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Home World Pentagon estimates cost of replacing nuclear missiles at $95.8 billion

Pentagon estimates cost of replacing nuclear missiles at $95.8 billion

By: AP | Washington |

Up to date: October 20, 2020 12:12:37 pm

This picture taken on Oct. 2, 2019 reveals an unarmed Minuteman three intercontinental ballistic missile take a look at launch at Vandenberg Air Power Base, California. (Employees Sgt. J.T. Armstrong/U.S. Air Power through AP)

The Pentagon has raised to $95.eight billion the estimated value of fielding a brand new fleet of land-based nuclear missiles to exchange the Minuteman three arsenal that has operated constantly for 50 years, officers stated Monday.

The estimate is up about $10 billion from 4 years in the past.

The weapons, often known as intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, are supposed as a part of a near-total alternative of the American nuclear pressure over the following few a long time at a complete value of greater than $1.2 trillion.

Some, together with former Protection Secretary William J. Perry, argue that U.S. nationwide safety may be ensured with out ICBMs, however the Pentagon says they’re important to deterring battle. The Trump administration affirmed its dedication to fielding a brand new technology of ICBMs in a 2018 assessment of nuclear coverage.

“The ICBM pressure is very survivable towards any however a large-scale nuclear assault,” the assessment concluded. “To destroy U.S. ICBMs on the bottom, an adversary would wish to launch a exactly coordinated assault with lots of of high-yield and correct warheads. That is an insurmountable problem for any potential adversary immediately, excluding Russia.”

The present fleet of 400 deployed Minuteman missiles, every armed with a single nuclear warhead, is predicated in underground silos in Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. Their numbers are ruled partly by the 2010 New START treaty with Russia, which is because of expire in February. Russia needs to increase the treaty however the Trump administration has set circumstances not accepted by Moscow.

The U.S. is also constructing a brand new fleet of ballistic missile submarines to exchange the present Ohio-class strategic subs; a brand new long-range nuclear-capable bomber to exchange the B-2 stealth plane; a next-generation air-launched nuclear cruise missile; and a brand new nuclear command and communications system. It is also engaged on up to date warheads, together with an ICBM warhead alternative for an estimated $14.eight billion.

The nuclear modernization program was launched by the Obama administration and has been continued by President Donald Trump. Democrat Joe Biden has stated that if elected in November he would think about discovering methods to cut back this system.

The Pentagon’s $95.eight billion value estimate for the Minuteman alternative was first reported by Bloomberg News. The Pentagon supplied the estimate to Congress final month however had, till Monday, refused to launch it publicly.

Final month the Air Power awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.three billion contract for engineering and manufacturing growth of the brand new missiles. The whole “lifecycle” value, together with working and sustaining the missiles over their anticipated lifetime into the 2070s, is about at $263.9 billion.

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