Pentagon Reveals New Bomb is 24 Times Bigger Than Hiroshima

( – The Department of Defense has declared its intention to develop a nuclear bomb with a potency 24 times greater than those deployed in Japan during World War II.

As per a statement from the Department of Defense (DoD), the Pentagon is seeking approval and funding from Congress for the development of an upgraded version of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb, designated as the B61-13.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, John Plumb, emphasized the evolving security landscape and heightened threats from potential adversaries in justifying the pursuit, stating, “Today’s announcement is reflective of a changing security environment and growing threats from potential adversaries. The United States has a responsibility to continue to assess and field the capabilities we need to credibly deter and, if necessary, respond to strategic attacks, and assure our allies.”

A provided fact sheet indicated that the B61-13’s yield would be comparable to the B61-7, which, according to Defense News, has a maximum yield of 360 kilotons—24 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (15 kilotons) and about 14 times larger than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki (25 kilotons) during World War II. The B61-13 is expected to incorporate modern safety, security, and accuracy features found in the B61-12.

This announcement coincides with heightened global tensions, illustrated by a recent U.S. high-explosive experiment at a nuclear test site in Nevada. Corey Hinderstein, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, explained that the test aimed to advance technology supporting U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals and enhance the detection of underground nuclear explosive tests globally.

As Russia was anticipated to withdraw from the 1966 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the DoD release emphasized that the new bomb would be deployable by contemporary aircraft, offering the president options for striking large-area military targets.

If approved, the B61-13 would replace some of the existing B61-7s in the U.S. nuclear stockpile, with Plumb noting, “The B61-13 represents a reasonable step to manage the challenges of a highly dynamic security environment. While it provides us with additional flexibility, production of the B61-13 will not increase the overall number of weapons in our nuclear stockpile.”