Disarmament proponents have called the B61 bomb upgrade “an irresponsible escalation of the new nuclear arms race.”

by Jon Letman, Truthout

In October, the United States Department of Defense announced plans to develop a new version of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb. The new variant, the thirteenth modification of a nuclear weapon first developed in the 1960s, will be called the B61-13. Development is subject to authorization by Congress.

According to a Department of Defense press release, the B61-13 reflects a “changing security environment and growing threats from potential adversaries.” Development of the bomb would not increase the overall number of weapons in the U.S. stockpile, the release said.

A bomb drops its payload over a winter mountain backdrop

The bomb’s predecessor, the B61-12, was announced during the Obama administration and went into production last year. It is being deployed to military bases in five NATO countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey).

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