Washington, November 25 (RHC)-- The U.S. military has released a footage, for the first time, showing an F-35 fighter jet dropping mock nuclear bombs from an internal weapons bay, while flying at supersonic speed over Nevada desert.
The flight tests, conducted on August 25th, were part of the integration of the new B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb onto the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. The bomb that was dropped included functional non-nuclear components and simulated nuclear components.
It took approximately 42 seconds for the bomb to hit the designated target on the Nevada range. The bomb, B61-12 is the latest version of the B61 family of air-dropped nuclear gravity bombs, introduced in 2015.
Russia says the United States is taking a “destructive” stance over a decades-old multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions by saying openly that it does not plan to ratify it.
The U.S. weapon can fit inside the F-35’s internal weapons bay. This allows the fighter jet not to sacrifice its stealth capability, by carrying it. This is the first time that such a nuclear bomb was carried in an internal bay on a fighter jet. Normally, the bomb is carried on the outside mounted on a hard point.
The flight test with dummy bombs were successful, but the jet yet to be certified to carry real nuclear weapons, as the its Block 4 upgrade has been delayed by almost a year, until at least March 2021. The software upgrade is necessary for the aircraft’s huge computer to “talk” to the bomb’s computer accurately.