The B61-12 Has a Nuclear Warhead with 4 “Selectable Power Options”
Manlio Dinucci / Global Research
(December 3, 2020) — A video was released on November 23, 2020 by Sandia National Laboratories that shows a US F-35A fighter flying at supersonic speed, 3,000 meters above sea level, launching a B61-12 nuclear bomb (non-nuclear warhead equipped).
The bomb did not fall vertically but glided until the tail-section rocket ignition gave a rotational motion and the B61-12 (satellite-guided system) headed for the target and hit 42 seconds after launch. The test was carried out on August 25 at the Tonopah shooting range in the Nevada desert.
An official statement confirmed its full success: it was a real nuclear attack, proof that the fighter carried out at supersonic speed and in stealth attitude (with nuclear bombs placed in its internal hold) has the capability to penetrate through enemy defenses.
The B61-12 has a nuclear warhead with four selectable power options at launch depending on the target to hit. It has the ability to penetrate underground, exploding deep to destroy command center bunkers and other underground structures. The Pentagon’s program foresees the construction of about five hundred B61-12 with an estimated cost of roughly 10 billion dollars (so each bomb will cost double what it would cost if it were built entirely of gold).
It has been officially announced that the new nuclear bomb series production will begin in the fiscal year 2022, beginning October 1, 2021 (i.e. in eleven months).
It is unknown the number of B61-12 bombs that the US will deploy in Italy, Germany, Belgium and Holland to replace the B61s, whose actual number is secret. Satellite photos show renovations that have been carried out at Aviano and Ghedi bases in preparation for the new nuclear bombs’ arrival.
The US Air Force F-35A and Italian Air Force F-35A under US command will be armed with these bombs. The kind of situation Italy will be involved in — once the F-35A aircrafts, ready for a nuclear attack with B61-12 bombs are deployed on the Italian territory — is easily predictable.
As an advanced base of the US nuclear deployment in Europe directed mainly against Russia, Italy will be in an increasingly dangerous situation. It will depend more strongly on Washington strategic decisions involving political and economic choices at the expenses of our sovereignty and our own national interests.
According to the plans, Italy will have to increase military spending from the current 26 billion to 36 billion euros per year, over 60 billion to be allocated for military purposes by the Economic Development Ministry and drawn (plus interest) from the Recovery Fund, and will be added to the previous amount. Italy will violate even more than before the Non-Proliferation Treaty joined in 1975 by pledging “not to receive nuclear weapons from anyone or control over these weapons, directly or indirectly.”
Italy will reject more strongly the recent UN Treaty on nuclear weapons abolition, which states: “Any State Party that has nuclear weapons on its territory, owned or controlled by another State, must ensure the rapid removal of such weapons.” To throw a stone into the stagnant water of a Parliament that keeps silent on this subject, the Hon. Sara Cunial (Mixed Group) presented a question for written answer to the Prime Minister and the Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministries.
After having exposed the aforementioned facts, the parliamentary question quotes “does the government intend to respect the Treaty on nuclear weapons non-proliferation, ratified by Italy in 1975; does the government intend to sign and ratify the UN Treaty on Nuclear Weapons Abolition, that enters into force in 2021; does the government intend to ensure, on the basis of what these treaties establish, that the United States immediately remove any nuclear weapons from Italian territory and give up installing the new B61-12 bombs and other nuclear weapons?”
While we wait to read the government’s response, in the US the last bomb tests are carried out, the bombs will arrive and be set under our feet.
Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.
What Is Italy Doing for Nuclear Disarmament?
On the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the President of the Italian Republic reiterated that “Italy strongly supports the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons.” He was echoed by the President of the House of Representatives Defense Commission who stated: “I make my own the President of the Republic’s words for a policy that aims at a world free from nuclear weapons.” This is maximum institutional commitment therefore, but in what direction?
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