US to construct B61-13 nuclear gravity bombs

by Zach Rosenberg

An F-35A Lightning II drops a mock B61-12 at Sandia National Laboratories' Tonopah Test Range in November 2020. The new B61-13 will augment the B61-12. (Sandia National Laboratories)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it would construct a new type of nuclear gravity bomb, designated B61-13, to complement B61-12 production.

The new bombs are intended to replace some of the B61-7 stockpile while retaining a similar nuclear yield, according to a 27 October announcement. Although production of a new bomb is ongoing, designated the B61-12, the B61-13s are to have a larger yield and provide “additional options against certain harder and large-area military targets”, according to the announcement.

The B61-7 yield can be up to 360 Kt, according to previous Janes reporting, while the B61-12 is capable of yields of up to 340 Kt.

Production of the new bombs is not intended to increase the US's total nuclear stockpile. Instead, production of the new bombs is to come at the expense of B61-12 production, according to the department. As of 2020 Janes


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USMC planning to field M72 LAW FFE variants after delay

by Meredith Roaten

Development of the new M72 FFE round has been finalised, and is expected to enter all-up production in 2020. (Nammo)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) will field its first variants of the M72 Light Assault Weapon Fire from Enclosure munitions (LAW FFE) by the end of calendar year 2024, according to a 20 May announcement.

The planned acquisition was first announced in 2020, according to a solicitation released in July 2020. In December 2021 Nammo Defense Systems won a USD498 million contract to build M72 variants with an expected fielding date of fiscal year 2022, according to a press release.

Now, the fielding is expected sometime in calendar year 2024, according to the May release. The delay is due to upgrades to Nammo's facility in Mesa, Arizona, which builds the weapons systems, said Morgan Blackstock, USMC spokesperson.

The company “took time and spent significant investment” to add the ability to manufacture tubes in-house and an automated production line, Blackstock said in an email on 22 May. “Enhanced” safety procedures were also inserted in the production line, according to Blackstock.


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Future Artillery 2024: Germany plans to procure PULS MRLs

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany plans to procure five PULS MRLs in co-operation with the Netherlands. (Elbit Systems)

Germany plans to procure five Precise and Universal Launching System (PULS) multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) as an option under the government-to-government agreement between the Israeli and Dutch ministries of defence (MoDs) for 20 of the MRLs signed in May 2023, Janes learnt at Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2024 conference held in Paris from 21 to 23 May.

The decision to procure the systems is still pending, but Janes understands that the MRLs would be evaluated until 2027, after which Germany will decide whether to procure 89 EuroPULS systems, which are being marketed in Europe as part of KNDS Deutschland's co-operation with Elbit Systems.

The German Army plans to procure EuroPULS for its corps-level long-range artillery with ranges of at least 300 km.

The last PULS for the Netherlands is scheduled to be delivered in 2026. Denmark has received all eight of the PULSs and most of their ammunition under a contract awarded to Elbit during the first quarter of 2023. Janes received confirmation at Future Artillery 2024 that Spain has also ordered PULS.

For more information on PULS, please see


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Future Artillery 2024: CAESAR Mk II SPH to be unveiled at Eurosatory

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The CAESAR 6×6 Mk II NG SPH will make its debut at Eurosatory 2024. (Nexter)

The CAESAR 6×6 Mk II New Generation (NG) self-propelled howitzer (SPH) will be unveiled at the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition to be held in Paris from 17 to 21 June, Janes learnt at Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2024 conference being held in the French capital from 21 to 23 May.

Janes understands that the SPH is undergoing trials. Development of the CAESAR Mk II has been under way since it was launched in December 2021.

The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, awarded Nexter a contract for 109 CAESAR 6×6 Mk II NG SPHs, KNDS announced on 2 February. It is scheduled to replace the French Army's AuF1 tracked SPHs and CAESAR Mk Is from 2026 to 2031. The order is foreseen by France's Loi de Programmation Militaire 2024–2030 military funding programme. Belgium has ordered 28 CAESAR Mk IIs.


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The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it would construct a new type of nuclear gravity b...

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