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Author Topic: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY  (Read 431487 times)

Offline bobbymike

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Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« on: November 29, 2011, 05:45:03 pm »
Decided to start a new topic capturing current nuclear weapons news of interest. Other SP members please feel free to to add stories, links, reports, etc. that you find in your Interwebz searches  ;)

 Further U.S. Nuclear Tests Highly Unlikely: Former NNSA Chief
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 By Diane Barnes

Global Security Newswire   WASHINGTON -- The United States is “almost certain” never to conduct another test detonation of a nuclear device, a former top U.S. nuclear weapons official said on Monday (see GSN, Oct. 21).  In the nearly 20 years since the nation’s last nuclear trial, technological alternatives to such detonations have advanced substantially while political obstacles to testing have grown close to insurmountable, said Linton Brooks, who headed the National Nuclear Security Administration from 2002 to 2007 under President George W. Bush.


The negotiation in the early 1990s of a global ban on atomic trial blasts marked “the beginning of the end of the U.S. nuclear testing era,” Arms Control Association head Daryl Kimball added in a panel discussion. The independent expert called for U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the Senate previously rejected in 1999. Upon taking legal effect, the pact would prohibit explosive nuclear testing by any member state. “The United States current bears all the responsibilities of a CTBT signatory state, but because we haven’t ratified, we do not enjoy the considerable benefits of a legally binding global ban,” including the ability to demand on-site inspections of suspected violators, Kimball said.


The 182-signatory pact cannot become binding until it is ratified by 44 "Annex 2" states that participated in drafting the 1996 treaty while operating nuclear power or research facilities. Nine of those nations have yet to acquire legislative approval for the agreement: China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States. The U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program has achieved significant strides in obviating the need for test explosions to ensure the U.S. nuclear arsenal remains safe, secure and reliable, Brooks said. The effort, which includes surveillance of aging weapons and production of replacement components, is overseen by the semiautonomous Energy Department agency he once led. During his tenure, Congress repeatedly refused to provide funding for basic preparations that would be required to resume testing. “We aren’t going to test,” Brooks said. “Therefore, the question is not, ‘Should you support stockpile stewardship because you like the CTBT?’ The question is, ‘Should you support stockpile stewardship because you think it’s important that nuclear weapons remain safe, secure, reliable and effective?’”


Nuclear test blasts carried out during the Cold War were not intended to confirm that fielded U.S. systems operated as intended, said the former official, now a consultant to four Energy Department laboratories and a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “This was not like you pull every 18th device off an assembly line and test it to make sure it works,” he said. “It gathered data, it was a tool of scientific exploration. And the question, therefore, for the Stockpile Stewardship [Program] is, ‘Can we replace that tool [testing] with another?’” Advocates consider the treaty a means of discouraging explosive tests necessary for the development of new or more sophisticated nuclear weapons, but detractors contend that a U.S. pledge never to conduct such work could undermine confidence in the country’s nuclear deterrent (see GSN, July 15).


The Obama administration has pledged to bring the treaty before the Senate for ratification, though the schedule for that initiative remains unclear. Kimball warned that insufficient time remains for the Senate to scrutinize, debate and vote on the test ban treaty prior to the November 2012 elections. To help lay the groundwork for legislative consideration of the pact in 2013, the Obama administration should “step up its CTBT outreach work and … pursue a fact-based, quiet discussion with Senate offices and staff about the issues that are at the center of the [treaty] discussion,” he said. Brooks said he had observed no serious discussion of a potential resumption in regular U.S. nuclear testing. “What’s on at the very most, even from enthusiasts for testing outside the government, is two or three tests. And nobody is prepared to divert the funds from stockpile stewardship into two or three tests,” he said.


“There is no plausible situation in which current stockpile stewardship and the deep scientific understanding … will not be enough to ensure the safety, security and reliability of our nuclear weapons for the indefinite future,” Brooks later added. The program “has been successful to date,” though its future effectiveness would depend on updates to nuclear weapons facilities and a continued infusion of skilled personnel, said Marvin Adams, a veteran nuclear weapons scientist who has served at the Los Alamos, Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories. To date, the U.S. arsenal’s safety, security and reliability -- and the absence of need for new tests -- has been verified each year by the Defense and Energy secretaries, the directors of the three nuclear-weapon laboratories and the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Adams said. Brooks noted that the NNSA administrator cannot influence the findings of the annual stockpile assessment.


Brooks said he was unaware of any proposal for a new nuclear weapon that would require testing, including a potential deep earth penetrator. “It’s not just against our current policy, it’s solving a problem that we don’t appear to have,” he said. The former NNSA chief said he had not heard from technical experts “opposed to the CTBT” any potential “safety or security problem that’s so great that the only way you can fix it was to involve nuclear testing.” In addition, it is “extremely difficult” to conceive of a problem that would require testing to diagnose a problem or certify a solution, he said. Putting the treaty into effect might deter Iran from potentially conducting a nuclear-weapon test, panel experts suggested. The Middle Eastern nation maintains its uranium enrichment operations operations are strictly civilian in nature (see related GSN story, today).


Brooks noted, though, that every past test of a uranium-based weapon has proven successful, and South Africa maintained a small nuclear arsenal for a period with no testing. “CTBT does not prevent people from developing nuclear weapons,” he said. If Iran opted against nuclear testing under a potential CTBT regime, it would have less confidence in any nuclear-capable missile it produced, Adams said. The nation might still move to produce such delivery systems, he added. 

 
 U.K. Commits $3.1B to New Nuke Facilities Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011    The United Kingdom has committed $3.1 billion for work on new nuclear arms facilities before the government has made a final determination on whether to replace its submarine-based nuclear deterrent, the London Guardian reported on Monday (see GSN, Oct. 24). The Conservative Party, which leads the current British coalition government, has thrown its support behind a Labor-era initiative to build four new ballistic missile submarines to replace Vanguard-class vessels slated for retirement in the 2020s. Cost estimates for the plan have risen in the last year to as much as $40 billion, according to a previous report. The government has said it would delay a final decision to construct the submarines until after the 2015 election. A decision is also pending on replacing the nuclear-tipped missiles carried by the submarines. The funds would play a role in preventing problems involving the nation's current nuclear warheads, and would uphold the capacity to develop an additional weapon "should that be required," the British Defense Ministry said. The money includes $1.15 billion for a weapon construction and dismantlement site dubbed "Mensa"; a $989 million bomb-grade uranium site dubbed "Pegasus"; and a $361 million explosives facility dubbed "Circinus." 



"This investment maintains the safety of the current Trident warhead stockpile by sustaining essential facilities and skills," according to a Defense Ministry spokeswoman. "It also helps maintain the capability to design a replacement warhead should that be required following decisions in the next parliament." "The fact that the [Defense Ministry] signed off on these costs before a decision has even been made on replacing the Trident warhead makes a complete mockery of the democratic process," countered Green Party lawmaker Caroline Lucas. The new facilities could remain operational for more than four decades, said Peter Burt of the Nuclear Information Service. "By spending billions of pounds now, the MoD is trying to force the hands of future governments into developing a new nuclear warhead, regardless of whether it will be necessary or affordable," he said (Rob Edwards, London Guardian, Nov. 28).
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It would be very interesting if US politicians tied our weapons laboratories and scientists hands to the point that we "subcontract" our weapons work to the British. Some say it all started with Rutherford anyway so there is a fine tradition of British Boffinry. I say why not.

 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 06:00:00 am by Jemiba »
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 08:47:42 am »
Georgetown students shed light on China’s tunnel system for nuclear weapons http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/georgetown-students-shed-light-on-chinas-tunnel-system-for-nuclear-weapons/2011/11/16/gIQA6AmKAO_story.html?hpid=z1
 
Most of the attention has focused on the 363-page study’s provocative conclusion — that China’s nuclear arsenal could be many times larger than the well-established estimates of arms-control experts.
“It’s not quite a bombshell, but those thoughts and estimates are being checked against what people think they know based on classified information,” said a Defense Department strategist who would discuss the study only on the condition of anonymity.
The study’s critics, however, have questioned the unorthodox Internet-based research of the students, who drew from sources as disparate as Google Earth, blogs, military journals and, perhaps most startlingly, a fictionalized TV docudrama about Chinese artillery soldiers — the rough equivalent of watching Fox’s TV show “24” for insights into U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 12:25:28 pm »
With China its the old hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That's why I always said Start II's 3500 warhead limit was far enough. I don't think China was prepared to "match us" at those levels at 1550 with a decaying nuclear weapons infrastructure..........maybe?
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Offline unclejim

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 05:48:17 pm »
Just a personal feeling but I seriously doubt that the Chicoms would settle for an Israeli level of warheads. I have been hearing and reading that the PRC has about 3-400 warheads for at least fifteen years. That maks no sense to me. Perhaps they have a limited number of delivery systems, ICBMs, H-6s and so forth. Production of warheads say 20 to thirty per year? "Arms-control specialists" are way too credulous about accepting at face value Chinese or indeed any nations claims regarding stockpile size.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 08:20:08 am »
Snapshot of ICBM Force:

The Air Force had 448 Minuteman III ICBMs on operational status in their silos as of Sept. 1, according to a State Department fact sheet issued on Thursday based on the periodic data exchanges now occurring between the United States and Russia under the provisions of the New START arms control agreement. It also had an additional 266 Minuteman III missiles on non-deployed status, 58 additional silos not in operational status, and six silos used for tests, states the fact sheet. While the Peacekeeper ICBM fleet is now out of service, some assets remain, and the United States must count them for the purposes of the treaty and its caps on strategic offensive warheads and launchers. The fact sheets states that there are still 58 non-deployed Peacekeeper missiles, 51 remaining silos, and one test silo. The Air Force has announced plans to eliminate 50 of those silos (see below).


New START Silo-Elimination Process Under Way:

The Air Force is moving forward with the task of eliminating 100 deactivated ICBM silos and their associated alert facilities in accordance with the provisions of the New START agreement with Russia. Air Force Global Strike Command officials announced on Thursday that environmental impact assessments are now under way at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., and Malmstrom AFB, Mont., per US law, to clear the way for this empty infrastructure to be imploded or filled with gravel to render it useless. The Air Force intends to get rid of 50 silos and 5 alert facilities at each of the two missile bases. At F.E. Warren, the service will eliminate former Peacekeeper missile silos and alert facilities once belonging to the 400th Missile Squadron. On the books for elimination at Malmstrom are Minuteman III silos and alert facilities formerly used by the 564th Missile Squadron. Under New START, the United States has until February 2018 to eliminate this infrastructure. (Barksdale release)
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Two observations:

1) As OBB's article shows we just don't know what is happening in China with regard to nuclear weapons. It might have been OK to not worry if they had 400 or 2000 warheads when we had 12,000 at the end of the Cold War or 6000 after Start I but we are rapidly disarming down to 1550 we should really insist the Chinese be part of any future weapons negotiations.

2) Under New Start the US is allowed a hedge force of 100 launchers so I would keep the 50+ Peacekeepers (and not destroy their silos) which could be deployed and uploaded to 10 MIRVs - see point 1) above for rationale.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 04:26:01 pm »
 Concerns Remain on New Plutonium Lab After Years of Planning Monday, Dec. 5, 2011   

The ultimate function of a planned multibillion-dollar plutonium research facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is still unresolved after years of planning. the Associated Press reported on Sunday. Questions on atomic safety and other matters also persist (see GSN, Oct. 24). The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement complex is intended to replace a World War II-era plutonium facility at an earthquake-prone location. However, the specific types of nuclear and plutonium research activities to be conducted there remain in question, according to AP. Officials argue the new plutonium complex will allow the laboratory to continue its role as the nation's leading center for nuclear arms upkeep and development by performing analytical research that will aid the work of the Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos -- the sole facility in the country in which plutonium warhead cores are produced.


Antinuclear groups accuse the Energy Department of seeking to ramp up generation of new nuclear bombs by turning what had primarily been a scientific institution into a weapons production plan. The activist Los Alamos Study Group has filed two separate lawsuits against the project. The anticipated final $5.8 billion expense for the facility exceeds by close to $1 billion New Mexico's entire yearly budget and represents a twofold boost from the annual appropriation for entire Los Alamos site. It comes at a time of severe federal belt-tightening. Still, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the nation's nuclear-weapon complex, is progressing forward with the laboratory. Project chief Herman Le-Doux said the blueprints have been modified to incorporate advice from the country's foremost specialists on earthquakes.


The semiautonomous Energy Department agency has "gone to great extremes" to make certain the complex could handle a seismic eruption of a maximum 7.3 magnitude. The majority of earthquake specialists think that a 7.3 magnitude earthquake is the strongest Los Alamos is likely to experience. However, a number of residents living in the area say there is not sufficient justification for taking the risk. The laboratory has faced danger from wildfires on two occasions in the last decade. "The Department of Energy has learned nothing from the Fukushima disaster," watchdog group Citizens Action New Mexico Director David McCoy said at a recent hearing on the laboratory. The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was caused by an earthquake and tsunami in March. The damaged plant has leaked radiation on a level not seen since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and has forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate from the area. Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Chairman Peter Winokur said "the board believes that no safety issue problem (in the nation's nuclear complex) is more pressing than the Plutonium Facility's vulnerability to a large earthquake" (see GSN, Nov. 18).


Winokur said the safety board has no worries about radiation fallout from an earthquake at the planned plutonium center so long as NNSA officials "follow through" in implementing all design plans. Los Alamos Study Group head Greg Mello countered that laboratory officials could not be trusted to implement all of the safety designs for the new plutonium center. "Los Alamos doesn't have the safety ethos needed for a facility that will store the bulk of the nation's stockpile of plutonium." Winokur highlighted two recent documents that touched on issues with atomic safeguards at Los Alamos. The memos show "that the operations out there are very challenging and that there is plenty of room for improvement," he said. Nonetheless, "it's fair so say" the contracting team that assumed management of Los Alamos in 006 has "improved safety at the sites," Winokur added.


The board chairman said he would leave it to Washington to judge the wisdom of building a new plutonium center near major earthquake fault lines. "I'll leave that to Congress and DOE about whether or not they want to build a facility of that nature in that region of the country where they do have a fairly large earthquake threat" he said (Jeri Clausing, Associated Press/Google News, Dec. 4). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Red print, really? The US needs to stay on the leading edge of all things nuclear and be able to research, develop and build a new generation of modern, robust nuclear warheads if required (also delivery systems but that is for another post).

 
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 05:37:59 pm »
From the Chicago Municipal Code.
 
Phase-out of present activities. No person shall knowingly, within the City of Chicago, design, produce, deploy, launch, maintain, or store nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons. This prohibition shall take effect two years after the adoption and publication of this ordinance...


...Each violation of this ordinance shall be punishable by up to 30 days’ imprisonment and a $1,000.00 fine. Each day of violation shall be deemed a separate violation.
 

Nuclear Free Zones- because nothing deters nuclear terrorism like the threat of 30 days in prison.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 07:20:33 pm »
No person shall knowingly, within the City of Chicago, design, produce, deploy, launch, maintain, or store nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons.

A fun thing to do: find some local designer/manufacturer of some mundane little trinket - a nut or bolt, say - and then show how that would be used in a nuclear weapon (thus they "design" a "component" of a nuclear weapon). Convince a city prosecutor to bring cherges. Then sit back and watch as the defense attorneys eviscerate the city, hopefully suing the city into bankruptcy.
 
Chicago sucks.
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Offline Triton

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 08:58:42 pm »
The nuclear weapon problem has just gotten out of hand in Chicago.  ;)

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 09:05:47 pm »
The nuclear weapon problem has just gotten out of hand in Chicago.  ;)

Given how well Illinois' anti-gun laws have done in Chicago, I can only imagine that by sometime next week gangbangers will be setting off H-bombs at various liquor stores along Lakeshore Drive.
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Offline Artie Bob

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 04:20:43 am »
IIRC, the world's first nuclear reactor lit off under a football stadium in Chicago.  Could this ordnance be just a NIMBY reminder of those heady days of early bomb research?
 
Best Regards,
 
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 01:29:44 pm »
Possibly related to Iran's Nuclear weapons program? :

Quote
An explosion at a steel factory in Iran has killed seven people including foreign nationals, say reports in Iranian state media.

The blast in the city of Yazd was caused by discarded ammunition which arrived at the plant with a consignment of scrap metal, the official Irna news agency reported.

It happened late on Sunday at the privately owned plant, Irna said.

At least 12 other people are reported to have been injured.

The governor of Yazd region in central Iran, Azizollah Seyfi, said "several of those killed were foreign nationals".

He gave no further details of their nationalities or what caused the blast, although he did say it was being investigated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16144780
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Offline Lauge

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 11:06:22 pm »
Possibly related to Iran's Nuclear weapons program? :

"The blast .... was caused by discarded ammunition which arrived at the plant with a consignment of scrap metal...."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16144780


If the quoted article is correct, I'd say it has no relation to any nuke program. Why in the Wide World of Sports would you transport discarded ammunition to a nuclear weapons research facility? Or scrap metal?
 
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 10:34:12 am »
The official Iranian explanation is that the blast was caused by discarded ammunition which arrived at the plant with a consignment of scrap metal.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 11:50:02 am »
Why in the Wide World of Sports would you transport discarded ammunition to a nuclear weapons research facility? Or scrap metal?

Discarded ammo: old Soviet suitcase nukes.
Scrap metal: bits of enriched uranium.
 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2011, 11:44:25 am »
I am trying to find an article I read recently that said "at this point the US is capable of producing about 40 new warheads a year at Los Alamos and will not have the ability to ramp up production until the 2023 completion of another facility"
 
Sorry for the paucity of information but this situation is scary given the lack of information we have about China's nuclear program. Also given that Russia has active production lines how did we let this happen?
 
Combine this with the lack of will, it seems, to modernize the Triad's deliver systems.........
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Offline Hobbes

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2011, 01:33:15 am »
You must be very pessimistic to think that the US needs more than 40 new warheads per year.

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2011, 01:27:13 am »
The future of American nuclear deterrance:
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2012, 07:06:09 am »
Strategic Review Suggests Potential New U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cuts

 The United States might have opportunities to achieve additional nuclear arsenal cuts without undermining its strategic deterrent, the Obama administration said in a defense planning document issued on Thursday (see GSN, Dec. 16, 2011).


 "As long as nuclear weapons remain in existence, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal. We will field nuclear forces that can under any circumstances confront an adversary with the prospect of unacceptable damage, both to deter potential adversaries and to assure U.S. allies and other security partners that they can count on America’s security commitments," the defense strategic guidance states. "It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our inventory as well as their role in U.S. national security strategy" (U.S. Defense Department release, Jan. 5).


 The document, released by President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a Pentagon press briefing, calls for an increased U.S. armed forces focus on Asia and the withdrawal of some military personnel from Europe, Reuters reported. The paper, which addresses spending plans only in general terms, was published amid efforts to reduce defense spending by no less than $450 billion over the next 10 years. ???
==========================

Submitted without commentary - gnashing teeth  >:(
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 07:12:45 am by bobbymike »
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2012, 07:13:50 am »
 Meanwhile;


Russia this year intends to conduct 11 ICBM trial firings, ITAR-Tass reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Dec. 21, 2011). “Four launches will be carried out for the purpose extending service life and seven under experimental programs to test new missiles and improve existing ones with a view to piercing missile defense systems,” said Col. Oleg Koval, spokesman for the Russian strategic missile forces.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline pathology_doc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2012, 12:22:19 pm »
What is the point beyond which disarmament constitutes treason?

Offline Gridlock

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2012, 12:33:19 am »
Www.armscontrolwonk.com is an invaluable resource if you find proliferation and nuclear issues interesting.


There's a good article debunking the notion that China might have more than 400 warheads, for a start.


Also can't miss the opportunity to post a link to playboy on SP :D

http://www.playboy.com/magazine/the-secret-treachery-of-a-q-khan
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 01:03:34 am by Gridlock »

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2012, 03:48:37 am »
 WASHINGTON -- Forthcoming updates to the U.S. nuclear weapons force structure should eliminate the long-held objective of deterring a massive surprise atomic attack by Russia, arms control advocates said on Friday (see GSN, Jan. 6).

