The latest North Korean ICBM test brings major parts of U.S in its range. HWASONG-14 was successfully tested on Friday and may have a range of 10,000 Km. Kim Jong Un is quoted as saying “the whole US mainland” is now within North Korea’s reach. He called Pyongyang’s weapons program “a precious asset” that cannot be reversed nor replaced, according to Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The state controlled media added that Washington should regard the launch as a “grave warning.” U.S will have to accept the fact that now its mainland can be targeted by North Korea, which was never the case till now. As the situation remain tense with no signs of easing, we look at a specific weapon possessed by U.S that can be play a major part if U.S chooses a military option against North Korea.

In this video, Defense Updates analyzes the capabilities of B2 Spirit bomber and examines WHY EVEN A SINGLE B2 COULD BE ENOUGH TO TAKE OUT NORTH KOREAN MILITARY? Lets get started. The B-2 Spirit was developed to take over the United States Air Force’s (USAF) vital penetration missions, able to travel deep into enemy territory to deploy their ordnance, which could include nuclear weapons. The B-2 is a flying wing aircraft, meaning it has no fuselage or tail. The blending of low-observable technologies with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2 significant advantages over previous bombers. Stealth capability provides greater freedom of action as the bomber can evade enemy air defenses.

Currently only Russia may have the radar technology to detect B -2, though the effectiveness is still not known. North Korea is far off from having this kind of radar technology. B-2 Sprit has a maximum speed of Mach 0.95. The U.S. Air Force reports B2’s range as approximately 6,900 miles or 11,000 km. B2 has an excellent payload, which makes even single one to be extremely destructive. It has 2 internal bays for ordnance and payload with an official limit of 40,000 lb (18,000 kg) and maximum estimated limit of 50,000 lb (23,000 kg). So it can have different weapons configuration, which are noted as follows: 1. 80× 500 lb class bombs like Mk-82 or GBU-38 2.36× 750 lb CBU class bombs 3. 16× 2,000 lb class bombs like Mk-84 or GBU-31 4.

AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) 5. 16× B61 or B83 nuclear bombs on Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA) Because of its range and stealth capability, B 2 will be able to strike deep inside the North Korea. Its payload enables it to carry not only huge amount of conventional bombs but also nukes. Now let us check how powerful are the B61 or B83 nukes that can be deployed by B-2. The B61 nuclear bomb is the primary thermonuclear gravity bomb in the U.S. cache. It is a low to intermediate-yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design. The weapon is m (11 ft 8 in) long, with a diameter of about 13 inches.

Its basic weight is about 320 kg (700 pounds), although the weights of individual weapons may vary depending on version and fuze/retardation configuration. The B61 is a variable yield, kiloton-range weapon. Tactical versions (Mods 3, 4, and 10) can be set to 0.3, 1.5, 5, 10, 45, 60, 80, or 170 kiloton explosive yield. The strategic version (B61 Mod 7) has 4 yield options, with a maximum of 340 kilotons. The B83 thermonuclear weapon is a variable-yield gravity bomb developed by the United States in the late 1970s, entering service in 1983. The bomb is meters (12 ft) long, with a diameter of 18 inches. The bomb weighs approximately 1,100 kilograms (2,400 pounds). With a maximum yield of megatons of TNT, it is the most powerful free-fall nuclear weapon in the United States arsenal. North Korea has conducted 5 nuclear tests till now.

The most powerful device, which was detonated on Sept 2016, had a force equivalent of 25 kilotons of TNT, according to the most analysis. Trinity Test in New Mexico in July 1945, which ushered in the nuclear age, had a yield of 20 kilo tons. Hiroshima’s “Little Boy” bomb had a yield of 13-18 kilo tons whereas Nagasaki’s “Fat Man” bomb had a yield of 20–22 kilo tons of TNT. So, B 61 in its top configuration having 340 kilo tons, is about 17 times more powerfully than Fat Man bomb. Like wise, B 83 in its top configuration of megatons, is about 50 times more destructive than Fat Man bomb. No sanctions or diplomatic pressure has been able to compel North Korea into slowing down its nuclear and missile programs. The frantic pace of missile tests clearly indicates its leaderships resolve to develop and deploy long-range missiles with nuclear warhead. The latest ballistic missile test has severely raised the stakes on the Korean peninsula, but US has limited military choices to tackle the threat from Pyongyang without risking retaliation that has the potential to destroy South Korean capital Seoul.

Day after the missile test on Saturday, a evidently concerned President Trump slammed China in a series of tweets: “I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!” As Trump administration weighs in the options including military once, B 2 Spirit could be the weapon of choice as it has the capability to inflict a lethal precision strike with option of using nukes.

A strike like this could be aimed at North Korean military infrastructure, taking out vital assets in one swift go. With possibly millions of lives at stake, it is to be seen how Trump administration deals with the situation. .

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