National Nuclear Security Administration

Tests with Sandia’s Davis gun aid B61-12 life extension effort

May 11, 2015

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NNSA BlogThree years of design, planning and preparation came down to a split second, a loud boom and an enormous splash in a successful impact test of hardware in the nose assembly of an unarmed, mock B61-12 nuclear bomb.

The Sandia National Laboratories test also captured data that will allow analysts to validate computer models of the bomb, part of Sandia’s decade-long effort in the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP). An LEP is a way to extend the life of an aging weapon without adding new military capability. The B61-12 LEP is an $8.1 billion NNSA program coordinated across the nation’s nuclear security enterprise. Sandia is working with the NNSA, the program lead, and five NNSA partner sites, industry partners and the U.S. Air Force, the B61-12 customer.

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About the photo:
Tyler Keil, lead engineer for a test series using Sandia's Davis gun, performs a final diagnostics check on a data recorder for an impact test on the nose assembly of a mock B61-12. Data gathered from the test is helping analysts calibrate computer models. Photo by Randy Montoya, Sandia.