U.S. Media Warns F-35’s New Bomb Will Allow One Stealth Fighter to Kill 310,000 Russians in Moscow

The United States Air Force’s new B61-13 tactical nuclear bomb will allow a single F-35 fifth generation fighter to kill over 310,000 inhabitants of the Russian capital Moscow in a single strike, according to a report from New York based media outlet Newsweek. Should the bomb be dropped on central St Petersburg, which is more densely populated, the death toll would rise to over 360,000. Anything within a half-mile radius of the bomb’s detonation site being vaporised by a massive fireball – while those within two miles of the detonation site would die within a month due to radiation exposure. 15 percent of further survivors would die of cancer, and many more would suffer life altering burns. Reports on the possibility of nuclear war have been published with growing frequency since tensions between Russia and NATO increased in early 2022, with growing acknowledgement in recent weeks that the Russian-Ukrainian War is going badly for Western interests further raising the possibility of a Western Bloc intervention in the theatre against Russian forces. The U.S. Military announced plans to develop the new B61-13 bomb on October 27, which is expected to have a maximum yield of around 350 kilotons compared to a maximum yield of around 50 kilotons on the widely used B61-12 bomb and a yield of just 15 kilotons on the Little Boy bomb used to destroy the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. A Pentagon report summarised that the new bomb was intended to “provide the President with additional options against certain harder and large-area military targets.” 

The Russian Defence Ministry and the country’s civilian leadership have repeatedly raised serious concerns regarding rapidly expanding NATO nuclear strike capabilities near Russian territory, with tactical nuclear weapons such as the B61 bombs in particular seen to pose a serious threat as more ‘useable’ assets compared to strategic nuclear assets which have even larger yields. Although still plagued with around 800 performance bugs and considered far from ready for high intensity combat, the F-35 still poses a major threat to Russia not only as an airborne sensor platform, air to air combat asset, and strike fighter, but also for its potential to serve as a nuclear bomber. As the only Western stealth fighter able to carry nuclear weapons, the F-35’s ability to evade radar detection has made a very large numbers deployed across Russia’s borders from Eastern Europe to the Arctic and the Western Pacific highly threatening, posing a much greater challenge to air defences than older fighter classes. America’s ability to deliver nuclear strikes using stealth aircraft is set to be expanded considerably not only as issues with the F-35 are gradually addressed, but also as the new B-21 stealth bomber is brought into service near the end of the decade with the potential to deploy multiple nuclear warheads per aircraft.

Russia has invested heavily in a range of assets capable of providing a degree of protection against stealth fighters, including a ground based air defence network widely considered the world’s most formidable. At the core of this is the S-400 system which deploys radars operating in multiple complementary wavebands to improve detection capabilities against stealth aircraft, with new Su-35 and Su-57 fighters also deploying multiple radars for similar purposes. The new S-500 system has increased the network’s situational awareness, while providing the ability to neutralise satellites and airborne refuelling aircraft at extreme ranges which are key to F-35 operations. Russia has also invested heavily in enhancing its capabilities to strike airbases hosting F-35s across enemy territories including on the American mainland itself, with the fighters being particularly vulnerable to such attacks due to their high maintenance needs and short ranges. These characteristics force the aircraft to spend considerable time on the ground for each hour in the air and require bases near their targets to operate effectively.