FACT CHECK: Is The U.S. Testing The ‘Deadliest Nuclear Bomb’?
A post shared on Facebook purports the U.S. is testing the “deadliest nuclear bomb” to deter China and Russia.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Air Force denied the claim. The U.S. is not testing the “deadliest nuclear bomb.”
The U.S. Air Force test launched the Minuteman III missile Aug. 16 to “demonstrated the readiness of U.S. nuclear forces,” according to CNN. The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was tested at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and traveled to a range near the Marshall Islands, the outlet reported.
The Facebook post, which has been shared over 470 times, claims the U.S. is testing the “deadliest nuclear bomb” in an effort to deter Russian and Chinese foreign policy. “U.S. Is Testing New Deadliest Nuclear Bomb That Shocks Russia And China,” reads the post’s caption.
A link provided in the post generates an article from Military BillCyber whose headline reads, “US Is Testing New Most Deadly Nuclear Bomb From B-1B Lancer.” The article purports that the U.S Air Force is recalling the bomber but will upgrade its remaining models with “new hypersonic weaponry” and be used to conduct hypersonic missile tests beginning in September 2022.
The claim is false. There are no credible news reports to suggest the U.S. Air Force is conducting such nuclear testing or is planning to follow up on its Minuteman III test. The claim also does not appear on the U.S. Air Force’s website or its verified social media pages.
A keyword search generates a 2021 article from The Drive, which repeats the claim that the remaining B-1B Lancers will be upgraded with hypersonic weaponry until the B-21 Raider arrives. While the article does highlight the B-1 did once intend to carry nuclear warheads, it was disabled after the Cold War and is not actively being considered to be reactivated. (RELATED: Did The US And NATO Send Fighter Jets To Ukraine?)
“This information is not accurate. The B-1 does not carry nuclear weapons,” said U.S. Air Force spokesperson Joshua Benedetti in an email statement to Check Your Fact.
Check Your Fact also reached out to Boeing for comment but a spokesperson deferred to the U.S. Air Force for comment on their plans regarding the B-1B Lancer.
This is not the first time misinformation about nuclear warheads have circulated on social media. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting the Israeli army sunk a Russian nuclear submarine.