 
Only by doing away with the requirement, which necessitates a much larger nuclear force than otherwise necessary, can Washington and Moscow negotiate arms reductions beyond those mandated under the New START treaty that entered into force last year, said Morton Halperin, an adviser with the Open Society Institute.  The size of the existing U.S. nuclear arsenal is far beyond what is needed to deter Russia two decades after the end of the Cold War, Halperin indicated. “We need to start from scratch,” he said at a panel discussion sponsored by the Arms Control Association in Washington. “We need to ask ourselves the question: Under what circumstances might the Russian leadership wake up and say, ‘Oh, it’s Easter Sunday, the Americans are at rest, we can launch a surprise attack and it will be successful?’ What would have to be going on in the world that would make that even conceivable?”


 New START requires each government by 2018 to reduce deployment of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from a cap of 2,200 mandated by next year under an older treaty. It also limits the number of fielded strategic warhead delivery platforms to 700, with an additional 100 systems permitted in reserve (see GSN, Dec. 23, 2011).

 
The United States as of last September had 1,790 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on bomber aircraft and land- and submarine-based missiles, according to data from an exchange mandated under the treaty (see GSN, Oct. 26, 2011). The U.S. nuclear stockpile totaled 5,113 warheads in September 2009, including stored weapons, according to a Pentagon disclosure (see GSN, May 4, 2010).

 
President Obama is set in coming weeks to assess options for updating guidance on plans for the possible employment of nuclear weapons in combat. His resulting Presidential Policy Directive would initiate preparation of a succession of highly classified defense planning documents and culminate in a new strategic war plan.

 
The president’s decisions could prove crucial to his administration’s hopes of carrying out additional arsenal reductions in conjunction with Russia, Gary Samore, National Security Council coordinator for arms control and nonproliferation, suggested in comments published last May by Arms Control Today.

 
“Reductions below the level that we have now are going to require some more fundamental questions about force structure,” Samore said then.


http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/arms-control-proponents-question-us-nuclear-readiness-doctrine/

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So would they support more nukes if a strategic targeting review included Russia, China, North Korea, India, Iran, Pakistan, etc. warranted it? Of course not because the goal is for the US to have zero nukes even unilaterally.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2012, 06:38:29 am »
Zero from Zero.  Would you expect anything more? 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2012, 08:47:30 am »

Meanwhile

Russian Military Continue Massive Re-armament

Russia’s Defense Ministry has released information about its weapons procurement in 2011. According to the first deputy minister Alexander Sukhorukov, the Ministry has purchased 30 Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle) and Yars ballistic missiles, 4 military satellites, 21 aircraft, 82 helicopters, one Stereguschiy class corvette, 8,531 military trucks and other military hardware. The total weapons procurement budget for 2011 amounted to 721.2 billion rubles (about $23 billion) including both federal budget money and government-guaranteed loans what was significantly more that in previous years, said the military official.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 03:26:56 pm by bobbymike »
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Offline Gridlock

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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2012, 03:28:29 pm »
I will bet you every penny I am ever going to earn that the US will never unilaterally achieve zero (overt or covert or one-stage-from-completion like Japan and others).  ::)


Seriously, how can so many Americans be so very, very naive? Name one action of the current administration, action not statement, that has demonstrated anything other than a continuation of exceptionalism and desire to be the sole global superpower. How's that promised closure of gitmo coming along? Did Bush ever dare to claim the power of global extra-judicial execution of US citizens?


It'd be hilarious how scared and dogmatic you are if there wasn't a non-trivial chance the US could be solely responsible for ending life on earth. Look at how obsessed the 42 administration was with abrogating the ABM treaty for that strange 9-month period between Bush v Gore and 9/11. Just a bunch of ex-Kremlinologists and defence industry chiefs pining for the cold war while the actual, real threat was making final preparations to do you-know-what.


Anyhow, your apparent belief that islamo-commie Obama is secretly implementing unilateral disarmament is a nice thought, if not the paranoia behind it, but it is demonstrably false. So can we talk physics packages and rogue states and NPT and NSG now?




Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2012, 07:54:04 am »
 U.S. Pushes Back Future Nuclear-Armed Sub Jan. 27, 2012 

The U.S. ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming approaches Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., in 2009. The Obama administration on Thursday announced plans to set back by two years the preparation of a successor to the nation’s Ohio-class fleet of nuclear-armed submarines (U.S. Navy photo). The United States will push back by two years the Navy's time line for preparing a new generation of ballistic-missile submarines, a move intended to defer related expenses and promote a stronger foundation for the project, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday (see GSN, Jan. 6).
 
The Pentagon chief announced the decision in laying out plans to reduce armed forces spending by $487 billion across 10 years, the New York Times reported. The future submarines would eventually host the U.S. sea-based nuclear deterrent in place of the nation's existing fleet of Ohio-class vessels. The first of the next-generation submarines had been scheduled to enter service in 2029, according to a previous report (see GSN, Jan. 24). The Defense Department also intends to build a successor to its line of B-2 strategic bombers (see GSN, July 21, 2011; Christopher Drew, New York Times, Jan. 26).  The cuts announced on Thursday would not affect the country's existing nuclear bomber or ICBM fleets, according to the Associated Press (Robert Burns, Associated Press/Boston Globe, Jan. 27).

 
With the exception of the coming fiscal year, U.S. defense spending would rise annually over the next half-decade with the reductions in place, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Pentagon's $525 billion budget request for the 2013 budget cycle is $6 billion less than lawmakers provided for the current fiscal year, but projected spending would increase in following years until peaking at $567 billion in 2017. Still, Defense Department figures indicate the budget would remain largely consistent from year to year with inflation taken into account. Fiscal 2013 begins on Oct. 1 (David Cloud, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 26).

 
The fiscal 2013 spending proposal suggests the Obama administration is "backing off" a nuclear weapons complex spending plan negotiated in 2010 amid efforts to win ratification of a strategic arms control treaty with Russia, House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said on Thursday (see GSN, Sept. 19, 2011). The plan called for $85 billion in spending over the decade. “When the New START treaty was ratified, it was part of a very clear bargain. The administration promised that a specific and detailed nuclear weapons modernization plan would be implemented, and senators consented to a unilateral reduction in U.S. nuclear forces because the remaining U.S. nuclear forces upon treaty implementation would be modernized," Turner said in released remarks.
 
 
“[Panetta's] announcement today is yet another indication that the president is backing off his part of the deal. Ultimately, this changes the circumstances for U.S. participation in the treaty under both Condition Nine of the New START Treaty Resolution of Ratification and language I offered in the National Defense Authorization Act for [fiscal 2012]." Turner said he would "look carefully" at the administration's spending plan for nuclear weapons activities overseen by the National Nuclear Security Administration, focusing on the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement complex and Uranium Processing Facility programs "which the president pledged to accelerate" (see related GSN stories, Dec. 19, 2011 and July 8, 2011).

 
"These two facilities are absolutely critical to the ability of the U.S. to maintain a credible and reliable deterrent, and they were an essential piece of the New START treaty bargain," he said. “I am also concerned about the administration’s missile defense plans," the lawmaker added (see GSN, Jan. 18). "For three years, the administration has underfunded and diverted funding from national missile defense.  With rising threats from Iran, North Korea, China and others, we cannot afford the risk created by the administration’s irrational opposition to the missile defense of the United States. I hope the [fiscal 2013] budget undoes more than three years of neglect of national missile defense” (U.S. Representative Michael Turner release, Jan. 26).
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2012, 08:25:33 am »
The fiscal 2013 spending proposal suggests the Obama administration is "backing off" a nuclear weapons complex spending plan negotiated in 2010 amid efforts to win ratification of a strategic arms control treaty with Russia, House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said on Thursday (see GSN, Sept. 19, 2011). The plan called for $85 billion in spending over the decade. “When the New START treaty was ratified, it was part of a very clear bargain. The administration promised that a specific and detailed nuclear weapons modernization plan would be implemented, and senators consented to a unilateral reduction in U.S. nuclear forces because the remaining U.S. nuclear forces upon treaty implementation would be modernized," Turner said in released remarks.

No surprise there.  Expect to see one leg of the triad disappear if Zero gets reelected (probably ICBMs since they're the greatest deterrent) accompanied by partying in the streets in Moscow and Bejing.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 09:03:40 am by sferrin »
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2012, 01:07:54 pm »
The fiscal 2013 spending proposal suggests the Obama administration is "backing off" a nuclear weapons complex spending plan negotiated in 2010 amid efforts to win ratification of a strategic arms control treaty with Russia, House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said on Thursday (see GSN, Sept. 19, 2011). The plan called for $85 billion in spending over the decade. “When the New START treaty was ratified, it was part of a very clear bargain. The administration promised that a specific and detailed nuclear weapons modernization plan would be implemented, and senators consented to a unilateral reduction in U.S. nuclear forces because the remaining U.S. nuclear forces upon treaty implementation would be modernized," Turner said in released remarks.

No surprise there.  Expect to see one leg of the triad disappear if Zero gets reelected (probably ICBMs since they're the greatest deterrent) accompanied by partying in the streets in Moscow and Bejing.

For what it is worth I had a couple of short communications with Rep. Turner and he said he will not let this happen. He is fully committed with other members of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee to maintain the Triad.
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Offline sferrin

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« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2012, 01:58:21 pm »
The fiscal 2013 spending proposal suggests the Obama administration is "backing off" a nuclear weapons complex spending plan negotiated in 2010 amid efforts to win ratification of a strategic arms control treaty with Russia, House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said on Thursday (see GSN, Sept. 19, 2011). The plan called for $85 billion in spending over the decade. “When the New START treaty was ratified, it was part of a very clear bargain. The administration promised that a specific and detailed nuclear weapons modernization plan would be implemented, and senators consented to a unilateral reduction in U.S. nuclear forces because the remaining U.S. nuclear forces upon treaty implementation would be modernized," Turner said in released remarks.

No surprise there.  Expect to see one leg of the triad disappear if Zero gets reelected (probably ICBMs since they're the greatest deterrent) accompanied by partying in the streets in Moscow and Bejing.

For what it is worth I had a couple of short communications with Rep. Turner and he said he will not let this happen. He is fully committed with other members of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee to maintain the Triad.

I hope he's got the backing. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2012, 02:06:30 pm »
Maintaining The D5 from Seapower Magazine February 2012:


http://www.seapower-digital.com/seapower/spsample/#pg38


Personally I would want to develop an E6 and combine it with a longer first stage for a MMIII replacement as well and then add a new AMaRV variable yield warhead up to 500kt, a guy can dream  :o
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Offline sferrin

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« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2012, 02:13:58 pm »
Maintaining The D5 from Seapower Magazine February 2012:


http://www.seapower-digital.com/seapower/spsample/#pg38


Personally I would want to develop an E6 and combine it with a longer first stage for a MMIII replacement as well and then add a new AMaRV variable yield warhead up to 500kt, a guy can dream  :o
We have a lot of former ATK employees where I work.  Spoke to one of the new guys a few weeks ago and he said there are NO large solid motors of any type being made by them right now. 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2012, 02:25:59 pm »
Maintaining The D5 from Seapower Magazine February 2012:


http://www.seapower-digital.com/seapower/spsample/#pg38


Personally I would want to develop an E6 and combine it with a longer first stage for a MMIII replacement as well and then add a new AMaRV variable yield warhead up to 500kt, a guy can dream  :o
We have a lot of former ATK employees where I work.  Spoke to one of the new guys a few weeks ago and he said there are NO large solid motors of any type being made by them right now.

I posted a link on the "Future ICBM and SLBM" thread a report I believe from the Defense Science Board about the solid rocket industrial base, to paraphrase, "For the first time in the last fifty years the US does not have a large strategic missile in development or production"

Apparently in the 2013 defense budget there are funds to be made available to develop something if only to keep the industrial base warm.
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Offline sferrin

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« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2012, 02:52:48 pm »
Apparently in the 2013 defense budget there are funds to be made available to develop something if only to keep the industrial base warm.

They'll have to have the janators run the machines.  Everybody else is either already gone or will be.  Just what I hear from the people I work with is scarey as hell. 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2012, 01:33:11 pm »
 Russia plans in 2012 to begin assembling a line of upgraded Borei-class ballistic missile submarines, Defense and Security reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Jan. 23). Russia so far has three Borei-class submarines -- Yuri Dolgoruky, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh -- in various preparation phases. "Next year we will lay down the lead submarine of project Borei-A, that is the improved Borei. This will be the fourth submarine of this project," said Rubin Andrei Dyachkov, who heads Russia's Sevmash shipyard and maritime hardware central design office. "The state armament program for the period until 2020 makes provisions for beginning of construction of the fifth and sixth hulls in 2012," the official said.


 The Russian Defense Ministry last November finalized a deal for assembling the first Borei-A submarine, referred to informally as Svyatitel Nikolay, Dyachkov said. Moscow is expected within the first three months of this year to ink deals for constructing components of the fifth and sixth Borei vessels, he said (Sergei Safronov, Defense And Security, Feb. 1).
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So it appears I can find almost perfectly alternating headlines;
One day - Russia to build or test or expand or deploy
Next day - US to curtail or postpone or retire or downsize or cut funding for  >:(
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2012, 12:28:02 pm »
Air Force Takes Critical Step Toward New Nuclear Cruise Missile Program

February 2, 2012  Inside Defense

Related Expert: Natalya Anfilofyeva

The Pentagon is taking a crucial first step toward developing a new nuclear-armed cruise missile called the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) weapon, a key component of the Defense Department's plan to modernize its long-range strike capabilities and ensure it can hit targets in well-defended, hard-to-reach areas such as China and Iran/.../

Mark Gunzinger, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, authored a report last year recommending ways in which the Pentagon could sustain its strategic advantage in long-range strike capabilities, including the development of a new cruise missile capable of carrying a range of warheads -- nuclear and conventional.

"A new cruise missile should have the capability to penetrate [and] survive in A2/AD environments," Gunzinger told InsideDefense.com. "An analysis of alternatives should inform decisions on specific performance attributes. Compared to a subsonic missile, supersonic and certainly hypersonic missiles can be much more expensive."

With defense budgets projected to grow more slowly over the next decade compared to previous plans, unit cost is likely to be scrutinized as the Air Force formulates a program over the next year. Tighter future defense budgets were among the reasons Gunzinger cited in saying the Defense Department should "develop a new cruise missile that could be carried by a range of platforms, not just the new bomber and possibly not just Air Force platforms."

The omission of the word "missile" from an effort to recapitalize a missile may not be significant, said Gunzinger. "If anything, the Air Force may be trying to make the point that it will look at a wide range of potential capability solutions to meet its future needs for a survivable standoff attack weapon."
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I take back my last post some positive news after all  ;D
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 12:07:29 pm by flateric »
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Offline sferrin

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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2012, 01:04:03 pm »
Air Force Takes Critical Step Toward New Nuclear Cruise Missile Program         

The Pentagon is taking a crucial first step toward developing a new nuclear-armed cruise missile called the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) weapon, a key component of the Defense Department's plan to modernize its long-range strike capabilities and ensure it can hit targets in well-defended, hard-to-reach areas such as China and Iran.
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I take back my last post some positive news after all  ;D

Hopefully it doesn't end up something like, "well, since we have no money we're going to take a performance hit and use JASSM-EX.  Well, we were except we forgot how to make nuclear warheads, the W80s don't work anymore, and nobody knows how to intergrate them anyway, so we cancelled the program."
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Offline AdamF

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2012, 08:06:49 am »

Meanwhile

Russian Military Continue Massive Re-armament

Russia’s Defense Ministry has released information about its weapons procurement in 2011. According to the first deputy minister Alexander Sukhorukov, the Ministry has purchased 30 Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle) and Yars ballistic missiles, 4 military satellites, 21 aircraft, 82 helicopters, one Stereguschiy class corvette, 8,531 military trucks and other military hardware. The total weapons procurement budget for 2011 amounted to 721.2 billion rubles (about $23 billion) including both federal budget money and government-guaranteed loans what was significantly more that in previous years, said the military official.
You are correct that Russian procurement completely dwarfs the US procurement.  After all, in FY2011, US DOD only paid $137.5 billion for (at quick glance) 1 satellite, 250+ aircraft, 250+ helicopters, 6 ships, 2 subs, 9000+ tactical missiles, 100+ armoured vehicles, and 5000+ other vehicles.  No contest at all.

http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2011/fy2011_p1.pdf

Offline sferrin

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« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2012, 08:13:20 am »
You are correct that Russian procurement completely dwarfs the US procurement.  After all, in FY2011, US DOD only paid $137.5 billion for (at quick glance) 1 satellite, 250+ aircraft, 250+ helicopters, 6 ships, 2 subs, 9000+ tactical missiles, 100+ armoured vehicles, and 5000+ other vehicles.  No contest at all.

http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2011/fy2011_p1.pdf

How many of those were nuclear armed?  None you say?  So what was your point again?
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2012, 01:15:24 pm »
 Russia Might Need to Increase Nuclear Arsenal, Defense Official Says   

Feb. 6, 2012
 
 
Russia might someday need to increase the size of its arsenal of nuclear weapons to counter developing dangers, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Monday (see GSN, Jan. 23). “New challenges emerge, including missile and nuclear proliferation. Look at how unstable the situation in the Middle East is. That’s why Russia’s military doctrine envisages the use of nuclear weapons in specific cases. I do not rule out than under certain circumstances we will have to boost, not cut, our nuclear arsenal,” Antonov told the Kommersant newspaper. Russia as of Sept. 1, 2011, had 1,566 nuclear warheads deployed on ICBMs, bombers and submarines, according to data released by the U.S. State Department. The New START arms control accord requires Russia and the United States by 2018 to reduce their arsenals of deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery systems (see related GSN story, today). The Obama administration's plan for missile defense in Europe is among the dangers to Russia, Antonov said. Washington has sought to persuade Moscow to join the U.S.-NATO effort, but significant disagreements persist after more than a year of talks (see related GSN story, today). Chief among them is the Kremlin's demand for a legally binding pledge that the system would not target Russian nuclear forces. Brussels and Washington say the system is aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from the Middle East, but have rejected calls for a binding agreement.

 
Antonov renewed the Russian threat to withdraw from the New START pact if the missile shield dispute continues. "This is one of possible variants of our retaliation measures. We have warned about it beforehand," he said (RIA Novosti I, Feb. 6). Meanwhile, Russia intends to maintain the current duty life of third-generation strategic nuclear submarines longer than planned, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday. “The most successful projects will undergo two repairs instead of one. The subs' period of service will be extended to 30-35 years instead of the current 25,” according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

 
Extending the vessels' operational life will serve to cover Russia's strategic needs until its full fleet of eight Borei-class submarines is put to sea by 2020, Rogozin said (RIA Novosti II, Feb. 2). “On June 1 or a bit later we will resume constant patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,” Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, head of the Russian navy, said on Friday. There are now 12 Russian strategic submarines in service that are powered by atomic energy, RIA Novosti reported (RIA Novosti III, Feb. 4).

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This was my original concern when Russia is producing new delivery systems capable of carrying many additional warheads (SS-18 replacement, Yars, Bulava, etc.) with active warhead production lines when the US systems continue to atrophy with no active warhead production and no political will to begin any.
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Offline Gridlock

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2012, 02:01:18 pm »

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2012, 12:51:14 pm »
 Lawmakers Seek $100B in U.S. Nuke Spending Cuts
Feb. 8, 2012 

A U.S. Navy submarine test-launches a Trident 2 D-5 ballistic missile off the coast of Florida in 1989. Democratic lawmakers were expected on Wednesday to propose a bill intended to reduce U.S. nuclear weapons spending by $100 billion (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin).


A bill slated for submission to Congress on Wednesday aims to eliminate $100 billion in U.S. nuclear weapons spending through cuts to current and planned support facilities and delivery systems, the Boston Globe reported (see GSN, Jan. 30). U.S. Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass) is leading 24 other Democratic lawmakers in pushing for the proposal, which would advise ending the use of  B-2 and B-52 bombers for carrying nuclear weapons and postponing until 2023 manufacturing of a successor to the strategic planes. The policy would essentially eliminate one component of the decades-old U.S. "triad" of silo-, aircraft- and submarine-based nuclear-weapon delivery systems, according to the Globe. The legislation suggests eliminating six of the country's 14 ballistic missile submarines. Initial assembly of a future nuclear-capable submarine would be pushed back to 2023 under the proposal, and just eight of the vessels constructed.


