By: Tyler Callese America’s Aging Nuclear Deterrent
Thesis America’s aging nuclear deterrent must be either modernized or have a life extension program enacted because of the imminent threat posed by foreign nuclear powers and their efforts to modernize.
Current Stockpile • Two Categories • Strategic • Tactical
Strategic Stockpile • 1,050 land-based delivered by the Minuteman ICBM Length: 59.9 ft Weight: 80,000 lbs. Range: 6000 Miles Speed: 15,000 MPH Date end of Production: December 1978
Strategic Stockpile • 1,955 Air-based warheads carried by B-52, B-1B, and B-2 Bombers
B-52 Bomber w/ Full Armament Nuclear Armament- Mk-53 nuclear Warhead Yield: 52 MT Last Produced- June 1965
B-1B Bomber Nuclear Armament-B-83 Yield: Variable Low Kiloton to 1.2 MT Last Produced: 1991
B-2 Bomber • Nuclear Armament:B-61 Last Produced: 1968
Strategic Stockpile Cont. • 2,016 Sea-based warheads carried on Ohio Class Subs • W-76 Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile • Last Produced July1987
Tactical Stockpile • 100 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles • W-80-1 Nuclear Advanced Cruise Missile Warhead • Last Produced: August 1990
Tactical Stockpile cont. • B61 Surface to Surface Cruise Missile • Range- 250 Miles • W-5 Nuclear Warhead • Last Produced: July 1963
What’s the Problem? • These weapons are the only thing protecting our country from a nuclear holocaust. Do you trust your life to a 30 year old bomb with as much technology as a calculator today? = =
State of America’s Nuclear Arsenal • Aging, almost primitive weapons • No means to manufacture new weapons should the need arise • No young Ph.D.’s to replace the old and retiring nuclear engineers who built the earlier bombs • AND THE BIGGEST REASON…
A Deterrent is credible only if the enemies believe it will work, that means modernization.
What the other Nuclear Powers Are doing Concerning Modernization
Russia • Developing new land and sea-based missiles • Maintaining abiltity to manufacture warheads • Building new missile defense shield Russia’s nuclear arsenal
China • Developing new land, sea, and air based missiles • Maintains ability to manufacture new warheads Chinese Nuclear Bombs
America… • Obama supports decreasing nuclear stockpile • This is fine if and only if: • America pursues a modernization program so as the reliability of the missiles offsets the number
The Two Options for America Modernization • Renovation of nuclear deterrent • New nuclear research iniatives Life Extension Program • Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program • Make Component Modifications as needed to maintain first strike capability
Final Thought No matter what, America must do something. America cannot sit by and watch allow other countries to gain an edge over us. Current: There is currently a Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States in session. The final report will be issued in later this year and will address this problem.