In the final stage of testing, the aircraft launched a replica of the bomb, which can be guided by its tail unit, from an altitude of 7,600 meters.
The U.S. Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle heavy fighter has become the first type of aircraft certified to operate the B61-12 nuclear bomb after finishing a series of tests at the Tonopah, Nevada military estate in March, the Portal The Drive reports.
During testing, the F-15E attack aircraft launched a simulated version of the most advanced U.S. nuclear bomb, “each of which will cost literally more than its gold weight,” from an altitude of approximately 7,600 meters.
This was a key stage and the last stage in the series of tests that managed to confirm that the B61-12 is compatible with this Boeing fighter.
In the future, fourth-generation F-16 fighters, fifth-generation F-35s, B-21 stealth strategic bombers (still in development) and other NATO fighter jets are also expected to be equipped with this type of bomb.
The main feature of this new pump is its tail unit, which makes it guided and allows to abandon the idea of its use with parachutes. This capability facilitates the fulfillment of pilots’ missions, as it will not be necessary for the aircraft to fly exactly on the target.