New B-21 Bomber or B-2 Mod 1?

By Hans M. Kristensen The US Air Force has published the first official image of the next-generation bomber, formerly known as LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber). Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James revealed the image during her talk to the 2016 Air Warfare Symposium and gave it its official designation: B-21. The “21” refers to the […]

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PBS Newshour Takes On The Holy Nuclear Triad

By Hans M. Kristensen It has almost become dogma: the United States needs to keep a Triad of strategic nuclear forces. Therefore, expensive modernization of every leg is necessary plus a fourth leg of non-strategic fighter-jets. Oh, and don’t forget nuclear command and control systems such as terminals and satellites. Without that, deterrence of potential adversaries […]

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Pentagon Portrays Nuclear Modernization As Response to Russia

By Hans M. Kristensen The final defense budget of the Obama administration effectively crowns this administration as the nuclear modernization leader of post-Cold War U.S. presidencies. While official statements so far have mainly justified the massive nuclear modernization as simply extending the service-life of existing capabilities, the Pentagon now explicitly paints the nuclear modernization as […]

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RAND Report Questions Nuclear Role In Defending Baltic States

By Hans M. Kristensen The RAND Corporation has published an interesting new report on how NATO would defend the Baltic States against a Russian attack. Without spending much time explaining why Russia would launch a military attack against the Baltic States in the first place – the report simply declares “the next [after Ukraine] most […]

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Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons At Sea

By Hans M. Kristensen Remember during the Cold War when US Navy warships and attack submarines sailed the World’s oceans bristling with nuclear weapons and routinely violated non-nuclear countries’ bans against nuclear weapons on their territories in peacetime? The weapons were onboard ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines, aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, frigates and supply […]

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Video Shows Earth-Penetrating Capability of B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

By Hans M. Kristensen and Matthew McKinzie* The capability of the new B61-12 nuclear bomb seems to continue to expand, from a simple life-extension of an existing bomb, to the first U.S. guided nuclear gravity bomb, to a nuclear earth-penetrator with increased accuracy. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) previously published pictures of the drop […]

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North Korea’s Fourth Nuclear Test: What Does it Mean?

By Charles D. Ferguson North Korea’s boast on January 5 about having detonated a “hydrogen bomb,” the colloquial name for a thermonuclear explosive, seems highly hyperbolic due to the relatively low estimated explosive yield, as inferred from the reported seismic magnitude of about 4.8 (a small- to moderately-sized event). More important, I think the Korean Central […]

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Kalibr: Savior of INF Treaty?

By Hans M. Kristensen With a series of highly advertised sea- and air-launched cruise missile attacks against targets in Syria, the Russian government has demonstrated that it doesn’t have a military need for the controversial ground-launched cruise missile that the United States has accused Russia of developing and test-launching in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range […]

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