The Air Force awarded Boeing a $179 million contract to design a new tail-kit assembly for the B61 free-fall nuclear bomb as part of the B61 Mod 12 Life Extension Program, announced the company on Nov. 27, 2012. The Air Force is pursuing the LEP to improve the decades-old bomb's overall safety, security, and use control, and to ensure its functionality on the F-35 strike fighter as part of the US extended nuclear deterrent. Here, a B-2 stealth bomber drops a B61 (shown within red circle) during a test at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada in 2011.
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