In addition, the bill recommends scrapping plans for other nuclear weapons initiatives such as a new line of ICBMs, a nuclear capability for the F-35 fighter jet and the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee. The legislation would require the United States to maintain no fewer than 200 ICBMs and 250 submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The bill is unlikely to gain the GOP political support it would need to advance through the House of Representatives, according to the Globe. Still, a number of Republicans have called for nuclear-weapon spending reductions; Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) last year proposed eliminating nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles in a plan aimed at saving $80 billion over 10 years.

 Markey said his legislation was designed as an invitation to rethink the continued need for nuclear capabilities originally intended for deterring Soviet aggression (see GSN, Jan. 24). President Obama is now assessing the quantity of nuclear weapons needed to stave off aggression by present U.S. antagonists.  “Many say that we need a fundamental re-evaluation of Medicare and Medicaid and the entire domestic side of government spending,” Markey said. “You never hear them talk about a fundamental re-evaluation of whether the Cold War defense budget approach makes sense any longer for the 21st century.”  Nuclear stockpile reductions could free up funding for other military-related initiatives targeting more significant dangers, Markey added.  “It’s better to cut unneeded submarines than Navy SEALs and better to cut nuclear bombers than unmanned drones,” the congressman said. “Which weapons are we going to be using in the 21st century?”  “How many Americans know each Trident submarine has the capacity to totally destroy Russia or China?” Markey asked. “That’s each submarine, not the entire fleet.”
 
 
“What is the greater terror? That Americans will be attacked in nuclear war or they will get a call that cancer or Alzheimer’s has struck one of the members of their family,” he added. “We need to have this wider debate.”  Arms control advocates voiced support for Markey's proposal.  “This is not a road map to zero weapons,” said Joel Rubin, policy and government affairs head for the Ploughshares Fund. “Markey is calling for sound strategic and fiscal decision-making for our national defense.”  Daryl Kimball, who heads the Arms Control Association in Washington, said the legislation "highlights some of the ways which the United States can save tens of billions of dollars in systems that are simply not required for our security.”  “None of this is really radical thinking in the context of the budget environment we are in,” added Carl Conetta, who co-leads the Project on Defense Alternatives in Cambridge, Mass. “The nuclear weapons industry is huge and they are going to lobby against it, but we still have dramatic overkill in this area.”
 
 
Armed forces commanders might back such reductions, Conetta suggested.  “You might get agreement among the Joint Chiefs, who might want to rescue other weapon systems” from decreases in funding, he said (Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, Jan. 8).
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Always the deception language and arguments with the "disarmacists" (my new word for the disarm America at any cost crowd) having people believe we are at "Cold War levels" of armaments, always using the "false choice" argument, "If we have nukes Grandma will get cancer" as if in a $3.9 Trillion dollar federal budget you can't fund both. the "we don't want zero nukes this is not a radical policy" meaning let's make those who want to keep the current force structure seem "radical and out of touch". The argument that the opposition wants to cut Medicare but not nukes as if Medicare has been cut and nuclear weapons have not.

Of course the disarmacists want zero nukes they have been making the same argument for the entirety of the Cold War, do they think we forget the nuclear freeze movement and their opposition to every nuclear weapon system for the past 50+ years even at the height of the Cold War when SS-18s, 17s, Typhoons, etc were rolling off the assembly lines.

The US has MASSIVELY reduced its' Cold War arsenal from over 12,000 deployed strategic warheads to soon to have 1550 under New Start. IMHO It is time to say no further. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2012, 01:08:56 pm »
I wouldn't spend much time worrying about this particular proposal, Bobby.  He's attempting to slay all the sacred cows at once.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2012, 04:45:48 pm »
 Pentagon Seeks $25 Billion for Strategic Nuclear Efforts Through 2017
Feb. 14, 2012 By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire   


The US Defense Department has budgeted more than $25 billion for strategic nuclear weapon programs between fiscal 2013 and 2017, according to budget documents released on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 13). The funds are largely to pay for maintenance and upgrades to existing nuclear-capable aircraft, ships and missiles.  It does not appear to include research and development funds for a number of major new nuclear platforms, including an additional $6.3 billion for a new bomber aircraft and $5.5 billion for a future submarine over the same five-year period. Nor do the so-called “strategic deterrence” budget figures include the money used for operating today’s nuclear triad.  The Air Force alone, for example, will spend $5.1 billion in fiscal 2013 for operations and training on bomber aircraft and ICBMs, according to a service budget overview. The plans are all part of a $525.4 billion budget request that the Obama administration has sent to Congress for Defense Department expenditures in 2013, excluding funds to be spent on overseas operations. Of the total $25.1 billion to be spent on the strategic deterrence programs over the next five years, $2.7 billion is budgeted for fiscal 2013, which begins on Oct. 1. Nearly $3 billion spread across the total five-year plan is intended to support nuclear weapon and naval reactor efforts by the National Nuclear Security Agency, a semiautonomous arm of the Energy Department, according to a half-inch thick Pentagon budget overview document.  Other projects to be funded during that time frame include a life-extension program for the B-61 bomb warhead, which will undergo a two-year schedule slip; an Analysis of Alternatives for the Long-Range Stand-Off missile, slated to replace today’s Air-Launched Cruise Missile; a life-extension effort for the Trident D-5 ballistic missile fielded aboard the Navy’s Ohio-class submarines; and sustainment of the Air Force Minuteman 3 ICBM.
 
The Pentagon said in a new “strategic guidance” issued last month that it intended to reduce the nation’s reliance on nuclear weapons relative to conventional forces, as defense officials crafted their program and budget plans for fiscal 2013 and subsequent years (see GSN, Jan. 6).  However, at a press conference on Monday, the Pentagon’s top financial official, Comptroller Robert Hale, could not point to efforts aimed at implementing this policy shift during the next fiscal year.  “We fully support all three legs of the triad in this budget, and are making investments in all of them,” Hale said.   The comptroller mentioned a previously announced two-year schedule delay for developing the Navy’s future ballistic missile submarine, but noted that the program restructuring was based mainly on affordability concerns.  “I believe that we are continuing full support for the nuclear triad in this budget,” Hale told reporters.  To meet a congressional budget-cutting mandate enacted last year, the Defense Department has trimmed back $259 billion in its five-year plan and a total of $487 billion in reductions over the next decade.  The Navy’s future ballistic-missile submarine, known as the SSBN(X), is one among several programs altered to meet those reduction targets.  Under the new budget plan, the Pentagon intends to delay first delivery of the Ohio-class replacement submarine to 2029, and the vessel is to become operational by 2031, service officials said this week. The Ohio-class vessels begin reaching the end of their service lives in fiscal 2027.

 
The Navy in 2010 told Congress that the Ohio-class “replacements must start reaching the operational force by [fiscal] 2029. There is no leeway in this plan to allow a later start or any delay in the procurement plan,” according to a Congressional Research Service report issued last year.  “The implication from this statement is that deferring the procurement of one or more SSBN(X)s … would result in an SSBN force that drops below 12 boats for some period of time,” CRS analyst Ronald O’Rourke stated in his 2011 report.

 
It is unclear whether that assessment of force structure implications has changed, but Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last month said the newly planned delay would reduce schedule risk in what had previously been an “aggressive” developmental plan.

 
“The department determined that it is a manageable risk to delay SSBN(X) development by two years,” the new budget overview states.  The move will allow the Pentagon to save $600 million in fiscal 2013 and a total of $4.3 billion by 2017, according to the document.  The Navy has allotted $565 million in its 2013 budget for R&D on the Ohio-class replacement submarines, the service said in an outline of its programmatic highlights.  Under prior plans, the Navy would have begun advance procurement spending in fiscal 2015 to start building the first SSBN(X) submarine; under the schedule slip, those initial funds will be spent in 2017, Rear Adm. Joseph Mulloy, the deputy assistant Navy secretary for budget matters, told reporters at a service briefing.  Full procurement for the first ship will now be budgeted in 2021 instead of 2019, he said.  The Pentagon appears to be signaling that it intends to continue a cost-conscious approach to development and procurement of the future submarine.  “Program managers must demonstrate affordability before granting milestone authority to proceed with the program,” according to the defense budget overview publication.  “Understanding and controlling future costs from a program’s inception is critical to achieving affordability requirements.”  The Navy said in briefing slides that fiscal 2012 would be the last year in which the service is buying Trident D-5 ballistic missiles, with a total 108 missiles being procured this year.  The nuclear-armed weapons are currently deployed on Ohio-class submarines and are also intended for initial fielding aboard the future SSBN(X) vessels.   Into the future, the service will procure only “necessary [D-5] components to support Ohio-class missions,” according to a Navy budget document.  A separate service document adds these details: “Continued investment is required to ensure that all Ohio class submarines will deploy fully loaded, while guaranteeing sufficient inventory exists for periodic required test launches into the 2040s.  The D-5 weapons system will also be the initial weapons system utilized by the Ohio class replacement.”  Navy officials would also like to eventually design a new nuclear-armed ballistic missile to replace the D-5 on the SSBN(X) submarines.  New development efforts in 2013 include a Navy bid to increase the conventional Tomahawk cruise missile capacity of its Virginia-class attack submarines at a cost of $100 million in 2013.  Two new launch tubes, each accommodating six Tomahawks, will be installed in the undersea vessels.  Mulloy, the Navy budget leader, said an additional price tag for developing a medium-range ballistic missile capability on the same attack submarines would not be known until later, when the Office of the Secretary of Defense apportions conventional “prompt global strike” funds among the three services (see GSN, Jan. 27).

 
The Defense Department is also moving ahead with plans to develop a new nuclear-capable strategic bomber, which it revealed Monday has an estimated average procurement cost of $550 million for each of 80 to 100 aircraft, measured in 2010 dollars.  The budget overview document appears to hint that the bomber’s unit cost -- which does not account for billions of dollars to be spent up front for research and development -- would have been even higher under previous Air Force plans.  “The new bomber will not need the same capabilities that were planned for the previous Next Generation Bomber,” states the text, adding that the aircraft “will incorporate many subsystems (engines, radars, other avionics) and technologies that are already proven.”  The Air Force 2013 budget includes $300 million for R&D on the new bomber, part of a five-year spending plan for the project totaling $6.3 billion, according to the Pentagon documents.  The service also said in its own newly released spending publications that it plans in next year’s budget to fund work on a new communications system for its B-2 bomber and increase the precision weapon capabilities for the B-52 bomber.

 
Additionally, the Air Force intends to launch a formal Analysis of Alternatives for its future ICBM in fiscal 2013, building on preliminary studies completed last year (see GSN, Feb. 10).   Air Force budget deputy Marilyn Thomas said on Monday that $11.7 million would be spent on the major review of options for replacing the Minuteman 3 fleet with a next-generation system.  The U.S. arsenal of 450 Minuteman 3s -- which is to shrink to no more than 420 ICBMs under last year’s New START arms control pact -- is slated for retirement in 2030.  Fiscal year 2014 funds for continuing the Analysis of Alternatives total $9.4 million, according to new Air Force documents delivered to Capitol Hill.  Once complete, the study will allow the Pentagon to recommend to the president how today’s Minuteman 3 force should be replaced.  The service also plans to build on its existing efforts to design a new nuclear cruise missile to replace those fielded on today’s bomber aircraft.  The Defense Department has estimated the new-design weapon could cost roughly $1.3 billion (see GSN, March 9, 2010).  “A study for the future long-range standoff (LRSO) weapon, the Air Launched Cruise Missile follow-on, is also under way,” the Air Force states in its budget overview publication.  The service included $2 million for this R&D effort in its 2013 budget. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2012, 04:49:46 pm »
 Russia Expects Next Nuclear Bomber by 2030 Feb. 14, 2012 
 
Russia has announced plans to prepare within two decades a next-generation bomber capable of delivering nuclear weapons to targets, Interfax reported on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 6).  "We are developing an advanced long-range aviation system and we have entered the stage of project tender. I think we will inform the General Staff chief and defense minister in February about the advanced aircraft which is to be developed and to join the new and upgraded air force in the 2030s," Russian air force commander Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said  "Among the main state tasks that the command of the air force's long-range aviation tackles, is that of being part of the Russian strategic nuclear deterrence forces," Zelin added. "This question is in the focus of attention and we have been dealing with this problem substantively and in detail. Everything that has to do with strategic aviation is of priority importance in the development of the air force and is not to be reviewed" (Interfax, Feb. 13).  Moscow intends by the end of this decade to switch out its Su-24 bomber aircraft for Su-34 planes, ITAR-Tass reported. Zelin described the plan in responding to a query by ARMS-Tass on a crash of an Su-24 jet.  The Russian air force now holds 124 Su-24 planes, he said; the service expects this year to receive 10 Su-34 aircraft (ITAR-Tass, Feb. 14).  Meanwhile, Russia's Defense Ministry could move to acquire as many as 20 Borei- and Yasen-class class submarines by the end of the decade, the Xinhua News Agency quoted General Staff chief Gen. Nikolai Makarov as saying on Tuesday (see GSN, Feb. 10).  Makarov said his country's military modernization plan calls for procuring 16 of the vessels.  "If such an opportunity appears, we will order two couples of Borei 955 and Yasen 855 submarines additionally," he said (Xinhua News Agency, Feb. 14).
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Offline RyanC

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2012, 08:56:42 pm »
Link
 
Quote
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.
     
Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.     No final decision has been made, but the administration is considering at least three options for lower total numbers of deployed strategic nuclear weapons cutting to around 1,000 to 1,100, 700 to 800, or 300 to 400, according to a former government official and a congressional staffer. Both spoke on condition of anonymity in order to reveal internal administration deliberations.
 
...
 
Options are expected to be presented to Obama soon. The force levels he settles on will form the basis of a new strategic nuclear war plan to be produced by the Pentagon.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2012, 06:55:44 am »
Link
 
Quote
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.
     
Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.     No final decision has been made, but the administration is considering at least three options for lower total numbers of deployed strategic nuclear weapons cutting to around 1,000 to 1,100, 700 to 800, or 300 to 400, according to a former government official and a congressional staffer. Both spoke on condition of anonymity in order to reveal internal administration deliberations.
 
...
 
Options are expected to be presented to Obama soon. The force levels he settles on will form the basis of a new strategic nuclear war plan to be produced by the Pentagon.

So in my travels around the internet I have posted and posited on many sights that the goal is unilateral disarmament, to which most responses are "you're crazy never happen"  ::)
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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sublight

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2012, 09:32:24 am »
Even some of the top Air Force researchers are bolstering the argument for a smaller nuke force. http://www.au.af.mil/au/ssq/2010/spring/forsythsaltzmanschaub.pdf
Maintaining the nuke force is extremely expensive and slimming it down would pave the way for acquiring a larger arsenal of exotic strike/prompt strike weapons.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2012, 10:17:53 am »
"Options are expected to be presented to Obama soon. The force levels he settles on will form the basis of a new strategic nuclear war plan to be produced by the Pentagon."
 
Gotta love it.  All hail Emperor Obama. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2012, 08:09:53 am »
"Options are expected to be presented to Obama soon. The force levels he settles on will form the basis of a new strategic nuclear war plan to be produced by the Pentagon."
 
Gotta love it.  All hail Emperor Obama. 

Shouldn't we create the war plan FIRST before you decide on the levels of weapons? I suspect if a new comprehensive war plan was completed covering all contingencies from Russia to China to North Korea to India/Pakistan to Iran, etc it would actually show we need MORE WEAPONS! And God help us cause that report would never see the light of day.

Also nuclear weapons are not "extremely expensive" and do you think the so-called exotic strike weapons you envision replacing them would be less expensive?

At the end of the Cold War when Bush 41 cancelled basically all nuke weapons and delivery system programs I put a lot of this on him because with a Republican WWII hero and the President during Desert Storm doing the disarming/cancelling the proponents of continued modernization no longer could find any political support on either side of the aisle. In fact during the term of Bush 43 all his proposals for modernization for "Advanced Concept Development of warheads to the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrater were voted down with help from Republicans in Congress.

I predicted that if we did not adequately communicate the importance of the nuclear deterrent mission we would be overwhelmed by activists calling for reduction after reduction until we were basically [effectively] no longer a nuclear power. From 12,000 warheads to 6000 to 4000 to 2200-1700 to 1550 maybe now down to 300 the disarmacists have not changed their tactics, "We have too many, they are too expensive"

If we ever get down to 300 weapons I predict on these pages they will begin to say, "Well we only have 300 warheads what good are they really?" Which of course they may not have to do because there will be no more weapons work and definitely no weapons scientists left to build weapons anyway.

Most Superpowers aren't killed they commit suicide.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2012, 08:53:36 am »
Most Superpowers aren't killed they commit suicide.

The way I see it, we already had the rope around our neck, Zero kicked the chair out, and now we're waiting for the inevitable.
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sublight

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2012, 10:09:20 am »

Also nuclear weapons are not "extremely expensive" and do you think the so-called exotic strike weapons you envision replacing them would be less expensive?

They are an order of magnitude more expensive to secure and maintain. A nuke has a spectacular security array surrounding it compared to its conventional counterpart.  And since we cant go testing our nukes any more, we have billions of dollars in supercomputers (at Sandia labs) that do nothing but nuke simulations to see how they are aging and what effects it might have on them and related components.

However I agree the war plan should dictate the level of nukes, but they'll certainly never have that out there for scrutiny.  And what of the possibility of a classified "next gen" weapon? They certainly wouldn't announce it to allay fears of a shrinking nuke force.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 06:47:24 pm by sublight »

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2012, 01:29:18 pm »
 Putin Vows to Pursue Enormous Military Rearmament Campaign   

Feb. 21, 2012
 
 
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has vowed if re-elected to the presidency to pursue the largest arms buildup the country has experienced since the end of the Cold War, the Christian Science Monitor reported on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 17).  Putin in the latest article laying out his presidential objectives said over the next 10 years he would allocate $772 billion to replenishing Russia's armed forces. That would include acquisition of 400 new ICBMs and eight strategic ballistic missile submarines. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2012, 01:31:25 pm »
 U.S. Air Force Plans Two-Year Delay in Developing New Cruise Missile   

Feb. 24, 2012 By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire   

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force now plans a two-year delay in the development of a new $1.3 billion weapon to replace today’s nuclear-capable Air Launched Cruise Missile aboard bomber aircraft, according to budget documents submitted to Congress last week (see GSN, Feb. 14). Under current plans, the service in fiscal 2013 would spend $2 million to continue work on a secret “Analysis of Alternatives” that weighs various technological options for the new missile, called the Long-Range Stand-Off weapon or “LRSO” for short. However, the “LRSO program start [is] delayed two years,” the Air Force states in newly released charts on research and development funding.  The service will save $39.4 million in its five-year budget plan by postponing the beginning of the cruise missile’s technology development phase from fiscal 2013 to 2015, according to the documents.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline sferrin

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« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2012, 02:48:32 pm »
U.S. Air Force Plans Two-Year Delay in Developing New Cruise Missile   

Feb. 24, 2012 By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire   

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force now plans a two-year delay in the development of a new $1.3 billion weapon to replace today’s nuclear-capable Air Launched Cruise Missile aboard bomber aircraft, according to budget documents submitted to Congress last week (see GSN, Feb. 14). Under current plans, the service in fiscal 2013 would spend $2 million to continue work on a secret “Analysis of Alternatives” that weighs various technological options for the new missile, called the Long-Range Stand-Off weapon or “LRSO” for short. However, the “LRSO program start [is] delayed two years,” the Air Force states in newly released charts on research and development funding.  The service will save $39.4 million in its five-year budget plan by postponing the beginning of the cruise missile’s technology development phase from fiscal 2013 to 2015, according to the documents.

