To : Abolitionists all over
From: Bruce Hall at Greenpeace
Date: March 6, 1997
re : More Penetrating developments
Dear folks -
Two bits of recent information about lab and Pentagon efforts
to field an earth-penetrating capability for use against potential
deeply buried targets. The B61-11 is a recently modified nuclear
bomb being introduced into the US nuclear arsenal. It can be
adjusted to a variety of yields - from a low of 300 tons to upwards
of 300 kilotons.
Sandia National Laboratory
The B61-11 was authorized in August 1995 with a requested
delivery date of December 31,1996. The B61-11 is a mechanical
field modification to the B61-7. The B61-11 will be an earth-
penetrating weapon that will replace the aging B53 bomb. The B61-
11 may be delivered by a variety of aircraft including the B-2A,
F16, and the B-1B. The retrofit will consist of repackaging the
Los Alamos physics package and Sandia's arming fuzing, and firing
(AF&F) electronics into a new one-piece steel earth-penetrating
center-case designed by Sandia. We have conducted 13 full-scale
drop tests this year...(I believe they are referring to 96...the
article's date is missing - Bruce)... three in Alaska and 10 at the
Tonopah Test Range, in support of the development program. Sandia
has also designed and is fabricating for the Air Force ten trainers
and nine sets of handling gear. The program is on schedule and
B61-7 to B61-11 retrofit kits were to be delivered to the Air Force
in December 1996. Retrofits were scheduled to begin in January
The Kansas City plant continues to do the fabrication work for
the B61-11 until at least 1999 - Bruce
JANE'S DEFENSE WEEKLY
March 5, 1997
USA WILL STUDY GROWING UNDERGROUND THREATS
By Barbara Starr
The threat posed by a growing number of underground facilities
in nations unfriendly to the USA will be the subject of a report
commissioned by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology, Paul Kaminski.
The Defense Science Board (DSB) will report on the military
and security threat posed by such underground facilities as command
and control bunkers, ballistic missile sites and production and
storage facilities for weapons of mass destruction.
Kaminski referred particularly to two sites: the underground
chemical weapons facility at Tarhunah in Libya, and "a huge
underground facility in Russia whose purpose is undetermined."
Ordering the study, Kamininski said that underground
facilities can "appear in a number of forms."
This includes tunneling in mountains, "cut and cover"
construction, hardened buildings above ground or basement
facilities under urban civilian buildings.
The DSB was asked to look at three areas:
* The ability to find the facility. Kaminski said that
facilities in remote areas are "not well covered by National
sensors," and "we generally have little human intelligence [HUMINT]
from such areas." The DSB was asked to examine potential
collection and analysis techniques for timely detection and
location of facilities.
* An examination of observation and assessment methods to
determine the vulnerabilities of underground sites, including
understanding site functions, connections and access to the outside
and the interior structure. "This is a technically daunting task
unless we have HUMINT sources or we have observed the construction
of cut and cover," Kaminski said.
"A remaining option, however, is to neutralise the functioning
of the facility by attacking its external connections to the
outside world...[that is] destroy its entrances, power, air supply
and communications for a period of time," he said. The DSB is to
assess military strike tactics and tools.
The DSB report is due by year-end, with an interim report due
mid-year to provide guidance for the future budget.