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B-61 (B-36) Silver Bullet Thermonuclear Weapon

Strategic/Tactical Air-Delivered Bomb

B-61 (B-36) Silver Bullet Thermonuclear Weapon at Yanks Air Museum

MFG: 1960’s
Built In: Los Alamos, NM
First Produced: 1960’s
Service Ceiling: 63,000 ft
Weight: 695-716 lbs
Body Diameter: 13.4 in
Diameter Tail Fins: 22.5
Length: 11’ 9.5”
Height: 18’5”
Armament: nuclear warhead
Number Built: 600 tactical 750 strategic

The B-61 “Silver Bullet” is today’s tactical nuclear weapon. The early B-61 was a controllable force, weapon, allowing it to be “dialed” to become less-than or greater-than the 12.5 kiloton atomic bomb at Hiroshima. The force is measured in kilotons, with one kiloton equal to 1,000 pounds of TNT. Current yields on the newer mod B-61 are up to a 340 kiloton warhead.

Platforms able to carry the bomb are the F-4 Phantom II, B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, F-101 Voodoo, F-104 Starἀghter, F/A-18 Hornet, F-111 Aardvark, A-4 Skyhawk, A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair II, F-15 Eagle and F-16 Viper.

Constructed of over 5900 parts this B-61 represents the basic U.S. nuclear weapons stores in Europe for NATO forces. It contains two neutron generators, the primary consists of beryllium reflected plutonium, aluminum and uranium. Built for two purposes; strategic results which affects global outcome and tactical results which effect battlfield outcome.

The B-61 it is now being evaluated for extension into 2023, all existing B-61’s would be modernized into the B-61-12. Acquired by Yanks in 2013.

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