ICBMs

F-35 Wing Assembly Cameri Italy

WASHINGTON: The Air Force’s top priority programs — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Long Range Strike Bomber, and the KC-46 tanker — will cause Pentagon procurement spending to balloon in the early 2020s, says one of the capital’s leading defense budget experts. Army ground combat programs are also increasing rapidly, but they are rising from such… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

Lost in much of the initial coverage of the $80 billion Long Range Strike Bomber about specs and jobs is that the contract award is the latest step forward in an unnecessary and unsustainable projected spending binge to rebuild the U.S. nuclear arsenal in its current image. According to a January 2015 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, the direct costs of the… Keep reading →

MDA Photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: Three years after the Missile Defense Agency mothballed its massive Airborne Laser, MDA is planning to reboot the concept for a new era. The old ABL was Boeing 747 with a human crew and tanks of toxic chemicals to generate power. The new idea a high-altitude, long-endurance drone armed with a more compact… Keep reading →

nuclear-bomb-3-1311017067

WASHINGTON: Nuclear weapons are expensive. So are the bombers, missiles, and submarines used to deliver them. But in the context of total defense spending, budget guru Todd Harrison argues, they’re a relatively affordable — and strategically critical — part of our armed forces. Even a package of radical cuts to nuclear forces — reducing submarines… Keep reading →

COCOM map2

In his 1940 book, The New World Order, H.G. Wells wrote, “I think that in the decades before 1914 not only I but most of my generation – in the British Empire, America, France, and indeed throughout most of the civilized world – thought that war was dying out.” That assertion now seems naïve, even childish.… Keep reading →

Test of a Navy Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

CAPITOL HILL: As the Air Force train pulls out of the station, the Navy’s running alongside asking to be pulled aboard. Both services will need to replace aging nuclear missiles sometime ca. 2030. They could save money by coordinating their modernization programs — but the Air Force is on a tighter schedule and the window… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

WASHINGTON: The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee sounded pretty sympathetic today to the Navy’s plan for a separate budget line to fund a new generation of nuclear missile submarines. But Rep. Mac Thornberry, known for his close attention to detail, also said he understood it was very important to use the right… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

The Ploughshares Fund shares the Obama’s Administration’s goal of eventually eliminating all nuclear weapons. Whether you agree with that goal or not, Tom Collina of the fund offers here a choice that those on the outer reaches of both political parties may agree on: forcing the Navy to live within its regular budget. The service, and… Keep reading →

Minuteman III in silo

The United States Air Force needs to replace the Minuteman III ICBM fleet at the three nuclear missile bases in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota. Critics decry the cost of a proposed replacement, thought to be in the range of several hundred billion dollars. Their main argument against replacing ICBMs is not the cost of replacing the… Keep reading →

DF-ST-82-03511

PENTAGON: It isn’t official but Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work hinted today that the United States will undertake a fundamental reordering of its national security budget by paying for new nuclear submarines, new nuclear bombers and new ICBMs in new accounts set aside just for them. “This is something we have discussed in the department,” Work… Keep reading →

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