Censor.NET reports citing the NNSA press service.
This important milestone, the press service notes, comes after four years of work in the development-engineering phase of the program, and marks the final development phase prior to production. The first production unit (FPU) of this weapon is planned for Fiscal Year 2020, followed by full-scale production.
"Reaching this next phase of the B61-12 LEP is a major achievement for NNSA and the exceptionally talented scientists and engineers whose work underpins this vital national security mission," said NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz (Ret.). "Currently, the B61 contains the oldest components in the U.S. arsenal. This LEP will add at least an additional 20 years to the life of the system."
The B61-12 LEP is a joint NNSA and United States Air Force (USAF) program that preserves a critical element of the U.S. nuclear triad and the extended deterrent. The LEP refurbishes both nuclear and non-nuclear components to extend the bomb's service life while improving its safety, security, and reliability to meet long standing material requirements. The LEP will reuse or remanufacture existing components to the maximum extent possible. The B61-12 will replace the existing B61-3, -4, -7, and -10 bombs.