CENTRE FOR AIR POWER STUDIES - The Continued Saga of B61s: Assessing the
16 November 2023
Attributes of B61-13 If we look at the modification journey of the B61 bomb, the latest one will be the 13th modification of the original one first inducted in 1968.2 Since then, the B61 has undergone several modifications to improve its safety, security and dependability. [...] According to the US DoD press release, the B61-13 will replace some of the old B61-7s and will have the same yield as the 7s.3 The B61-7 has a yield of 10-360kt. [...] The announcement of B61-13 has come at a time when the inter-state relations between the major powers are at the lowest since the end of the Cold War. [...] Given these considerations, the US is undertaking nuclear modernisation, which will continue beyond 2039 and will cost $1.2 trillion.8 In 2017, the Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul Selva, stated that the issues concerning the lifespan of legacy nuclear forces and infrastructure need immediate attention and raised concerns about the viability of these systems in the n. [...] The third important reason behind the B61-13 announcement is the disagreement between the Republicans and Democrats10 over the fate of B83-1, a 1.2-megaton nuclear bomb.