The B61 bombs are the oldest bombs in the operational arsenal – first deployed in the 1960s. The Life Extension Program is intended to update and overhaul the warheads to keep them in the arsenal for decades to come, allowing the B61 to continue serving as the last remaining tactical nuclear warhead in the arsenal. The bombs remain deployed in Europe, despite broad recognition that they have no military utility.
Unfortunately, the life extension program (LEP) for the B-61 nuclear bomb is now projected to cost $10 billion. When we first heard that, some quipped that the bomb must be gold-plated. It’s not. That would be too cheap.