Well that didn't take long.  What's it been, weeks, since the announcement of the program?  Give it a month or two and we'll see the "basing it on JASSM" announcement followed shortly thereafter by cancellation. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2012, 03:04:11 pm »
It would be interesting to for three officers to hold a press conference where their assigned roles are:

1) Announce new program
2) Announce it has been delayed
3) Announce it has been cancelled

 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2012, 09:58:26 pm »
Modernize or Fall Behind:


While the United States is reducing the size of its nuclear arsenal, Russia and China are modernizing and developing their own strategic forces, according to Air Force Global Strike command boss Lt. Gen. James Kowalski. "It should be clear that other nuclear powers do not necessarily see [New START] as a tipping point on the way to zero nuclear weapons," he said in his address at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 24. "Russia and China are committed to near-term and long-term modernization of their nuclear forces and have active production lines,” he explained. "In contrast, our nation has enjoyed an extended procurement holiday as we've deferred robust modernization of our nuclear deterrent for almost 20 years." Within the limits of New START—a US-Russian treaty reducing each side's strategic nuclear forces—Russia is modernizing its TU-95 and TU-160 strategic bombers and ICBM fleets as well as "fielding a new air-launched cruise missile" and developing a new heavy ICBM, ballistic-missile-class submarine, and sea-launched ballistic missile, noted Kowalski. "We have lost robustness and diversity," he said, but "by modernizing across our triad . . . we can achieve our goal of reducing nuclear weapons" while managing the inherent risk of a smaller arsenal.
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My title for this article would be: Modernize Now We Are Already Behind
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2012, 09:06:20 pm »
Robo Defenders:

The 90th Missile Wing installed a network of remotely controlled machine guns to defend locations vital to the Minuteman III ICBM mission at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. Mounted in an armored turret, the Remote Targeting Engagement System's 7.62 mm M-240 machine guns are controlled from a central command center. "The RTES is a system that keeps our people out of harm's way, while still being able to engage the enemy," said TSgt. Michael Firos, RTES non-commissioned officer in charge with the 90th Security Forces Squadron. When potential threats breach a perimeter, security forces identify intruders using barrel-mounted infrared and wide-angle cameras. Using the weapon's sniper-style optical scope, security forces can engage targets using a touchscreen and controller. Though remotely controlled, "the weapon still recoils," explained intrusion detection specialist SSgt. Ryan Nelson. He added, "there is no question as to the reality of what you're shooting at." (Warren report by SSgt. Torri Savarese)
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #58 on: February 29, 2012, 08:40:36 pm »
 Conventional Arms No Substitute for Nuclear: Strategic Command Official
By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire   
 
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Strategic Command official said recently that conventional weapons cannot substitute in any “meaningful” way for nuclear weapons, a view that appears to diverge somewhat from an Obama administration focus on reducing the role of atomic arms in ensuring national security (see GSN, Feb. 16).  “You can’t replace nuclear weapons today with conventional capability,” Greg Weaver, the combatant command’s deputy director for plans and policy, said on Feb. 16 at a symposium just outside of Washington.  “They don’t have the same effects on targets, but as a result they don’t have the same effects on people’s decision calculus.”

 
President Obama in April 2009 called for the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide and pledged “concrete steps” toward that end, even while promising to keep remaining U.S. atomic arms “safe, secure and effective.”  Achieving the goal of zero nuclear arms might not be possible within his lifetime, he acknowledged.  The Defense Department’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review reflected the dual approach, to include robust modernization of atomic forces and infrastructure.  The underlying current, though, has been an assumption that to at least some degree, conventional weapons might assume an increased share of the security role accorded nuclear weapons over the past several decades.  “Fundamental changes in the international security environment in recent years -- including the growth of unrivaled U.S. conventional military capabilities, major improvements in missile defenses, and the easing of Cold War rivalries -- enable us” to deter potential adversaries and reassure friends and partners “at significantly lower nuclear force levels and with reduced reliance on nuclear weapons,” the 2010 review document states.  Recent news reports suggested that the Obama administration is contemplating a variety of options for fresh nuclear-warhead reductions in coming years, perhaps a small dip to 1,100 warheads or dropping even as low as 300 (see GSN, Feb. 15).  Any significant cuts would likely be negotiated with Russia rather than taken unilaterally.  Administration officials have acknowledged that they are studying future arms control options but would not confirm the numerical caps under consideration.  The U.S.-Russian New START agreement, which entered into force last year, by 2018 limits each side to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 700 fielded delivery systems.  Speaking at the same three-day conference this month, the Pentagon’s top policy official said new nuclear arsenal reductions would be possible, thanks to modern conventional bomb and missile technologies that offer the precision and firepower to attack a larger set of targets than ever before.  A “long-term trend” in U.S. national security strategy has been to enhance conventional capabilities so much that Washington now relies less on nuclear weapons’ massive blast potential than in previous decades, said James Miller, acting Defense undersecretary for policy.  The White House has nominated him to serve permanently in the position.  Under the current administration, the gradual shift from nuclear toward conventional deterrence is “a matter of policy and I think has very broad support in the Department of Defense,” he said, speaking on Feb. 15. Miller cited the Pentagon’s effort to develop conventionally armed “prompt global strike” technologies as a step toward strengthening non-nuclear forces for “a key part of deterrence,” along with missile defenses.  Pentagon leaders see the prompt-strike mission as allowing for conventional weapons that could reach distant targets in less than an hour, “a capability that’s only been available previously with nuclear-armed strategic missiles,” Miller noted.

 
“DOD has no plans at this time to replace nuclear warheads on ICBMs or SLBMs with conventional warheads, but we continue to look at the full range of options,” he said. Options do appear to include a new effort to design a conventionally armed ballistic missile for possible fielding aboard Virginia-class attack submarines (see GSN, Jan. 27).  Other ongoing prompt global strike efforts comprise Army, Air Force and Navy projects to develop ballistic or boost-glide technologies, some of which could potentially maneuver at hypersonic speeds into targets half a world away.  Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, is “very interested in having increased conventional strike capability,” Weaver said at the recent event, a “Nuclear Deterrence Summit” sponsored by the Exchange Monitor publications.  “There are scenarios where promptness matters. …. But again, not as an alternative to nuclear arms.”

 
The Pentagon has considered fielding a relatively small number of conventional global-strike weapons at any one time, once they are developed and built.   Before his military retirement last year, the previous top strategic commander, Gen. Kevin Chilton, directed the Air Force to plan for a single Conventional Strike Missile to be put on alert at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with two spares held in reserve (see GSN, June 24, 2011; and Sept. 3, 2008).  His predecessor in the job, the since-retired Gen. James Cartwright, imagined perhaps as many as two dozen submarine-based conventional prompt-strike weapons kept on alert (see GSN, Nov. 7, 2008).  That plan, however, ran into serious congressional opposition based on concerns that a conventional ballistic missile launch from a nuclear-armed submarine could trigger a hasty and potentially disastrous response from a future Russia or China (see GSN, June 16, 2011).  The global-strike weapons would ostensibly be used only against pressing targets that no other U.S. conventional forces, like Air Force bombers or Navy carrier-based aircraft, could reach in rapid fashion.  The notion that these conventional weapons are more plausibly usable could make them a more effective deterrent than nuclear arms, advocates argue.  Scenarios in which a conventional prompt global strike weapon might be launched include the detection of a key terrorist leader at a safe house or an imminent enemy ballistic missile threat to the United States or its allies, according to Defense officials.  “I think [Gen. Kehler] would agree fully with what Gen. Cartwright said” about developing a conventional ballistic missile capability for a small number of such urgent contingencies, Weaver said.  “What I don’t think he agreed with Gen. Cartwright on is that there’s a significant portion of what we currently use nuclear weapons to do -- both in a deterrence role and in a response role -- that can be replaced with conventional weapons, in any kind of a cost-effective or meaningful way.”  Cartwright, now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, this week declined comment on the matter.  As the first Marine to head Strategic Command -- serving there from 2004 to 2007 -- Cartwright challenged the long-held taboo against discussing publicly the political and ethical problems associated with actually detonating nuclear weapons in combat.  Though he never called for nuclear abolition, the four-star general actively sought conventional alternatives that he saw as more practical and effective tools for a U.S. president (see GSN, May 28, 2008).

 
“There is a nuclear deterrent that's going to be necessary out there for as long as I can see into the future," Cartwright said in 2008. "But it is for those things that are the last ditch in the defense of this nation."  The Obama administration has acknowledged that the U.S. nuclear arsenal continues to play a unique role in reassuring friends and deterring would-be adversaries against the most serious threats.  “The fundamental role of U.S. nuclear weapons, which will continue as long as nuclear weapons exist, is to deter nuclear attack on the United States, our allies, and partners,” the 2010 posture review stated.  “The United States will continue to strengthen conventional capabilities and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks, with the objective of making deterrence of nuclear attack on the United States or our allies and partners the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons.”  The Omaha, Neb.-based Strategic Command takes the Defense Department lead for strategic deterrence planning, which Weaver said includes not only nuclear but also non-nuclear attacks against the nation or its allies.  “Nuclear deterrence is included in strategic deterrence,” he said.  “We see strategic deterrence as the deterrence of strategic attack on the United States and its allies … defined by the effects the attack has on us or our interests, not just on the means employed in the attack.”  One example of a strategic threat against which Washington relies on deterrence to help prevent might be “an attack that has catastrophic effects on U.S. or allied civilian infrastructure or population,” Weaver said. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #59 on: February 29, 2012, 09:47:22 pm »
Nuclear F-35s Still in Abeyance: It's still undecided when and how the Pentagon will incorporate nuclear weapons on the F-35, said Lt. Gen. Hawk Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements. Speaking with reporters after an AFA-sponsored speech Tuesday in Arlington, Va., Carlisle said making the F-35 a "dual-capable" aircraft is "a discussion for the future." He declined to discuss specifics, saying only, "it's still a decision to be made as to when we incorporate that into the F-35." Carlisle's comments echoed those made last fall by Maj. Gen. William Chambers, who oversees nuclear issues on the Air Staff. (For more Carlisle coverage, see: Reapers and Sentinels and F-35 Numbers.)
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2012, 06:47:07 pm »
 U.S. Vets Mock Nuclear Warhead in ICBM Trial   

March 1, 2012
 
 
The United States has carried out a flight test involving a data-collecting Joint Test Assembly for the W-87 nuclear warhead as part of a Minuteman 3 ICBM trial launch, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced on Thursday (see GSN, July 11, 2011). The ICBM carried the non-nuclear assembly for the test, according to the semiautonomous Energy Department office. It did not specify the date of the trial  (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, March 1). The Air Force on Saturday fired one Minuteman 3 ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (see GSN, Feb. 27). Concerns over a potentially defective monitoring system prompted the service to delay a second test of the missile originally scheduled for Thursday, the Lompoc Record reported (Janene Scully, Lompoc Record, March 1). Joint Test Assemblies are equipped with various information gathering and delivery components, according to an NNSA statement. The technology incorporates a mechanism to record information for a weapon reliability analysis created at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. The W-87 is carried on Minuteman 3 missiles. “JTA flight tests are essential in ensuring that all weapon systems perform as designed,” NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan said in provided remarks. “The working relationship between NNSA and the Department of Defense is vital as we continue our strong partnership in support of our national security.”


 The National Nuclear Security Administration produced the mock weapon for the Joint Surveillance Flight Test Program, an effort the agency oversees with the Pentagon. Test-assembly trials seek to replicate real warhead configurations and employ the maximum amount possible of actual "war reserve hardware," according to the release. The mock bomb was built at the Pantex Plant in Texas (National Nuclear Security Administration release).
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2012, 12:45:11 am »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Sea Skimmer

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #62 on: March 07, 2012, 01:54:29 am »
Ronald Reagan proposed giving the USSR not just some 'limited' classified data, but the actual technology of SDI. Not a new idea.

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« Reply #63 on: March 08, 2012, 09:08:29 pm »
Timeline for Nuclear Warhead Life Extensions:


The United States' three nuclear warhead life-extension programs are continuing, but at a slower pace due to budget cuts, said Thomas D'Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Thursday. "Over the last two years, the Administration's been very consistent at putting out a fairly significant program to do life-extension work on the stockpile itself," D'Agostino told reporters in Washington, D.C. Commitment to regenerating the Air Force's B-61 free-fall warhead and the Navy's W-76 warhead that Trident ballistic missiles carry "hasn't changed, . . . just the pace has slowed down a little bit," he explained. NNSA is also continuing to study future life-extension needs for the W-78/88 warheads fitted to the Minuteman III and Navy Trident II missiles. "What's being slowed down are what's typically been called hedge warheads," said D'Agostino. "We're going to slow down and stretch out that particular piece" to meet budgets constraints over the short term, he noted. This means that the Navy's W-76, which is currently in production, is the highest priority in the short run. After that, the B-61—arguably the most complex rework—will tentatively begin production in 2019, he said. The W-78/88 life extension programs, which are the least pressing, are longer term goals, said D'Agostino.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2012, 12:07:28 am »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Madurai

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #65 on: March 09, 2012, 10:30:13 am »
Ronald Reagan proposed giving the USSR not just some 'limited' classified data, but the actual technology of SDI. Not a new idea.

As did Bush II.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2012, 12:03:10 pm »
Ronald Reagan proposed giving the USSR not just some 'limited' classified data, but the actual technology of SDI. Not a new idea.

As did Bush II.

Of course saying Bush or Reagan "did it to" is overly simplistic unless we know the details underlying the offer. Reagan and Bush wanted massive concessions it appears Obama is just giving it to them as a "confidence building measure" so the offers are very very different.

1) I'll lend you $10,000 and use your car as collateral
2) I'll lend you $10,000 and you have to give me your house

Same offer of $10,000 right?
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2012, 11:45:09 pm »
New Nuclear Course Launches:


The Air Force started a new course on advanced nuclear concepts at its Nuclear College at Kirtland AFB, N.M. Nuclear 300, as it is known, is a five-day professional continuing education offering that explores nuclear deterrence theory and application, nuclear operations policy and strategy, nuclear incident response, and nuclear surety and effects, according to Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center officials. "This course will be a game-changer for the way we professionally develop our nuclear enterprise leaders," said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, AFNWC commander, in his opening remarks to the inaugural class. "The [Nuclear] 300 course material goes much deeper into foundational nuclear deterrence and nuclear operations policy issues than any other course at the college," added Harold Camacho, Nuclear College director. The course targets senior master sergeants and chiefs; field grade officers; staff officers from numbered air forces, major commands, combatant commands, and Air Force headquarters; and majors and lieutenant colonels who are squadron leaders. The first class began on Feb. 29. (Kirtland report by Col. Clarence Johnson)
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Offline sferrin

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« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2012, 04:30:33 am »
New Nuclear Course Launches:


The Air Force started a new course on advanced nuclear concepts at its Nuclear College at Kirtland AFB, N.M. Nuclear 300, as it is known, is a five-day professional continuing education offering that explores nuclear deterrence theory and application, nuclear operations policy and strategy, nuclear incident response, and nuclear surety and effects, according to Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center officials. "This course will be a game-changer for the way we professionally develop our nuclear enterprise leaders," said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, AFNWC commander, in his opening remarks to the inaugural class. "The [Nuclear] 300 course material goes much deeper into foundational nuclear deterrence and nuclear operations policy issues than any other course at the college," added Harold Camacho, Nuclear College director. The course targets senior master sergeants and chiefs; field grade officers; staff officers from numbered air forces, major commands, combatant commands, and Air Force headquarters; and majors and lieutenant colonels who are squadron leaders. The first class began on Feb. 29. (Kirtland report by Col. Clarence Johnson)
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I guess if we can't build actual weapons we need to teach a class to remind people they really exist.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2012, 06:52:23 am »
New Nuclear Course Launches:


The Air Force started a new course on advanced nuclear concepts at its Nuclear College at Kirtland AFB, N.M. Nuclear 300, as it is known, is a five-day professional continuing education offering that explores nuclear deterrence theory and application, nuclear operations policy and strategy, nuclear incident response, and nuclear surety and effects, according to Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center officials. "This course will be a game-changer for the way we professionally develop our nuclear enterprise leaders," said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, AFNWC commander, in his opening remarks to the inaugural class. "The [Nuclear] 300 course material goes much deeper into foundational nuclear deterrence and nuclear operations policy issues than any other course at the college," added Harold Camacho, Nuclear College director. The course targets senior master sergeants and chiefs; field grade officers; staff officers from numbered air forces, major commands, combatant commands, and Air Force headquarters; and majors and lieutenant colonels who are squadron leaders. The first class began on Feb. 29. (Kirtland report by Col. Clarence Johnson)
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I guess if we can't build actual weapons we need to teach a class to remind people they really exist.

When I first read "advanced nuclear concepts" I thought they were teaching "weapons" concepts not deterrent concepts. But you're right when we are slowly losing our ability to build anything why bother.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #70 on: March 20, 2012, 03:36:37 pm »
 Pentagon Undecided on Nuclear Warhead for New Cruise Missile   

March 20, 2012
    By Elaine M. Grossman
Global Security Newswire
   
 
 
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Defense Department has yet to determine which nuclear warhead will be fielded on a weapon that replaces the 1980s-vintage Air Launched Cruise Missile, according to Pentagon and combatant command officials (see GSN, Feb. 24).  Defense officials are “carrying out an Analysis of Alternatives to be completed this fall for an ALCM follow-on system,” John Harvey, a Pentagon nuclear force official, said last month.  “Plans are to sustain the ALCM and the W-80 warhead, [the] ALCM warhead,” until the new missile, the Long-Range Stand-Off weapon, “can be fielded,” he said.   Manufactured between 1979 and 1990, the cruise missile’s W-80 warhead is deployed aboard 85 nonstealthy Air Force B-52 bombers to give the 1960s-era planes an ability to launch nuclear weapons without having to enter heavily defended airspace.  The warhead has a variable explosive power of 5 to 150 kilotons, or roughly one-third to 10 times the yield of the nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima.  The Pentagon had earlier planned a major overhaul of the warhead to extend its service life, a recent Congressional Research Service report states.  Initial studies were to begin in late fiscal 2029.  By 2039, the W-80 nuclear explosive package and firing set would have received a major refurbishment, according to fiscal 2008 charts prepared by the Energy Department’s nuclear security agency.  However, it appears that the plans for W-80 life extension have been suspended, if not outright canceled.  A Senate appropriations bill in June 2006 said “W-80 life-extension activities” were “no longer supported by the Nuclear Weapons Council and the Department of Defense,” and as a result Congress ceased funding for them.  At the time, the Pentagon and the joint Energy-Defense Department council anticipated that a version of the new “Reliable Replacement Warhead,” optimized for cruise missiles, would be designed and built.  However, upon taking office, President Obama canceled his predecessor’s program to build new nuclear warheads, siding with critics who argued that the stockpile could instead be kept viable for years to come without introducing new weapons (see GSN, Aug. 19, 2009).  Defense and Energy leaders “were wiling to sacrifice the W-80 [life-extension effort] when they thought they could get the RRW,” said Hans Kristensen, who directs the Nuclear Information Program at the Federation of American Scientists.  “Now they can’t get the RRW,” he said.  That means the administration must instead “explore the use of existing warheads” for the future cruise missile, Harvey said last month in a speech at a nuclear weapons symposium.  The Air Force plans to retain today’s Air Launched Cruise Missiles through 2030, according to fiscal 2013 budget documents.  Current expectations are, though, that the workhorse B-52 bomber will remain flying at least a decade longer -- “beyond the year 2040,” the Air Force says.  Harvey suggested that the LRSO weapon is needed to ensure that the aging Stratofortress bomber can retain its stand-off nuclear capability after today’s Air Launched Cruise Missile becomes obsolete or is retired.  The missile has a range of more than 1,500 miles.  “Modern air defenses put the bomber stand-off mission with ALCM, the current strategic cruise missile deployed with the [B-52] bomber, increasingly at risk,” he said on Feb. 15 at the Arlington, Va., event.  The Air Launched Cruise Missile for now is undergoing a maintenance program to keep it functioning properly, according to the Air Force.  Roughly 1,140 of the cruise missile’s nuclear version, the AGM-86B, are fielded in today’s arsenal.

