Saving Billions on the US Nuclear Deterrent
The United States Air Force has initiated a program to replace its current arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with an entirely new missile force known as the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The GBSD’s price tag continues to grow beyond initial expectations, with the program on track to become one of the country’s most expensive nuclear-related budgetary items over the next decade.
The GBSD is risky, draws funding away from more urgent priorities, and will exacerbate the Pentagon’s budget crisis. A better approach would be to extend the life of the current ICBM force (the Minuteman III) in the near term, while spreading the costs of nuclear modernization out over the longer term. This approach will ensure that the United States can field a capable ICBM force on a continuous basis without compromising other critical security priorities.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons, and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
On 14 April 2023, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence released a short video of a Su-25 pilot explaining his new role in delivering “special [nuclear] munitions” following his training in Russia. The features seen in the video, as well as several other open-source clues, suggest that Lida Air Base––located only 40 kilometers from the Lithuanian border and the […]
A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student briefing from 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb.
In early-February 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) had informed Congress that China now has more launchers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) than the United States. The report is the latest in a serious of revelations over the past four years about China’s growing nuclear weapons arsenal and the deepening […]