[Marxism] Fwd: The Cost of Teaching an Old Nuclear Weapon New Tricks

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 7 06:38:48 MDT 2014

(A chilling article about the USA poised to spend hundreds of billions 
of dollars on the development of a new generation of "variable yield"
nuclear weapons that make their use more feasible.)

First built in 1963, the B61 has been called "the bread and butter" of 
the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The bomb's newest incarnation, 
B61-12, will be a variable-yield, precision-guided version of one of the 
most numerous bombs in the US arsenal.

With a newly designed, $1.8 billion tail kit and increased accuracy, the 
B61-12 is expected to "hold at risk" targets that today require a 
greater yield to be destroyed. The B61-12 will allow the military to 
phase out five other nuclear gravity bomb types, including an 
earth-penetrating ("bunker buster") B61-11 and the high-yield B83.
The B61-12 will have four variable yields: 0.3kt. (kiloton), 1.5kt., 
10kt. and 50kt.

At just 11.8 feet long, 13 inches in diameter and about 700 pounds, the 
B61-12 is small enough to fit in the back of an SUV - something that 
could easily go missing.


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