 
At the same time, the Analysis of Alternatives currently under way is aimed at determining what capabilities and technologies would be appropriate for the Long-Range Stand-Off weapon.  Fiscal 2013 budget plans include more than $600 million for development of the future cruise missile over the next five years.  If no major overhaul is presently planned that would extend the W-80’s service life, what nuclear warhead would go aboard the new Long-Range Stand-Off cruise missile?  “The DOD has not ruled in or out a life extension program for the W-80, the decision has not been made,” Navy Capt. Jeff Bender, a U.S. Strategic Command spokesman, said last week in response to queries.  Based in Omaha, Neb., Strategic Command determines military requirements for nuclear weapons and would take responsibility for them if ever used in combat.  “The W-80 is one of three candidate warheads for the future Long-Range Stand-Off missile,” Bender stated by e-mail. “If the W-80 is selected for the LRSO weapon system, it will require a life-extension program in the future.”  A major warhead life-extension effort of this kind would require about a decade’s advance notice, so that design studies and preparations could be carried out, Thomas D’Agostino, who heads the National Nuclear Security Administration, told reporters on March 8.  Harvey -- who serves as principal deputy assistant Defense secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs -- said another candidate warhead for the new cruise missile is the B-61, several variants of which are fitted on gravity bombs and are now being readied for service life extension (see GSN, March 15).  The first life-extended B-61 warhead should be available by 2019, according to D’Agostino.  Kristensen said the bomb warhead’s potential use on a new cruise missile, though, would be likely to require significant additional modifications and flight testing. The third warhead alternative for the new cruise missile, Harvey said, is the W-84, which was designed in the late 1970s for use on the since-banned Ground-Launched Cruise Missile.  The W-84 is a B-61 derivative that is closely related in design to the W-80.  Which warhead is ultimately selected for the cruise missile replacement could depend on a variety of factors, Kristensen said.  Some warheads feature more modern security devices -- such as “permissive action links” that require secret codes before activating -- or nuclear explosive cores that resist accidental ignition if caught in a blaze. “If safety and security are the issue, they would use the W-84 because it has the best permissive action link and fire-resistant pit,” said Kristensen, comparing it to the W-80 and B-61.   All three of the potential LRSO warheads use insensitive high explosives, a key safety feature that make warheads less likely to detonate if accidentally dropped or hit with a bullet, for example, according to the Washington-based analyst.  Kristensen opined, though, that Defense and Energy officials seem to be asking the wrong question.

 
“One can always fiddle with whether it’s necessary to use this or that warhead.  But my fundamental question is whether it’s necessary to have a nuclear-armed cruise missile,” he said in a Monday telephone interview.  Today’s Air Launched Cruise Missile has conventional as well as nuclear variants.  “Given the overwhelming capability that we have in the highly accurate, long-range ballistic missile force -- and the gravity bombs that can also be delivered by aircraft -- it’s hard for me to see why an air-delivered nuclear cruise missile is needed, as well, in this day and age,” Kristensen said.  “If the mission is deterrence, then it’s clearly not needed.”

 
The Air Force, by contrast, sees the new weapon system as central to its ability to carry out its nuclear responsibilities.  “The LRSO weapon system will be capable of penetrating and surviving advanced integrated air defense systems from significant stand-off range to prosecute strategic targets in support of the Air Force's global attack capability and strategic deterrence core function,” the service stated in fiscal 2013 budget documents, submitted to Congress last month. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #71 on: March 23, 2012, 06:41:34 pm »
  USAF's FY-13 S&T Budget Invests In Hypersonics, Fifth-Gen Weapons          
Despite the prospect of a slight cut to its overall budget, the Air Force's science and technology effort expects to increase investment in a number of areas in fiscal year 2013, notably in a new hypersonic program and a variety of weapon capabilities designed for fifth-generation aircraft.1203 words     
 Long Range Standoff AOA To Study Speed, Accuracy, Integration Options          
An analysis of alternatives for the Air Force's next-generation, nuclear-capable cruise missile will consider a number of traits such as speed, range and warhead integration capabilities, and in the shorter term, the service's nuclear enterprise is continuing several initiatives to strengthen its intercontinental ballistic missile fleet based in the United States.991 words
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Offline Grey Havoc

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« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 01:46:28 pm by Grey Havoc »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2012, 04:45:38 pm »
 Obama Seeks Additional Nuke Cuts With Russia 
  March 26, 2012
 
  The United States intends to seek additional reductions to its nuclear arsenal in exchange for potential comparable curbs by Russia, President Obama said on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 16).  "We can already say with confidence that we have more nuclear weapons than we need," Reuters quoted Obama as saying in South Korea on Monday, hours before the opening of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul (see related GSN story, today).  The U.S. president vowed to seek bilateral curbs on quantities of atomic armaments at a meeting planned in May with Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin.  Republican lawmakers have already charged Obama with undermining the nation's capacity to discourage aggression by other states, and they would mount significant resistance to nuclear-weapon cuts he might propose during this year's presidential campaign, according to Reuters. Defense hawks would respond skeptically to such a proposal, as they contend the president has failed to follow through with adequate speed on a nuclear arms complex modernization commitment he made while seeking GOP backing of a Russian-U.S. strategic nuclear arms control treaty that entered into force last year (see GSN, March 15).  Washington and Moscow "can continue to make progress and reduce our nuclear stockpiles," Obama said. "I firmly believe that we can ensure the security of the United States and our allies, maintain a strong deterrent against any threat, and still pursue further reductions in our nuclear arsenal."  "Going forward, we'll continue to seek discussions with Russia on a step we have never taken before -- reducing not only our strategic nuclear warheads, but also tactical weapons and warheads in reserve," the president said.  The U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles are unrivaled in size, together comprising thousands of weapons that nonproliferation backers contend are multiple times the quantity necessary to eviscerate life on the planet.  The New START pact, which entered into force on Feb. 5, 2011, requires the two nations by 2018 to each reduce deployment of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from a cap of 2,200 mandated by this year under an older treaty. It also limits the number of fielded strategic warhead delivery platforms to 700, with an additional 100 systems permitted in reserve. The treaty calls for the nations to regularly share quantities, siting and schematics of armament equipment and sites (see GSN, March 9).

 
Obama also addressed China's increasing nuclear arms effort, saying he had called on Beijing "to join us in a dialogue on nuclear issues, and that offer remains open" (Spetalnick/Laurence, Reuters, March 26).  The U.S. nuclear force was built to stave off Soviet aggression and is “poorly suited to today’s threats including nuclear terrorism,” Obama said in remarks reported by Bloomberg. That characteristic, he said, prompted his mid-2011 call for a White House reassessment of the arsenal (see GSN, Feb. 15; Talev/Goldman, Bloomberg, March 26).  "I believe the United States has a unique responsibility to act -- indeed, we have a moral obligation," USA Today quoted Obama as saying. "I say this as president of the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons. I say it as a commander in chief who knows that our nuclear codes are never far from my side. Most of all, I say it as a father, who wants my two young daughters to grow up in a world where everything they know and love can't be instantly wiped out" (Aamer Madhani, USA Today, March 26). 
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If the case for further disarmament is so strong why do proponents of further cuts make it sound like we are at the height of Cold War arsenal levels?
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« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2012, 06:26:11 pm »
The exchange on missile defense:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
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« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2012, 12:17:10 pm »
The Navy's proposal to delay construction of new ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) meant to succeed the current Ohio class is both good and bad news for America's shipbuilders, according to the program manager for the new "boomer" sub. But key members of Congress -– already at odds with the Administration over delays to the Virginia-class submarine -- remain skeptical.
 
 
 Pushing construction start on the 12 so-called "Ohio Replacement" subs to 2021 from 2019 could raise costs, though by how much is not clear, Brian Wilson from General Dynamics' Electric Boat told AOL Defense. On the other hand, the delay could give designers more time to refine the new subs' blueprints, potentially avoiding costly complications in construction, Wilson said. "It is two more years of design effort, so there is the possibility of ensuring we have the most mature design in place."
 

 Electric Boat already employs 4,000 people on the Ohio Replacement program, according to shipyard spokesman Bob Hamilton, a figure that will surely rise as the submarines begin to enter production in a few years' time. The comparable Virginia attack-submarine program employs 6,000 people at Electric Boat. Electric Boat and the Newport News shipyard in Virginia have together produced between one and two submarines a year in recent years.
 
 
With so many jobs at stake, sub boosters in Congress don't want to take any chances with the Ohio replacement. "Some folks want to push the next-generation SSBNs into the future ... to save money," remarked George Behan, a staffer for Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee. "The problem is you risk the industrial base," Behan said. The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is debating a proposed defense budget that adds $25 billion to the White House's roughly $525 budget submission and could reverse some of the Navy's recent shipbuilding changes.
 
 
It's not clear whether the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate will also support reversing the Ohio Replacement's delay. Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who sits on the Armed Services Committee and whose state is home to Electric Boat and Groton submarine base, has opposed other cuts to sub production and could take a stance against the boomer delay. Lieberman has spoken out against the Pentagon's January Defense Strategic Guidance, which codified changes to submarine build plans. "The changes outlined today greatly increase the risk that an adversary would calculate that we would not necessarily devote maximum effort to fighting back against them," Lieberman wrote in a statement following the guidance's release.
 
 
The Navy originally wanted 14 new boomers to replace the 14 Ohios. (Eighteen Ohios were built between 1976 and 1997 but the Navy recently converted four into conventional guided-missile subs.) To save money the Navy cut the new boomer class to just 12 vessels. Retired Rear Adm. Frank Lacroix estimated that design and production of the reduced class could set back the taxpayer $100 billion. In its more recent 30-year shipbuilding plan, the Navy admitted the cost of acquiring new boomers could put the annual ship construction budget $2 billion over historical averages in the 2020s and 2030s, potentially threatening other ship programs.
 
 
The two-year Ohio Replacement delay the Navy announced as part of the Defense Strategic Guidance helped protect near-term shipbuilding plans, but it could also create a gap between the planned retirement of the Ohios (as their nuclear reactors wear out) and the completion of the replacement vessels in the 2030s. "We believe this risk can be managed," the Navy asserted.
 
 
Electric Boat's Wilson is equally sanguine about the boomer delay. "Across the submarine industry this does represent a bit of a slowdown," he told AOL Defense. "It does create issues trying to ensure the industrial base and the people designing the components for us are able to conduct the work in a manner that supports the evolving maturity of the ship design."  "But there's a chance that design work on the submarine could benefit," he added. Specifically, the Ohio Replacement could mine advancements introduced on the latest Virginia models as the latter come on-line over the next decade or so. "I steal -- I should say, reuse -- everything I can from the Virginia."
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #76 on: March 28, 2012, 09:51:03 pm »
Protecting the Triad: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) praised the Defense Department for its "clear commitment" to modernizing the nuclear triad despite tough economic times during Wednesday's hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel. However, he noted that sustaining and modernizing the triad will not be cheap, citing an estimated $120 billion cost just over the next decade. A modernized tried must be affordable, said Sessions, the panel's ranking member. "Uncontrollable cost, perhaps more than anything else, could be a threat to our ensuring it in the future," he asserted. He expressed his support "to do whatever is possible to modernize our nuclear weapons," but he also acknowledged that he's "been taken aback" by the estimated cost of $8 billion or more to build a new uranium-processing facility and a plutonium-handling facility for the nuclear weapons complex. Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, said the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget request generally protects the nuclear modernization initiatives despite "some adjustments in some of the schedules of programs," like the two-year slip to the fielding of the Ohio-class replacement submarine. "Where we are all concerned, and where we have work to do, is in the outyears," she said. (Creedon-Weber joint statement)
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2012, 11:31:35 am »
 Spending Reductions Could Delay Nuke Updates: Strategic Command Chief

 March 29, 2012
 
 
Planned spending cuts at the U.S. Defense Department could delay refurbishment of nuclear armaments for the country's bomber aircraft and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, Strategic Command chief Gen. Robert Kehler said on Tuesday (see GSN, March 15).

 
Funding reductions constitute an "acceptable" threat to the nation's ability to ward off potential aggression by present-day antagonists in possession of nuclear weapons, the Washington Times quoted Kehler as saying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing (see GSN, March 28).  The U.S. atomic stockpile is "safe, secure and effective," he told Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “And so today I believe that that deterrent force could meet its objectives.”  Still, tighter budgets could hold up updates to W-76 nuclear warheads for U.S. submarine-fired ballistic missiles, as well as B-61 nuclear gravity bombs, Kehler said.  The Obama administration has asked for $80 million less for W-76 nuclear warhead life-extension efforts in fiscal 2013 than it had anticipated last year, according to previous report (see GSN, March 8). The administration requested $369 million in the upcoming budget cycle for extending the service life of the B-61, a $136 million increase over fiscal 2012 appropriations, another earlier report states. The next budget year begins on Oct. 1.  “We have weapons that are beginning to reach their end of life,” the general stated. “What the budget reductions did was it slowed the delivery of those (modernized) weapons.”  Kehler described the W-76 warhead refurbishment slowdown as "manageable."  The initial refurbished B-61 bomb is not slated for completion for seven more years, two years after it would become necessary, according to the Times.  “I believe that’s manageable risk as well,” Kehler said. Life-extension activities for the bomb are expected to begin in 2013.

 
Strategic Command is examining land- and sea-based ballistic missiles for "commonality" relevant to potential new refurbishment activities, Kehler added.  Fiscal 2013 spending plans would enable the United States to mitigate threats to the ability of its nuclear forces to discourage potential hostile actions, but "the issue is what happens beyond" the upcoming budget year, he said. The Energy Department's fiscal 2013 budget request excludes cost projections for nuclear weapons-related efforts beyond fiscal 2013, and administration officials have said the figures would be released later this year, according to previous reporting.  "That’s where the two secretaries of Energy and Defense have said that we do not have the complete plan in place for what happens beyond [fiscal 2013],” Kehler stated. “That concerns me.”  The Obama administration has failed to follow through on nuclear weapons spending commitments while implementing a strategic arms control deal with Russia, according to some GOP lawmakers (see GSN, March 9; Bill Gertz, Washington Times, March 29).  Any ICBM reductions carried out to comply with the bilateral New START pact should should be evenly dispersed between launch sites in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, senators from the three states and Utah said on Wednesday in a statement to the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

 
New START, which entered into force on Feb. 5, 2011, requires the United States and Russia by 2018 to each reduce deployment of strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from a cap of 2,200 mandated by this year under an older treaty. It also limits the number of fielded strategic warhead delivery platforms to 700, with an additional 100 systems permitted in reserve (U.S. Senator John Hoeven release, March 28). 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #78 on: March 30, 2012, 11:53:06 am »
Common Interests:


The Obama Administration is studying a common nuclear warhead design that could replace the W78 that sits atop Minuteman III ICBMs and the W88 carried by Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles, Pentagon officials told lawmakers this week. "A common warhead will need to be able to meet both the Navy requirements for the SLBM, as well as the Air Force requirements for the ICBM," Rear Adm. Terry Benedict, director of the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, told the Senate Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel on Wednesday. He added, "That's never been done before. [But] I do believe that, given the right time and talent, we can achieve those requirements." Benedict said he anticipates that the Pentagon would seek the authority in this fiscal year to proceed into the applied research phase for the warhead. He said current plans call for the Air Force to lead this effort, with the Navy in a supporting role. At the same hearing, Andrew Weber, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear matters, characterized the common warhead as "among our highest priorities" for the strategic nuclear deterrent.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #79 on: March 30, 2012, 12:58:43 pm »
Yet another phantom project, I fear.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #80 on: March 31, 2012, 03:53:37 pm »
Common Interests:


The Obama Administration is studying a common nuclear warhead design...

Why do I have the feeling that this is the type of bomb the administration would like to replace the current stock with:
Aerospace Projects Review


And so the endless circle of life comes to an end, meaningless and grim. Why did they live, and why did they die? No reason. Two hundred million years of evolution snuffed out, for in the end Nature is horrific and teaches us nothing

Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #81 on: March 31, 2012, 04:43:10 pm »
Yet another phantom project, I fear.

It's election season.  Gotta placate the masses somehow.  Until he, "gets more flexibility" anyway.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #82 on: April 01, 2012, 09:33:09 pm »
Cruise Missile's Start Slips: The Air Force's Fiscal 2013 budget request delays by two years—to Fiscal 2015—the start of the Long Range Standoff Missile, the service's future nuclear-capable cruise missile, two generals told lawmakers last week. LRSO, as it is known, is the planned successor to the Air Launched Cruise Missile, which B-52s carry as an essential part of the US strategic nuclear deterrent. The Air Force slipped LRSO's start "as part of the adjustments necessary in our constrained fiscal environment," Maj. Gen. William Chambers, Air Staff lead for nuclear matters, told the Senate Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel on March 28. "Despite the LRSO delay, there will not be a gap between ALCM and LRSO," he noted. That's because service life-extension programs are in progress for ALCM "to ensure its viability beyond 2030," said Chambers. They address the cruise missile's propulsion, guidance and flight-control systems, and warhead-arming components, he said. Meanwhile, work on the LRSO analysis of alternatives continues and "will be completed in late 2012," said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, head of Air Force Global Strike Command. (Chambers' written testimony) (Kowalski's prepared testimony) (See also Speed Matters.)
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #83 on: April 09, 2012, 05:50:41 pm »
 Test Ban Treaty Gains 183rd Signatory State
 April 9, 2012
 
 
The South Pacific island nation of Niue on Monday became the 183rd signatory state to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (see GSN, Feb. 6).  "I welcome Niue to the CTBT family of nations. Niue's signature of the CTBT consolidates the Pacific region's firm stand against nuclear testing and closes the door on nuclear testing a bit further," Tibor Tóth, head of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, said in a press release. "I also hope that this step will serve to encourage other Pacific island states that have not yet done so to sign or ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity."
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« Reply #84 on: April 10, 2012, 09:43:56 pm »
Strategic Arsenal Slowly Coming Down: The US strategic nuclear arsenal is slowly coming down in size to the New START agreement's ceilings, according to the latest bilateral exchange of data with Russia on each party's respective force levels. The United States had 1,737 deployed nuclear warheads, 812 deployed launchers (i.e., heavy bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles), and 1040 total deployed/non-deployed launchers, as of March 1, states the State Department's newly released fact sheet on the biannual data exchange that the treaty requires. That compares to 1,800 warheads, 882 deployed launchers, and 1,124 deployed/non-deployed launchers that the United States declared as of Feb. 5, 2011, in the first data dump after New START entered force. The treaty requires each party to have no more than 1,550 deployed warheads, 700 deployed launchers, or 800 deployed/non-deployed launchers by February 2018. Initially, the United States is focusing on eliminating deactivated ICBM silos and retired B-52s that still count as part of the arsenal under New START's counting rules. The Russian arsenal stood at 1,492 warheads, 494 deployed launchers, and 881 deployed/non-deployed launchers, as of March 1, states the fact sheet. (See also aggregate numbers through Sept. 1, 2011.)

If They'll Work, None Can Say:
The United States can never know that its nuclear arsenal is functional and effective under the current self-imposed test ban, and the problem is only worsening with time, said Paul Robinson, former director of Sandia National Laboratories. "To live without testing is to live with uncertainty," stressed Robinson during a panel discussion on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty sponsored by the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. As US warheads have aged and technology has continued to advance, "that uncertainty has grown . . . and continues to grow today," he explained. New trends like cyber espionage heighten the uncertainty, adding the potential that an enemy could even "get to our design codes," noted Robinson. In the past, testing actual warheads from the stockpile served as a hedge against sabotage. Today, that safeguard no longer exists, he observed. "We're fooling ourselves to think we've designed them correctly when we have no idea whether the systems are still representative of a good design," he added. Someday, uncertainty as to the health of US nuclear warheads will grow to the point where "we'll say we have to [test]—if we're lucky and don't lose our nation first," summed Robinson.The United States has signed, but not ratified the CTBT; if President Obama wins a second term in November, securing ratification is likely to be a top foreign policy goal of his Administration.(Heritage Foundation webpage of event)
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2012, 03:00:50 pm »
   In about five years, every scientist with experience designing and testing nuclear weapons will have retired from the U.S. government.


Thomas D’Agostino, the undersecretary for nuclear security and the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), said the number of nuclear scientists with weapons testing experience is somewhere in the mid- to low teens.  The definition he uses for test experience is “someone who’s had a key hand in the design of a warhead that’s in the existing stockpile and who was responsible for that particular design when it was tested back in the early 1990s.” “Last year, it was in the 17 to 18 range, but I’ve got to believe it’s five fewer than that now,” he said at a March 8 breakfast with reporters.  “Five years from now, they will no longer be active employees of our laboratories.”  For some, this is cause for hand-wringing. For others, it’s just the inevitable outcome of a longstanding U.S. policy of not conducting nuclear weapons testing. The U.S. last conducted an explosive nuclear weapons test in 1992.  “As long as it is the policy of the United States — and it has been now for four successive administrations, two from each party — not to test, that is inevitable. So the question becomes: What do you do about it?” said Linton Brooks, a former ambassador and administrator of the NNSA at the Energy Department.  For some, the answer is the resumption of nuclear weapons tests or designing and building a new nuclear weapon.  However, the Defense Department’s new strategic guidance, released in January, made clear that nuclear weapons are playing a shrinking role in U.S. national security strategy.  “In the wake of the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons have occupied a less and less prominent part of our defense and national security strategy, rightly so,” Michèle Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense for policy, said March 6 at the Stimson Center in Washington.


