battery took one and a half to two hours, depending on weather conditions, deployment took about 10 minutes... this is because they only deployed detection and guidance stations... everything else was left in position... and so yes... after shooting the return flight arrived very quickly... and about the bill
              And do you really think that the combat capabilities of their aircraft are worse than in the 70s of the last century?
              ...yes...I not only think, but I know...because in the first Iraqi coalition aviation simply refused to carry out combat missions if the radar field was noticed by the enemy...flights to the base by bomber were also stopped B-58 and B-2 after one-time damage, in Yugoslavia the same picture... after the shooting down of a lame goblin and damage to the B-2, the flights of the invisibles stopped completely, just like the intensity of air attacks until the Rowens and Uald Visals cleared the air defense batteries of Yugoslavia
        2. 0
          9 March 2024 13: 14
          In this case, a counter-attack will be struck, bang of foreplay and conversations.... and they know this very well.
    3. 0
      9 March 2024 15: 37
      These are exactly what these bombs are intended for! B-2 or Tu-160 will not reach the target now, only “stealth” aircraft. We are lagging behind again, we are expanding production of an aircraft from the 80s.
      A bomb is incomparably cheaper than a rocket

      But what if the air defense takes down this plane? Maybe it’s better to hit the 160 with a cruise missile? There, the range allows you to shoot from where you want, the missile’s EPR is smaller than that of the F35
  5. 0
    9 March 2024 21: 15
    Well, what can I say... You can, frankly, rejoice at American pragmatism and the ability to “squeeze” an extra dollar out of a client... After all, this “certificate” will allow the seller to raise the price tag for this “wunderwaffe” and its software... Well, how is it really - go check... The buyer will have to “take the word” of the seller... In a word, advertising is the engine of trade!!!!!
  6. 0
    9 March 2024 23: 07
    The United States is not hiding its plans and Europe is preparing for a global blow. Their plan is supposed to disable the political power and nuclear forces of the enemy.