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Story Publication logo November 6, 2015

America’s Nuclear Bomb Gets a Makeover

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Image by Daniel Sagalyn.
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Over the past decade, much attention has focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fighting...

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Sandia’s Senior Manager for the B61-12 Brad Boswell, left, with Jamie McIntyre, Al Jazeera America’s national security correspondent on special assignment for the PBS NewsHour. The mock-ups of the old B61-4 nuclear bomb, left, and the refurbished B61-12 bomb, right, look similar. The first production model of the B61-12 is scheduled to be fielded in 2020. It will be a “modernized version of the old bomb, where we are meeting the military requirements while looking for opportunities to improve the safety and the security of the weapon,” Boswell told McIntyre. One improvement is swapping out old-fashioned parts such as vacuum tubes, located in the bomb’s radar system, for modern electronics. Image by Dan Sagalyn. United States, 2015.

The PBS Newshour got exclusive and unprecedented access to labs and facilities across the country to observe how the B-61 nuclear bomb is being upgraded and modernized. Jamie McIntyre, national security correspondent for Al Jazeera America, reports on special assignment for the NewsHour.

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