The Obama administration has said it would like to pursue new disarmament talks with Russia. It is also pushing for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and then defeated in the Senate in 1999.  Some see this move toward a smaller nuclear force, plus President Barack Obama’s stated desire for a nuclear weapons-free world, as being in competition with the administration’s other policy goal of maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile in the near term.  Sometimes these policies are in conflict, John Foster, former director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, said April 10 at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.  The challenge these policies create can be seen at the laboratory level, where the government continues to try to attract and retain the best new talent in a field that it hopes will one day disappear.


Meanwhile, the effort to keep young scientists engaged at the national laboratories is made more difficult by recent funding cuts tied to deficit-reduction efforts.  Last month, the Los Alamos National Laboratory announced that 557 of its employees had volunteered to take buyouts to help deal with budget cuts.  The lab has a permanent workforce of 7,600.

The Testing Question

“If the administration has said they want to abandon testing, then certainly they have no interest in nurturing the knowledge base that would support it,” Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said in a March 21 interview. He serves as the chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee.  Some believe the U.S. should reserve the right to test its nuclear weapons not only to keep unique scientific and engineering skills alive, but also because the weapons may require it.  By not testing, “we may be running serious risks and not know it,” Foster said.  However, a new report from the National Academy of Sciences says the U.S. is able to maintain a safe and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without testing.  Brooks served on the committee that wrote the report.


“The report focuses on how you maintain that knowledge and capability given that the actuarial tables make it certain that there will be no one left who actually did a test,” he said in an April 10 phone call with reporters.  Sustaining a high quality workforce remains one of the most important aspects of maintaining a safe, effective nuclear deterrent, the report says.  “At the laboratories, that means continuing to recruit the best people, but it also means giving them real projects that will develop their skills,” Brooks said. “Things like the attempt to design a reliable replacement warhead — whatever the merits of that as a policy decision — it got new designers working with old designers on the process of how you design.”  Much of the scientific work being done on the weapons is called “surveillance,” performing routine checkups on the weapons to make sure the components are still safe and functioning.  “If it were a car, it would be the equivalent of checking to see if the batteries are good, the fan belt works,” D’Agostino said.  Advocates of testing say surveillance is not reassurance enough that the warheads, which experience natural degradation over time, are still working.


D’Agostino disagrees. “I would say, based on the information that I review and the information that the laboratory directors review, that we have a much better understanding of what’s going on inside our stockpile now than we ever did during the days of underground testing. We can now explain phenomena that we never could back then.”  However, things are constantly changing, he said, which is why it’s important to continue to develop scientific expertise.  “There are always going to be people who say, ‘We have to test,’” D’Agostino said. “In my tenure in this job and however long it’s going to be out into the future, I’m supremely confident that we do not need to test a warhead.”



Keeping Interest


Over the past several years, the government has taken steps to expand the work of the laboratories to include projects beyond the not very glamorous, but immensely important, surveillance work.  The report from the National Academy of Sciences cited a 2008 Defense Science Board study that found morale was low at the laboratories due to declines in funding and the lack of a clear, high-level government affirmation of the importance of their mission. Maintaining a safe and effective nuclear weapons stockpile is mostly an issue of resources, Brooks said. This means continued funding to recruit and maintain a high-quality workforce, repairing aging infrastructure, and investing in needed technologies, especially satellites for international monitoring.  To boost morale and to attract the best talent, the laboratories need to get scientists involved in work on nonproliferation, nuclear threat reduction, nuclear forensics and intelligence, especially of foreign nuclear programs, the National Academy of Sciences committee said.  The recommendation echoes a similar one made by the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, which released its findings in a May 2009 report.  The commission, which was chaired by former Defense Secretary William Perry and vice chaired by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger, concluded that the intellectual infrastructure was in “serious trouble” and that steps were required to address the situation.  “The laboratories must be able to provide challenging research on national problems,” the report said. In the weapons area, this should include projects that include design skills.


Turner, an advocate of increased spending on nuclear weapons, agreed. “There needs to be a pursuit of knowledge that’s actually not tied to any particular weapons systems.”  For him, it’s important to sustain the knowledge base that could support “new items and new policy directives” if there is a change in political leadership.  However, for some, the problem is an existential one that requires more than just resources to solve.  “The best way to manage it is to ensure that as the inevitable reduction in the role and number of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy continues, we should maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal, but also begin transitioning the work of the labs to more pressing 21st-century national security applications,” said Kingston Reif, director of nuclear nonproliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

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A chilling article from Defense News.

   
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2012, 03:39:31 pm »
It's going to take somebody getting nuked before Washington will wake up.  Hopefully it's not the US that is the painful example.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #87 on: April 20, 2012, 12:15:54 pm »
 Lieberman Knocks Obama Nuke Spending 
  April 20, 2012
 

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) this week joined a growing number of lawmakers who charge the Obama administration with failing to keep to its spending pledge for modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal (see GSN, April 18).  While making his case for ratification of the New START arms control treaty with Russia, President Obama in 2010 pledged $85 billion in spending over the next decade on the nation's nuclear arms complex.  The National Nuclear Security Administration for fiscal 2013 is requesting $7.6 billion for programs “to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.” The figure is 5 percent more than the funding Congress provided for the current fiscal year, but $372 million less than what the administration projected in 2010.  "The United States committed to reducing its strategic nuclear arsenal under the terms of the New START treaty with the Russian Federation. However, the FY13 budget request does not fully fund the nuclear modernization efforts identified by the 1251 Report of November 2010 that the administration committed itself to in advance of Senate ratification of that treaty," Lieberman stated in a letter sent on Tuesday to the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  "If modernization efforts to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of a smaller stockpile are not sustained, then further reductions to the stockpile should not be considered until the expiration of the treaty and a report by the U.S. Strategic Command to the congressional defense committees on the risks of a smaller strategic nuclear stockpile," the former Democratic vice presidential candidate said in addressing his broader opposition to additional defense reductions for the budget year that begins on Oct. 1 (U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman release, April 17).

 
A number of Republican lawmakers have aired similar concerns since the Obama budget was rolled out in February. Representative Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, in March introduced legislation that would specifically link U.S. arsenal cuts to the fulfillment of Obama’s modernization pledge (see GSN, March 9).  However, NNSA and Defense Department officials have publicly argued that the proposed funding level for fiscal 2013 is sufficient to ensure a reliable deterrent. A spending bill approved this week by a panel of the GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee matches the administration's $7.6 billion nuclear arms funding request.  Still, there is anticipation that top GOP lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee in coming weeks will attempt to "block implementation" of the New START accord unless the Obama administration pledges heightened spending on the nation's nuclear arms complex, the Washington-based Arms Control Association said on Friday.

 
The treaty, which entered into force in February 2011, requires Russia and the United States by 2018 to each reduce deployments of operational strategic nuclear systems to 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery systems.  "This type of partisan 'hostage taking' threatens to undermine U.S. national security, ignores budget reality and defies common sense," the organization said in an issue brief.

 
"Blocking U.S. implementation of New START, as Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Representative Michael Turner (R-Ohio)'s bill H.R. 4178 threatens to do, would likely result in Russia doing the same," according to the Arms Control Association. "The treaty would unravel, allowing Moscow to rebuild its forces above treaty levels and increase the number of nuclear weapons aimed at the United States. Moreover, the inspection system established under the treaty could collapse, depriving the United States of crucial data exchanges and on-site inspections of Russian forces."  The organization highlighted the proposed 5 percent increase in nuclear spending from current levels and noted that the 2010 projection was established prior to approval of the 2011 Budget Control Act that demanded significant cuts to federal spending (Arms Control Association release, April 20).
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2012, 11:09:34 am »
End of the Advanced Cruise Missile: Without fanfare, an excavator recently severed the fuselage of the Air Force's last AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile during a ceremony at Hill AFB, Utah. Destruction of this AGM-129 completed the demilitarization of this cruise missile type and associated trainers, components, and engines "within budget and ahead of schedule," according to an April 24 release from officials at Tinker AFB, Okla. Tinker's Missile Sustainment Division, along with Tinker's Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center and Hill's Ogden ALC, began the process of destroying the AGM-129 inventory—some 460 missiles—in February 2008. The Air Force had opted to eliminate the AGM-129 fleet as part of US efforts to draw down nuclear force levels to meet the cap of 2,200 operational nuclear warheads imposed by the 2002 Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty with Russia. B-52H bombers carried the low-observable, subsonic cruise missiles. (AGM-129A fact sheet)
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My question would be, "Will we see, "End of the Minuteman III ICBM, US has no more land based ballistic missiles" stories 10 or 20 years from now?
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #89 on: April 30, 2012, 04:56:09 pm »
 China Calls for "Drastic" Russian, U.S. Nuclear Force Reductions 
  April 30, 2012
 
 
China on Monday urged Russia and the United States to pursue "drastic" reductions to their nuclear arms stockpiles, and called on all possessor states to formally offer no-first-use guarantees for their atomic arsenals, Reuters reported (see GSN, April 5).  "As countries with (the) largest nuclear arsenals, U.S. and Russia should continue to make drastic reductions in their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable and irreversible manner," Chinese diplomat Cheng Jingye said during a conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in Vienna, Austria.  "Other nuclear-weapon states, when conditions are ripe, should also join the multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament," according to Beijing's lead envoy to the event.  China, France, and the United Kingdom are the world's other three recognized nuclear powers, while India, Israel and Pakistan are known or assumed to have developed nuclear arsenals outside the NPT accord.

 
Russia and the United States agreed under the New START accord to by 2018 reduce their respective fielded strategic arsenals to 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery systems. The Obama administration has said it would like to open new arms control talks with the Kremlin that could address nonstrategic weapons and warheads held in storage, but issue specialists do not believe formal negotiations would take place in the near future. 
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Right after we see your 3000 miles of tunnel complex.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #90 on: April 30, 2012, 06:20:47 pm »
If China wants that they can open their country up for inspection by the US and Russians.  Nah, didn't think so.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #91 on: May 02, 2012, 06:54:21 am »
Gen Robert Kehler written testimony to the Strategic Forces Subcommittee:


http://www.airforce-magazine.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Testimony/2012/April2012/041712kehler.pdf
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #92 on: May 08, 2012, 11:52:18 pm »
 Interceptor-Dodging Russian ICBM Could Take 10 Years to Prepare

 May 8, 2012
 
 
Russia would require at least another decade to equip its armed forces with a planned ICBM designed to evade U.S. missile interceptors, a missile production company in the country stated in Tuesday comments reported by RIA Novosti (see GSN, Dec. 16, 2011).  Moscow last December said it would prepare the silo-based, liquid-fueled ICBM as a successor to the R-36M Voyevoda missile. Russia's armed forces referenced the concept for such a weapon roughly three years ago.  The United States plans between now and 2020 to deploy increasingly advanced sea- and land-based missile interceptors around Europe as a proclaimed hedge against a potential ballistic missile attack from Iran. The Kremlin says it suspects that next-generation U.S. interceptors planned for Europe could have the ability to target its strategic nuclear forces (see related GSN story, today).  Russian strategic missile forces head Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev last year said the military's solid-fueled strategic weapons might be vulnerable to interception by U.S. antimissile systems.  It is difficult to estimate how long the new ICBM would require to prepare, according to Andrei Goryaev, deputy head of the Russian missile production firm NPO Mashinostroyeniya.  “Statistics says it will take about 10 years,” Goryaev said. “If the country has not done it for 30 years then difficulties are inevitable” (RIA Novosti, May 8).
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #93 on: May 11, 2012, 12:18:23 pm »
 B-61 Bomb Project Expense Projection Hits $6B, Report Says   

May 11, 2012
 
 
The projected expense of U.S. B-61 nuclear gravity bomb life extension efforts has risen to $6 billion, $2 billion more than projected in 2011 by the National Nuclear Security Administration, an independent analysis on Wednesday quoted informed insiders as saying (see GSN, April 27).  The change stems from poor oversight as well as planned risk reduction alterations sought for the weapons by the semiautonomous Energy Department agency as well as the Defense Department and U.S. nuclear-weapon research facilities, according to the assessment by Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

 
The weapons presently have the least accident-prone configuration of any in the nation's atomic arsenal, the expert said, noting that the "second-most ambitious" proposal for updating the bombs received the Nuclear Weapons Council's endorsement five months ago.

 
Close to 200 B-61 bombs are kept at six bases in five NATO states in Europe. The life-extended weapons would be “critical” to “deterrence of adversaries in a regional context, and support of our extended deterrence commitments," according to the Air Force (see related GSN story, today).  The Defense Department hopes to replace four variants of the bomb with a single model, dubbed the B-61 Mod 12, in part to reduce expenses  (see GSN, June 3, 2011).  Still, "we have yet to see the budget justification for that and it is not clear how much of the savings will come from consolidation or from simply reducing the overall number of B-61s in the stockpile," Kristensen wrote. "Already the consolidation part is turning out to be much more expensive than we were led to believe." 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #94 on: May 17, 2012, 12:20:38 pm »
New US Nuclear Posture Proposed: The United States should adopt a new nuclear posture that eliminates its first-strike capability by reducing the strategic arsenal to 900 warheads or less, said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, former Joint Chiefs vice chairman, in a media teleconference May 16."It is a significant departure from our posture [and] it is one that we would have to enter into with the Russians," explained Cartwright in introducing the Global Zero initiative's new report (caution, large-sized file) advocating this new doctrine and structure. "We're talking about having about 300 weapons . . . that are available at any given time . . . so the numbers are not there for the pre-emptive, decapitating strike," he stressed. Cartwright further advocated eliminating the ICBM force, asserting that fixed missile sites are "malpositioned" and "vulnerable" in comparison to ballistic missile submarines and the strategic bomber force. Asked for comment during a May 16 appearance at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said "Cartwright's supposition is farfetched and it introduces the likelihood of instability in a deterrence equation, which is not healthy." Schwartz added: "I don't agree with his assessment, nor the study that is referenced."
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And if our subs are vulnerable we won't have a first or second strike. Why all this disarmament talk we are already disarming at an alarming rate and more importantly losing key industrial capacity. Can the US even produce a new ICBM or advanced nuclear warhead anymore?
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Offline George Allegrezza

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« Reply #95 on: May 17, 2012, 01:09:27 pm »
He's gone completely off the reservation.  This is the guy who convinced Gates to deep-six the first attempt at the new bomber a few years ago (maybe there were good reasons to do so, but "I don't like bombers" isn't one of them).

I love the part about somehow we would ensure that it would take a minimum of 72 hours to launch a retaliatory strike.  Unilaterally of course.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 01:13:54 pm by GeorgeA »

Offline sferrin

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« Reply #96 on: May 17, 2012, 05:03:50 pm »
Can the US even produce a new ICBM or advanced nuclear warhead anymore?

Not without more expense than anybody is willing to bare.  Reinventing the wheel is expensive, especially when you have to start from infrastructure on up.  We can thank short-sighted politicians in Washington for that. 
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« Reply #97 on: May 22, 2012, 10:46:07 am »
 U.K. Delivers Design Contracts for New Sub   

May 22, 2012
 
 
The United Kingdom on Tuesday delivered about $550 million in deals to draft the design of a next-generation ballistic missile submarine, Reuters reported (see GSN, May 21).  The nuclear-armed vessels would be intended to replace four Vanguard-class submarines slated for retirement beginning in the 2020s. The government is not anticipated to formally decide on pursuing the effort -- projected to cost as much as $31.5 billion -- until after national elections in 2015.  Contracts issued on Tuesday would provide more than $517 million to a branch of military contractor BAE Systems, close to $24 million to Babcock and $6.3 million to Rolls Royce.
 "It's without commitment in theory, but of course it is with commitment in practice. We wouldn't be spending this kind of money on design if it didn't look as if it was going to go forward," said Eric Grove, who heads the University of Salford's Center for International Security and War Studies.  The Conservative Party, which leads the British coalition government, has appeared to support full replacement of today's deterrent force. That stance has been criticized by nuclear disarmament advocates and members of the junior coalition partner Liberal Democrats, who say the existing arsenal does not reflect the present threats facing the nation.
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Wonder if there is any 'cross Atlantic' cooperation happening, other than on the CMC (Common Missile Compartment) of course?
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« Reply #98 on: May 22, 2012, 09:10:06 pm »
  Air Force, Industry Meet To Discuss New Nuclear Cruise Missile Requirement        

The Air Force is meeting with industry representatives today to discuss how to modernize the Pentagon's inventory of nuclear-armed, bomber-launched cruise missiles, with the discussions expected to inform a decision on which weapon will replace the aging AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missile.  The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center's Nuclear Capabilities Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM, is hosting the forum, formally called the Long Range Standoff Warhead-Contractor Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM), according to a notice posted on Federal Business Opportunities.  "This TIM is in support of the LRSO analysis of alternatives (AOA) effort," the brief posting, dated May 3, states -- noting that participation is limited to individuals with "critical nuclear weapon design information" security clearances.  The Office of the Secretary of Defense last summer granted the Air Force the green light to proceed with an exploration of potential material solutions for a LRSO capability, conducting an analysis of alternatives to the case for a major acquisition effort. While the AOA is due to be complete in FY-13, the Air Force earlier this year announced it would delay until FY-15 plans to proceed with technology development of the cruise-missile replacement program.


The delay came after the Defense Department last fall reduced spending plans by $487 billion over the coming decade. As part of those reductions, the Air Force decision to stretch out the LRSO acquisition reduced allocations for the effort by 31 percent in the service's five-year spending plan. The Pentagon's FY-12 budget request included $884 million through FY-16 for LRSO; the FY-13 budget request would allocate $609 million for the program through FY-17.  Of the current request, the Air Force is seeking only $2 million in FY-13, funds that would complete the AOA. Congress appropriated $9.9 million in FY-12 for LRSO, funds that the Air Force says are being spent on "concept refinement, technology analyses, modeling and simulation support, engineering studies, program cost and schedule estimation, [and] acquisition strategy development."  The Air Force is also developing criteria to prepare for technology development, according to budget documents.  The Air Force has a service-life extension program in place to ensure its Air-Launched Cruise Missile inventory, based on a design first fielded in 1982, remains viable for another two decades -- an effort that includes attending to the propulsion system, guidance and flight control systems as well as components that arm the W-80 nuclear warhead. In accordance with a 2006 Pentagon assessment of nuclear cruise missile force structure, the Air Force is paring back its ALCM inventory -- once greater than 1,100 -- to 528 missiles.  "The LRSO analysis of alternatives, which began in August 2011, continues apace and is scheduled to be completed in early FY-13," Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of staff  for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, told the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee in a March 28 prepared statement. "Despite the LRSO delay, there will not be a gap between ALCM and LRSO." -- Jason Sherman
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« Reply #99 on: May 22, 2012, 09:21:33 pm »
Navy, Air Force Could Consider Joint Missile Guidance Set Development


An Air Force official last week spoke optimistically about the possibility of his service and the Navy collaborating on some aspects of nuclear weapon development in an effort to drive down mounting recapitalization costs. The Navy and Air Force are, on their own, studying possible replacements for their aging nuclear-capable platforms. At a May 10 breakfast sponsored by the National Defense University Foundation, Air Force Lt. Gen. James Kowalski said the projected cost of those efforts in the 2020s should drive the two services to seek some commonality.
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« Reply #100 on: May 23, 2012, 08:12:35 pm »
 Russia Launches New ICBM in Trial 

  May 23, 2012
 
A Russian Topol-M ICBM carrier, shown on display earlier this month during a parade in Moscow’s Red Square. Russia on Wednesday conducted a test launch of a new ICBM said to incorporate features more advanced than those in Russian armaments such as the Topol-M (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev).  A new Russian ICBM on Wednesday for the first time functioned as intended in a trial firing, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, May 21). The missile took off from a mobile carrier at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at 10:15 a.m. local time and flew 3,700 miles. “The dummy warhead reached its target area at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The set goals of the launch were reached,” Russian strategic missile forces spokesman Vadim Koval said in an Interfax report. The weapon is said to be designed to defeat missile defense systems. The test occurred just three days after NATO formally declared an "interim capability" to protect against missile attacks (see GSN, May 21). Moscow has repeatedly said it suspects the developing U.S.-NATO missile shield for Europe is aimed at Russia's long-range nuclear forces. It has threatened a military response to the alliance project, including potential deployment of short-range ballistic missiles in territory that borders NATO states Poland and Lithuania. Earlier this month, Russian General Staff chief Gen. Nikolai Makarov suggested the military could take pre-emptive action against the NATO shield (see GSN, May 3). Brussels and Washington counter that the missile shield is actually intended to defend against a potential Iranian ballistic missile threat to the continent. However, multiple rounds of talks with Russia have not resolved the dispute. "This is one of the ... measures being developed by Russia's military and political leadership in response to the U.S. deployment of a global antimissile system," one-time Russian nuclear missile chief Viktor Yesin said in the Interfax report (see GSN, May 5, 2011).


