(NewsSpace.com) – At the height of World War II, the United States dropped two atomic bombs—Little Boy and Fat Man—over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. The destruction was immense and forced Japan’s surrender. It’s been nearly 80 years since they were deployed, and technology has come a long way since. Now, the Pentagon is looking to create a new bomb that would make the two atomic bombs look like child’s play.
On October 27, the Department of Defense announced it was pursuing “a modern variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb.” In order to do so, it has to gain Congress’ authorization and funding. This bomb, designated B61-13, would be like the atomic bombs, deployable by aircraft, and, according to the Defense Department, provide the commander-in-chief “with additional options against certain harder and large-area military targets.”
According to Defense News, the explosive weighs 360 kilotons, 24 times larger than the Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and 14 times larger than Fat Man. In other words, they would be able to do a lot more damage.
It is stressed that the development of this explosive would not contribute to the US’s current stockpile but rather replace some of it. Additionally, the move to develop such a weapon “is not in response to any specific current event,” but rather to address the “changing security environment.”
Should Congress give the go-ahead, the bomb will be produced by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. So far, it seems to have the support of Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), House Armed Services Committee Chairman, and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the Senate’s Armed Services Committee ranking Republican. Both agree that it’s a “modest step” and more needs to be done to compete with Russia and China. Many see the two countries as sprinting ahead in the nuclear arms race while the US lags behind.
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