The Russian ICBM had only been launched once before, in a Sept.. 27, 2011, trial that ended when an unspecified glitch caused the missile to come down after flying six miles, according to an anonymous armed forces insider. The missile has not received a specific designation. The armed forces identify the ICBM as a "fifth-generation" armament loaded with systems more advanced than those found in Russia's existing Topol-M and RS-24 missiles. The new ICBM "uses a new type of fuel that helps reduce the time required to operate the propellants in the active stage of the rocket's trajectory," according to an armed forces official. That upgrade reduces the potential for the missile to be observed in flight. The missile also carries multiple separate warheads that can shift direction as a defense against interception, Interfax reported (Dmitry Zaks, Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, May 23).
 
Russian news reports indicated the ICBM is an altered version of the Topol missile, according to the New York Times.  Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently began his third term in office, has demanded a twofold boost in missile manufacturing in 2013 (Andrew Kramer, New York Times, May 23). 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #101 on: May 23, 2012, 08:17:23 pm »
 Since we don't want to produce are own and may no longer be able to maybe India will sell us some of their new ICBMs to replace  our MMIIIs  :o

India Pursuing ICBM With 6,000-Mile Range 

India intends within the next two years to begin initial testing of an ICBM, the New Indian Express reported on Wednesday (see GSN, April 20). The future-generation Agni 6 is intended to have a traveling distance of between 4,970 miles and 6,210 miles.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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« Reply #102 on: May 23, 2012, 10:09:16 pm »
The new ICBM "uses a new type of fuel that helps reduce the time required to operate the propellants in the active stage of the rocket's trajectory," according to an armed forces official. That upgrade reduces the potential for the missile to be observed in flight. The missile also carries multiple separate warheads that can shift direction as a defense against interception, Interfax reported (Dmitry Zaks, Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, May 23).
 

My guess would be that this translates to "it is a high-thrust, high-acceleration system." Perhaps something akin to an ICBM version of a Sprint missile.
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« Reply #103 on: May 24, 2012, 04:51:51 am »
The new ICBM "uses a new type of fuel that helps reduce the time required to operate the propellants in the active stage of the rocket's trajectory," according to an armed forces official. That upgrade reduces the potential for the missile to be observed in flight. The missile also carries multiple separate warheads that can shift direction as a defense against interception, Interfax reported (Dmitry Zaks, Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, May 23).
 

My guess would be that this translates to "it is a high-thrust, high-acceleration system." Perhaps something akin to an ICBM version of a Sprint missile.

I'd be surprised if it were something that extreme. 
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Offline RyanC

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« Reply #104 on: May 24, 2012, 08:34:46 am »
There's no free lunch in ballistic missile development. I'd be very interested in what exactly they traded away for this ability to retain multiple warheads, yet giving each one a small capability to manouver.

I mean; when the Brits added Chevaline to their Polaris boats, it cut big time into the range of their missiles; forcing the boats to have to get closer to the USSR (and thus more vulnerable to Soviet ASW assets) to hit the same targets as before.

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« Reply #105 on: May 24, 2012, 09:06:06 am »
I'd be surprised if it were something that extreme.

The text indicates that it spends less time under boost in order to be less detectable. In order to do that, it would either be a shorter-range system (unlikely) or a higher thrust system. The claim of new propellant would indicate the latter. Sprint and HiBEX are the ultimate examples of such a concept... not real advisable for ICBMs due to the severe drag losses if done on the first stage, but might make sense on the upper stages.
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« Reply #106 on: May 24, 2012, 09:19:08 am »
I'd be surprised if it were something that extreme.

The text indicates that it spends less time under boost in order to be less detectable. In order to do that, it would either be a shorter-range system (unlikely) or a higher thrust system. The claim of new propellant would indicate the latter. Sprint and HiBEX are the ultimate examples of such a concept... not real advisable for ICBMs due to the severe drag losses if done on the first stage, but might make sense on the upper stages.

"Less time under boost" could mean they shaved 10 seconds off the boost time.  From what I've heard it's not a radically different missile. 
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Offline Grey Havoc

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« Reply #107 on: May 24, 2012, 09:26:22 am »
Perhaps the first stage utilises something like a VRD (vertical air-augmented engine), such as in the old Gnom missile?
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« Reply #108 on: May 24, 2012, 10:01:53 am »
Perhaps the first stage utilises something like a VRD (vertical air-augmented engine), such as in the old Gnom missile?

That would actually probably reduce acceleration and increase boost time.
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« Reply #109 on: May 24, 2012, 07:23:25 pm »
   The U.S. Air Force is moving ahead with plans to modernize its inventory of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, a top service general said.  The Air Force plans to maintain and modernize its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and extend the life of the air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) so both last until at least 2030, according to Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Pentagon.  The ALCM improvement programs include the guidance and flight control system and warhead arming components.
At the same time, the Air Force plans to modernize the B-2 stealth bomber and keep flying the B-52 bomber “until a replacement capability comes online,” Chambers said.  “The B-52 has recently seen some of the highest readiness rates in its 60-year history,” he said during a May 24 speech sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association. “It remains one of our most flexible airframes and one of the least expensive to operate.”  Replacements for the Minuteman III and ALCM also are in the works. The Air Force also has “dual capable plans ready as the F-35 program matures,” Chambers said. This would allow the Joint Strike Fighter to launch nuclear weapons, like today’s F-15E and F-16 fighter jets.
Service officials have made “significant strides in assessing and modernizing the nation’s nuclear command-and-control network,” and have established a baseline nuclear command, control and communications architecture, Chambers said.  “We’re focused on a very prioritized investment strategy concentrating on our senior leadership aircraft, our bomber fleet and multiple cryptographic improvements,” he said.
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Will I see a new ICBM in my lifetime? How 'bout Titan-X with about a 15 ton payload just for fun.  B)
   
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« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2012, 07:23:41 pm »
FY2013 Nuclear Budget News:


- The legislation "authorizes funding for U.S. scientists to work with scientists in countries of proliferation concern, to gain transparency and insight in these countries as well as to share best practices on nonproliferation," according to the committee release. The budget blueprint also mandates "a review of funding, threat assessments of countries of concern, and metrics to measure success and to ensure that programs close down in such countries when their work  is complete."
 
-- The bill mandates that the Nuclear Weapons Council inform lawmakers on "the definition of a common W-88/W-78 warhead."
 The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department, is developing three separate projects to extend the service lives of the W-78 warhead, which is fielded on Minuteman 3 ICBMs; the W-88 warhead, which is loaded onto Navy Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles; and the Air Force's B-61 gravity bomb (see GSN, March 8).

 
-- The Nuclear Weapons Council is required under the authorization bill to "oversee the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications System,  certify the [NNSA budget] to meet stockpile and stewardship requirements and report to Congress whenever an authorization or appropriation bill reported out of committee falls below the president's budget request level on an significant impacts."

 
-- The panel is also directed to "determine the feasibility of further consolidations to the NNSA complex and, if feasible, requires in its report a proposed process," the Senate committee said. The assessment must be delivered to Congress before building starts on the planned Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement center at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Both projects have been criticized for their enormous and escalating costs and other matters of concern.  However, the committee did approve returning "to fiscal year 2013, the proposed deferral by 'at least five years' of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement building, requiring the nuclear agency to use $150 million from funds authorized and appropriated for fiscal year 2013" with the stipulation that the building be active before 2025. The panel recommended a maximum of $3.7 billion be spent on the Los Alamos plutonium facility and a limit of $4.2 billion be allocated for the initial phase of the Y-12 uranium site (see GSN, April 27).


 -- Armed Services Committee members granted the unfinished mixed-oxide facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina an extra two years to "reach target levels of plutonium disposition." The $4.8 billion MOX facility is three-fifths finished; it was previously scheduled to go online in 2016 and to begin recycling warhead plutonium for nuclear power plant fuel by 2018 (see GSN, May 3).
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« Reply #111 on: June 01, 2012, 11:52:46 am »
Kehler Stresses Need for Investment in National Labs, Industrial Complex

The head of U.S. Strategic Command this week expressed concern about the projected level of investment over the next several years in the country's national laboratories and associated industrial facilities that supply the Defense Department with an effective nuclear arsenal.
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Bobbymike really stresses need for this plus delivery system modernization (sound of crickets chirping)
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« Reply #112 on: June 01, 2012, 12:13:55 pm »
A Tall Order: Protecting the nuclear enterprise may be "central" to the new defense strategy, but it won't be easy as defense dollars continue to dwindle, said Gen. Robert Kehler, US Strategic Command boss, during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. "Of all the elements of the nuclear enterprise, I'm most concerned with the potential for declining or inadequate investment in the nuclear weapons enterprise itself, some declining investment that would result in our inability to sustain the deterrent force," said Kehler during his May 30 talk. He added, "Our weapons are aging, and we face the continued erosion of the nuclear enterprise's physical and intellectual capital." Kehler said the President's Fiscal 2013 budget request protects funding for stockpile certification, warhead life extension, and infrastructure recapitalization, but the United States must keep its commitment to such investments in the future if it wants to maintain the "long-term credibility and viability" of the nuclear deterrent. "No question that's a tall order while we are facing significant budget reductions," he added. (Kehler transcript)
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« Reply #113 on: June 02, 2012, 12:00:58 am »
 U.S. Air Force Approves Concept for Future ICBM, Eyes Navy Collaboration
June 1, 2012 By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire   


WASHINGTON -- A senior-level U.S. Air Force panel has approved a document that formally articulates the need for a new ground-based missile system to replace today’s nuclear-armed Minuteman 3 arsenal (see GSN, Feb. 10). The future intercontinental ballistic missile might be either a modernized Minuteman or a completely new design, but one attribute appears increasingly certain: The ICBM will likely share an unprecedented number of “common” hardware and software components with a new Navy ballistic missile for basing on submarines, according to Defense Department officials. There is even some talk of building identical missiles for Navy deployment at sea and Air Force fielding on land, though at this early date the odds appear against that for military and technical reasons. Plans are for the Air Force’s new “ground-based strategic deterrent” to begin replacing today’s 450-missile Minuteman 3 force by 2030. Under the terms of last year’s New START arms control agreement with Russia, the United States has said it would retain no more than 420 ICBMs in coming years.
 
The Air Force Requirements Oversight Council on May 17 signed off on an “initial capabilities document” for the future ICBM, according to Capt. Caroline Wellman, a service spokeswoman. Such military documents typically are kept secret, spelling out key attributes needed for military equipment, such as range, speed and payload.  To proceed with an ICBM developmental effort, the Air Force must next vet the document through a multiservice review board, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. That top-level Pentagon panel is chaired by the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and includes the No. 2 military officers from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.  Once armed with the joint board’s approval -- anticipated sometime in roughly the next two to 12 months -- the Air Force can begin work in fiscal 2013 on a more detailed assessment of technical options. The Obama administration requested $11.7 million to launch the Analysis of Alternatives after the new spending year commences on Oct. 1 (see GSN, Feb. 14).  The analytical work is to continue in fiscal 2014 at a cost of $9.4 million, laying the groundwork for a White House decision on how the Minuteman 3 force -- first fielded in 1970 -- should be replaced.  As the Air Force prepares for the Analysis of Alternatives, “we are looking at basing modes. We are looking at affordability,” said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, the service’s assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. “We are looking at the right -- and the most compatible -- warhead.”  Speaking at a May 24 breakfast event on Capitol Hill, the Air Force two-star general noted it was early in the developmental process and said the future system’s technical attributes will “become more clear” once the two-year Analysis of Alternatives is complete.  Still, some hints have surfaced that could make the Minuteman follow-on missile interesting to policy wonks, technology junkies and maybe even some in the broader American public.  For one thing, the Pentagon’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review -- a wide-ranging assessment of the nation’s deterrence policy, forces and readiness -- said the Defense Department would consider “new modes of ICBM basing that enhance survivability and further reduce any incentives for prompt launch.”

 
That might mean the replacement missile could be made mobile, with a capability for transport on trucks or trains, according to defense experts. In a crisis, the ICBMs could be dispersed or hidden, making them more survivable against potential enemy attack and less likely to trigger a preemptive nuclear launch by either side.  Today’s Minuteman 3 missiles are based in fixed underground launch silos in five states: Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming.  Whether the U.S. public is ready to embrace nuclear-armed missiles on its roads or railways is not entirely clear, following heated debate over similar concepts during the 1980s. On the other hand, mobility could make the ICBM force more secure and potentially serve as a basis for additional nuclear arsenal reductions -- initiatives that could draw popular support.  New ICBM basing schemes might also include non-mobile options, such as “dense pack” deployment once contemplated -- and rejected -- for the since-retired Peacekeeper missile under President Reagan, according to one senior defense official interviewed last month. Under this concept, silos would be closely spaced and theoretically made more challenging to destroy in an all-out attack.  Another basing alternative could be to maintain some underground silos with ballistic missiles in them while others randomly remain empty, creating a “shell game” that similarly could complicate enemy targeting and help deter a massive nuclear strike against U.S. forces.  “We could give [adversary] folks lots of aim points, which keeps your stability up,” said the senior official, who cited political and military sensitivities surrounding nuclear weapon programs as the reason for requesting anonymity in this article. “But they may be targeting an empty hole.” 


There is also some early debate over whether to give the future ICBM a capacity for delivering multiple warheads. This comes despite a decision announced in the 2010 posture review to winnow down -- or “de-MIRV,” in Pentagon parlance -- each Minuteman from a maximum three warheads to one per missile.  The Nuclear Posture Review also alluded to retaining an ability to increase warheads on strategic platforms, as a hedge against the possibility -- however remote -- of a resurgent threat to the nation.  “Some ability to ‘upload’ non-deployed nuclear weapons on existing delivery vehicles should be retained as a hedge against technical or geopolitical surprise,” the 2010 policy document stated.  Although the posture review said that “preference will be given to upload capacity for bombers and strategic submarines,” some defense officials say the Pentagon will also likely move to preserve this option on its future ICBM.  “I think it’s clear” that the Pentagon will “keep a MIRVed capability on the missile,” even if the ICBM continues to be typically deployed with a single warhead, the senior official told Global Security Newswire.  A latent capacity to upload, if ever needed, would serve as insurance against “that resurgent threat, that unknown future that you have to worry about,” the official said.  There are technical and cost incentives to include a multi-warhead option in the missile design, according to the senior official.  “It doesn’t take that much, if you build [an upload capacity] in from the beginning,” the official said.  “Now, if you have a missile that’s only designed for singlets and now you want to reMIRV it, ouch. You’ve got a problem. It’s just money, but it’s … big money.”  Affordability will play a central role in the process to determine what technology replaces today’s land-based missile arsenal, this and several other officials emphasized.  A vocal group of lawmakers -- mostly comprising Republicans -- has suggested that plans for modernizing U.S. nuclear weapon systems should be spared from the budget axe that has affected many of the Pentagon’s conventional warfare procurement efforts (see GSN, April 20).  The 2011 Budget Control Act mandates a roughly $450 billion cut in defense spending over the next decade. That amount could more than double under the sequester process if lawmakers do not by the end of this year reverse the legislation’s demand for $1.2 trillion in additional government-wide reductions.

 
The senior defense official said that Pentagon personnel are operating under an assumption that cost discipline must be maintained across the board, to include nuclear weapon programs.  “Affordability is now a key parameter in every [Analysis of Alternatives] we do,” the official said. “The days of ‘it must be funded’ are over.”  Those suggesting in Pentagon meetings that nuclear efforts be exempted from budget-cutting considerations “get laughed right out of the room,” the official added.  The search for savings in tightening defense budgets has prompted the Navy and Air Force to discuss new ways of combining efforts. That has included new exploration of the potential for cross-service work on future ballistic missile development and procurement -- largely a new frontier after decades of building and buying nuclear systems separately.  The Navy currently deploys 1,152 nuclear warheads aboard 288 Trident D-5 ballistic missiles, fielded on a fleet of 14 Ohio-class submarines, according to a 2012 profile of U.S. nuclear forces compiled recently by atomic force experts Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris.  The service plans to continue fielding the D-5 missiles on a newly designed submarine in coming decades, but anticipates eventually replacing its ballistic missile with an updated weapon (see GSN, March 30).  Navy Rear Adm. Terry Benedict, who directs the Navy Strategic Systems Programs office, has led the charge on collaboration. In January he reportedly told Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, who heads the Air Force Global Strike Command, that potential areas of commonality between his D-5 replacement and the air service’s Minuteman follow-on could include a number of major components:

 
-- Strategic guidance systems -- the technology that directs a missile precisely from Point A to Point B;
 -- Rocket motor and propulsion systems -- which allow a missile to blast off and fly fast;
 -- Infrastructure and support equipment -- to help control, monitor and maintain the weapon system; and
 -- Strategic industrial capacity -- to sustain a national ability to produce ballistic missiles and supply them with spare parts.

 
“In today’s budget environment we must ensure that we are not unnecessarily duplicating effort,” Benedict is said to have told his Air Force counterpart in an early 2012 letter.  Kowalski did not reply to Benedict in writing for more than two months, but is said to have told the two-star admiral in an April missive that the two services must “leverage one another’s efforts” and “be in sync from nose cone to nozzle,” according to defense sources.  In May 10 remarks on Capitol Hill, Kowalski appeared convinced of the merits of joint work on the two future ballistic missiles -- as well as, perhaps, in keeping today’s Minuteman 3 ICBMs functional.  “I need to replace the missile guidance set on the Minuteman 3,” the general said during a breakfast event. “I think Terry’s going to need a new missile guidance set. I know that the follow-on to the Minuteman 3 -- the ground-based strategic deterrent -- is going to need a new missile guidance set.”  “Does the nation need to go out and buy three different missile guidance sets?” Kowalski continued. “Or is there some way we can work this where we buy one missile guidance set -- or at least have common components -- so that we’re not paying the same bill three times over?”  The Air Force and Navy are also working with the Energy Department’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a joint fuse for ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, as well as a common modernization package for warheads, the W-78 and W-88, respectively (see GSN, Sept. 14, 2010, and Jan. 7, 2010).

 
Sharing a single airframe for both missiles could be a stretch, though, Chambers said in response to an audience question during his appearance last month. Others agreed that the two services would likely have different parameters for the length and diameter of the missiles, and disparities in propulsion requirements might prove to be insurmountable.  “Given the two very different platforms, our charter is to pursue maximum amount of commonality, but it’s going to be very difficult to be identical,” Chambers said.
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Interesting article but will we ever see anything?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 01:51:44 pm by bobbymike »
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Offline Skybolt

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #114 on: June 03, 2012, 11:47:07 am »
This is only the very early requirement, that leaves open a lot of different path. We'll see something in it obviously, but which one, who knows. As for now, something can be said (if the requirements stay these: the upload capability rules out a Midgetman-2 missile (i don't know of recent breakthroughs in miniaturization of MIRV warheads, expecially the explosive part); basing schemes will be interesting to follow (the ones mentioned covered almost the entire field of ideas conceived in the last 50 years...), I'll go for mobility, preferably road and dispersal on alarm in disguised vehicles (an idea GM explored in 1962 for Minuteman). Navy collaboration is a must for reducing cost, so it is a no-news. something not-said is interesting: MaRV and very advanced, active, penaids.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #115 on: June 03, 2012, 12:52:36 pm »
If they wait until 2030 to start I doubt there will be anybody left who remembers how to design an ICBM.  Good luck.
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« Reply #116 on: June 03, 2012, 07:29:44 pm »
If they wait until 2030 to start I doubt there will be anybody left who remembers how to design an ICBM.  Good luck.

Maybe I don't understand how the DOD works or am naive or both but why can't they - for very unique systems like ICBMs - have a prototype program? You could keep design skills current, teach the new young engineers and scientists (who could actually get hands on experience) etc., etc.

While one offs will be expensive it has got to be cheaper than trying to restart an entire industrial base after 20 years of neglect.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 10:24:33 am by bobbymike »
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« Reply #117 on: June 13, 2012, 07:06:18 pm »
 Russia to Develop New Bomber Aircraft: Medvedev   

June 13, 2012
 
 
Russia intends to construct a new line of strategic bomber aircraft, RIA Novosti quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying on Saturday (see GSN, June 7).  “Alongside a fifth-generation fighter there are also plans to develop an advanced long-range aviation complex. I am talking about a new strategic bomber,” Medvedev said, adding it would be insufficient merely to update and sustain existing aircraft.  Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin recently questioned the need for a new line of long-range nuclear bombers (RIA Novosti, June 9).
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« Reply #118 on: June 19, 2012, 11:54:32 am »
 NNSA Supercomputer Declared Most Powerful 
  June 19, 2012
 
 
A supercomputer at one of the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories has been declared the fastest in the world, the National Nuclear Security Administration said in a Monday press release (see GSN, Nov. 3, 2011).  The IBM-made Sequoia based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California was ranked the fastest computers on an industry list comparing 500 systems around the world. The listing was issued at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany.  Sequoia clocks in at "16.32 sustained petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second)," according to the NNSA release. The system is used as part of the agency's program to maintain the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  "Computing platforms like Sequoia help the United States keep its nuclear stockpile safe, secure, and effective without the need for underground testing (see GSN, June 15). While Sequoia may be the fastest, the underlying computing capabilities it provides give us increased confidence in the nation's nuclear deterrent as the weapons stockpile changes under treaty agreements," NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said in provided comments.
 

 "Sequoia will provide a more complete understanding of weapons performance, notably hydrodynamics and properties of materials at extreme pressures and temperatures," NNSA Advanced Simulation and Computing program head Bob Meisner said in shared remarks."In particular, the system will enable suites of highly resolved uncertainty quantification calculations to support the effort to extend the life of aging weapons systems; what we call a life extension program"(U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, June 18).
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Let's use it to develop new modern weapons to replace our 30+ year old arsenal  ;D
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« Reply #120 on: June 20, 2012, 06:43:38 pm »
Obama Administration to Pursue Further Nuclear Weapons Cuts

 The Obama administration intends to pursue a deal with Russia enabling a significant decrease to the quantity of U.S. long-range deployed nuclear warheads, senior U.S. government insiders told Kyodo News on Friday (see GSN, May 18).  Curbs under consideration could lower the size of the nation's launch-ready nuclear force to between 1,000 and 1,100 weapons, according to atomic specialists associated with the related U.S. government entities. Such a change would go significantly beyond the 1,550 strategic warhead limit established by the New START arms control accord with Russia.  Finalization and formal announcement of the plan could take place in the near future, possibly before July, senior U.S. government personnel said. The effort would fall in line with the President Obama's 2009 Prague speech calling for eventual worldwide nuclear disarmament, according to Kyodo.


 The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review initiated the process expected to ultimately produce the president's arsenal guidance. The U.S. nuclear force serves a critical need in Washington's strategy by acting as an extended deterrent for partner nations including Japan and South Korea, Obama officials have contended (Kyodo News, June 16).  The anticipated NPR "implementation study" would exclude the possibility of lowering the deployed long-range nuclear force to between 300 and 800 warheads, the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday quoted U.S. government insiders as saying. 
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I thought we were not going to pursue further reductions unless all nuclear nations were involved next time, especially China?
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« Reply #121 on: June 22, 2012, 06:34:58 pm »
Nuke Updates Moving Forward: Obama Insiders   

June 22, 2012
   
High-level administration officials on Thursday attempted to deflect GOP accusations that President Obama has moved only tentatively to update the U.S. nuclear arms complex as he seeks stockpile curbs exceeding the mandates of a treaty with Russia, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, June 20).  The administration in 2010 announced a 10-year, $85 billion nuclear weapons complex spending plan as it sought to secure Senate endorsement of the New START accord. The pact, which entered into force in February 2011, requires Moscow and Washington by 2018 to reduce their respective deployed strategic arsenals to 1,550 warheads and 700 delivery devices.  Some GOP observers commended President Obama's call to spend $7.6 billion on pursuing the plan in fiscal 2012, though it had previously projected a $7.9 billion expenditure in the coming budget cycle (see GSN, March 15). Republican legislators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, though, said Obama officials failed to adequately push for the proposed amount and ultimately accepted a $7.2 billion funding level in approved legislation.  "It seems like things are being slow-walked," Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said of U.S. atomic arsenal update activities. "And I almost wonder whether as the president is announcing further reductions, the reason that much of the modernization is being slow-walked is that there's no intention to follow through, and they actually hope to come up with more reductions so that much of the modernization that we're talking about does not have to take place."

 Obama is seeking $7.6 billion for nuclear arms complex funding for fiscal 2013, which begins on Oct. 1. His administration had previously projected requesting $7.9 billion, AP reported. "They put no effort whatsoever into trying to make [its proposed funding level] happen. None. Zero," Corker told AP.  Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said he had "to understand the president's remarks to [then-Russian President] Dmitry Medvedev a few months ago when behind his hand when he thought the mike was off he said, 'Let us get this election behind us and I'll be more flexible' (see GSN, May 24).  "I understood that statement to be in reference to missile defense, but I don't totally know," the lawmaker said. "But we cannot afford to be in the business we are in on this committee or as a country and be counting on one representation for meeting commitments while on the other hand we're seeing a wink and a nod to the other side."  The federal government is committing substantial funds and pursuing updates to four-fifths of the nation's atomic armaments, National Nuclear Security Administration head Thomas D'Agostino contended during the committee hearing.


 "It's about spending the dollars wisely and doing it in a way that we can ensure that the taxpayers are getting what they need and we continue to support the stockpile and get that done," added the official, who leads the semiautonomous Energy Department office responsible for the nation's nuclear weapons complex (Donna Cassata, Associated Press/Google News, June 21).  Separately, U.S. acting Undersecretary of State Rose Gottemoeller touted inspections practices under the U.S.-Russian strategic arms control treaty.

 
"Our experience so far demonstrates that the New START's verification regime works and will help push open the door to new and more complicated verification techniques in the future," she said in testimony to the Senate panel (U.S. State Department release, June 21).  The pact has resulted in 25 snap audits of delivery systems, bomber installations, trial sites and other locations, AP quoted Gottemoeller as saying (Cassata, Associated Press).  Assistant Defense Secretary Madelyn Creedon said the country "is on track to complete the reductions necessary to comply with the New START treaty's central limits by February 2018.” U.S. Ohio-class submarines would host 240 ballistic missiles, and as many as 60 bomber aircraft and 420 ICBMs would remain in place under the Pentagon's blueprint, a press release quotes her as saying.  "To meet the treaty's central limits,” Creedon stated, “the Obama administration plans to convert or eliminate a yet-to-be-determined combination of ICBM launchers and SLBM launchers (and) our nuclear-capability heavy bombers.”  "As the president's budget request for fiscal year 2013 makes clear, [the Defense Department] is committed to modernizing the delivery systems covered by the New START treaty that underpin nuclear deterrents,” she said (U.S. Defense Department release, June 21). 
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #122 on: June 22, 2012, 08:21:47 pm »
"As the president's budget request for fiscal year 2013 makes clear, [the Defense Department] is committed to modernizing the delivery systems covered by the New START treaty that underpin nuclear deterrents,” she said (U.S. Defense Department release, June 21).

At least until November anyway.
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« Reply #123 on: June 24, 2012, 05:56:50 pm »
Don't know if this fits here but didn't want to start a new thread

GD Awarded $11 M for Development of Advanced Submarine Technologies
 
General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded an $11 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy to support research and development of advanced submarine technologies for current and future undersea platforms. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).  Under the terms of the modification, Electric Boat will perform advanced submarine research and development studies in support of a wide range of technology areas including manufacturability, maintainability, survivability, hydrodynamics, acoustics and materials. General Dynamics will conduct research and development work in additional areas including hull integrity, performance, ship control, logistics, weapons handling and safety. The program also supports near term insertion of Virginia-class technology; identification of Ohio-class replacement technology options; future submarine concepts; and core technologies.
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« Reply #124 on: July 05, 2012, 09:23:22 pm »
Further Nuclear Cuts May be Coming: The Obama Administration could announce a decision as early as this month to slash the nation's nuclear arsenal beyond the caps established in the New START agreement with Russia, according to the Associated Press. Although a "range of options" remains on the table, these reductions likely would involve the United States reducing its force of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to between 1,000 and 1,100, down from New START's cap of 1,550 that takes effect in February 2018, reported AP (via the Philadelphia Inquirer) on July 4. Such a cut, although robust, would still be less severe than the proposal put forth by the Global Zero initiative in May for the United States to maintain only several hundred deployed strategic nuclear warheads. GOP lawmakers have said they would resist any attempt to further reduce the US nuclear stockpile beyond New START levels without first addressing Russia's large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. "I just want to go on record as saying that there are many of us that are going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that this preposterous notion does not gain any real traction," Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told AP.
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« Reply #125 on: July 12, 2012, 02:29:34 pm »
 Congressional Discussion Addresses U.S. ICBMs
 July 12, 2012
 
 
The U.S. arsenal of nuclear-armed ICBMs was the focus of a Wednesday discussion facilitated by Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) (see GSN, Oct. 14, 2011).  The United States maintains 450 Minuteman 3 ICBMs managed by Air Force bases in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.  That number is expected to drop to 420 missiles in coming years under the New START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia. The Obama administration is also eyeing opportunities for further cuts in the nuclear stockpile.

 
Meanwhile, the Air Force's next “ground-based strategic deterrent” is to start replacing the existing Minuteman force by 2030 (see GSN, June 1).  "Today, we brought together experts from across the nuclear world to discuss the varied challenges our nation faces in securing our nuclear deterrent," Conrad, who co-leads the Senate ICBM Coalition with Enzi, said in a statement. ”This is a pivotal moment for America's nuclear posture. I am confident that today's meeting will lead to even more productive talks in the coming months to further improve the nuclear enterprise, which is fundamental to keeping Americans and our allies safe."  Among the event's participants were Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Brad Roberts; Maj. Gen. William Chambers, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration; Rear Adm. Terry Benedict, head of the Navy Strategic Systems Programs office; and Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan, a principal assistant deputy administrator at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

 
Speakers addressed alternatives for securing finances to maintain U.S. nuclear-weapon operations, armament control efforts and preparation of new technologies (U.S. Senator Kent Conrad release, July 11).  “I believe that our missiles must remain as the centerpiece of our defense strategy and I will stand in the way of any efforts to change that,” a press release quotes Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) as saying on Wednesday.  “We need to highlight their cost-effectiveness in a nuclear world.  A world where more countries are seeking nuclear capabilities” (U.S. Senator Jon Tester release, July 11). 
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We need to being now to replace the MMIII not 2030 IMHO!
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #126 on: July 12, 2012, 02:33:02 pm »
Who was there;

Briefers included the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, Dr. Brad Roberts; the heads of the Air Force and Navy nuclear programs, Major General Bill Chambers and Rear Admiral Terry Benedict; and a senior military leader at the National Nuclear Security Administration, Brigadier General Sandy Finan. The panelists spoke specifically about options for funding the sustainment of the nuclear complex, the development of next-generation systems and arms control policy.
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Does anyone know if they publish transcripts of caucus meetings? I know they do of committee meetings.
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« Reply #127 on: July 13, 2012, 06:53:56 am »
Axe the Triad? As You Wish, Mr. President: US Strategic Command would consider eliminating part of the US nuclear triad at the President's request, but the mix of bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles remains the best deterrent option for now, said STRATCOM Commander Gen. Robert Kehler July 12. "My view today is that the triad continues to serve us well. It may not be true in the future, but it continues to serve us well," stated Kehler during a Capitol Hill address sponsored by AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. US nuclear doctrine has traditionally adhered to an indivisible triad concept, wherein each "leg" provides unique and indispensable capability. Kehler stressed that the survivability, speed of response, and flexibility offered by each respective leg is "the best arrangement that we have today." He noted, however, that there has "always been concern" about whether the ICBM force is stabilizing or destabilizing, adding that for now it's "still a valuable component" in the range of alternatives for the President. Kehler said the command regularly reviews the triad concept, and if the President determines that the deterrent need has diminished, "it's up to us to meet his needs."
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« Reply #128 on: July 13, 2012, 07:06:05 am »
Axe the Triad? As You Wish, Mr. President: US Strategic Command would consider eliminating part of the US nuclear triad at the President's request, but the mix of bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles remains the best deterrent option for now, said STRATCOM Commander Gen. Robert Kehler July 12. "My view today is that the triad continues to serve us well. It may not be true in the future, but it continues to serve us well," stated Kehler during a Capitol Hill address sponsored by AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. US nuclear doctrine has traditionally adhered to an indivisible triad concept, wherein each "leg" provides unique and indispensable capability. Kehler stressed that the survivability, speed of response, and flexibility offered by each respective leg is "the best arrangement that we have today." He noted, however, that there has "always been concern" about whether the ICBM force is stabilizing or destabilizing, adding that for now it's "still a valuable component" in the range of alternatives for the President. Kehler said the command regularly reviews the triad concept, and if the President determines that the deterrent need has diminished, "it's up to us to meet his needs."

This kind of spineless compliance makes me sick.
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #129 on: July 13, 2012, 07:57:12 am »
Kehler said the command regularly reviews the triad concept, and if the President determines that the deterrent need has diminished, "it's up to us to meet his needs."

This kind of spineless compliance makes me sick.
1) different circumstances lead to different judgments - ICBMs may, over time, be just as redundant as battleships - Kehler doesn't think that time has come yet
2) elected officials telling the armed forces what to do, though frowned upon in countries like, say, Egypt, seems all the rage in democratic societies 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 08:08:26 am by Arjen »

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« Reply #130 on: July 13, 2012, 08:04:42 am »
Quote
2) elected officials telling the armed forces what to do, though frowned upon in countries like, say, Egypt, seems all the rage in democratic societies

The President does not have absolute power. I don't think it's within his power to direct the military to abandon specific weapons system... he couldn't tell the Air Force to stop flyng manned fighter jets, for instance.
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Offline Arjen

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #131 on: July 13, 2012, 08:19:32 am »
The President does not have absolute power. I don't think it's within his power to direct the military to abandon specific weapons system... he couldn't tell the Air Force to stop flyng manned fighter jets, for instance.
Not entirely sure about that particular case, but I take your point. Within the bounds of law. Declaring war on another country without consulting the people's representatives seems to be unlawful in many societies. But laws can be changed. Not always for the better.

Offline sferrin

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« Reply #132 on: July 13, 2012, 10:51:46 am »
Kehler said the command regularly reviews the triad concept, and if the President determines that the deterrent need has diminished, "it's up to us to meet his needs."

This kind of spineless compliance makes me sick.
1) different circumstances lead to different judgments - ICBMs may, over time, be just as redundant as battleships - Kehler doesn't think that time has come yet
2) elected officials telling the armed forces what to do, though frowned upon in countries like, say, Egypt, seems all the rage in democratic societies

Guess you've never heard of the concept of "feedback".  If the military doesn't express concern (assuming it feels it) it isn't doing its job.  See "Admirals Revolt".
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Arjen

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« Reply #133 on: July 13, 2012, 11:24:57 am »
Guess you've never heard of the concept of "feedback".  If the military doesn't express concern (assuming it feels it) it isn't doing its job.  See "Admirals Revolt".
Thank you for your concern. As a matter of fact cybernetics was part of the syllabus in biology.

You were saying Kehler is spineless. I disagree. He clearly states he considers ICBMs a valuable part of the triad.

Axe the Triad? As You Wish, Mr. President: US Strategic Command would consider eliminating part of the US nuclear triad at the President's request, but the mix of bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles remains the best deterrent option for now, said STRATCOM Commander Gen. Robert Kehler July 12. "My view today is that the triad continues to serve us well.

Kehler leaves room for changing circumstances.
It may not be true in the future, but it continues to serve us well," stated Kehler during a Capitol Hill address sponsored by AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. US nuclear doctrine has traditionally adhered to an indivisible triad concept, wherein each "leg" provides unique and indispensable capability. Kehler stressed that the survivability, speed of response, and flexibility offered by each respective leg is "the best arrangement that we have today." He noted, however, that there has "always been concern" about whether the ICBM force is stabilizing or destabilizing, adding that for now it's "still a valuable component" in the range of alternatives for the President. Kehler said the command regularly reviews the triad concept, and if the President determines that the deterrent need has diminished, "it's up to us to meet his needs."
 
You appear not to allow yourself that leeway. Noted.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #134 on: July 13, 2012, 12:06:33 pm »
I would actually be doubling down on the Triad and introduce R&D projects and development time frames for all new ICBM's, SLBM's and bombers (firm time frames) as well as restart R&D and production of a new warheads for them.

When our leaders talk like this our opponents only get emboldened. Why negotiate when we are disarming ourselves through neglect, neglect since 1991 I might add.  :'(
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #135 on: July 13, 2012, 05:52:22 pm »
Declaring war on another country without consulting the people's representatives seems to be unlawful in many societies.

As it is in the US. And thus we've not had a President declare war without the say-so of Congress.
 
Quote
But laws can be changed. Not always for the better.

Sure. But Obamacare is rather outside the scope of this discussion.
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #136 on: July 13, 2012, 06:12:21 pm »
Who was there;

Briefers included the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, Dr. Brad Roberts; the heads of the Air Force and Navy nuclear programs, Major General Bill Chambers and Rear Admiral Terry Benedict; and a senior military leader at the National Nuclear Security Administration, Brigadier General Sandy Finan. The panelists spoke specifically about options for funding the sustainment of the nuclear complex, the development of next-generation systems and arms control policy.
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Does anyone know if they publish transcripts of caucus meetings? I know they do of committee meetings.

Just heard back from Wendy Gnehm aide to Senator Enzi who sits on the ICBM Caucus, unofficial meeting no transcript.
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« Reply #137 on: July 15, 2012, 01:08:44 pm »
US National Security Strategy and the New Strategic Triad Report;

http://www.ifpa.org/pdf/IWGconfApr2012.pdf
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« Reply #138 on: July 18, 2012, 11:23:15 pm »
 Regulators Squelching U.S. Nuke Reliability Tests: Ex-Los Alamos Chief 
  July 18, 2012
 
 
Regulatory activities intended n part to reduce the likelihood of nuclear weapon-related accidents have prevented the Los Alamos National Laboratory from carrying out studies critical to evaluating the reliability of the increasingly old plutonium fuel in U.S. nuclear armaments, a former director of the New Mexico facility told the Albuquerque Journal in comments reported on Tuesday (see GSN, Feb. 16).  Prior to leaving the laboratory's top leadership position in 1997, Siegfried Hecker oversaw the creation of still-unfinished plans for studying how the fissile material changes over time.  “We have never done enough of those experiments that would make me feel more comfortable with plutonium lifetimes in pits," Hecker, now a Stanford University academic, said in reference to the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons.  "As far as I’m concerned, we still haven’t demonstrated that these pits can last 50, 60, 80 or 100 years as some people claim,” he said, adding the National Research Council and other groups have attested in independent assessments to the crucial nature of such experimentation.  Hecker attributed delays in the plutonium studies to risk-reduction rules piled onto laboratory workers by lawmakers, the semiautonomous Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the Energy Department, the National Nuclear Security Administration and offices within the Los Alamos laboratory.

 
“By the time you add all those up -- six, seven, eight layers -- the poor person that’s supposed to do work in a glove box, for example, is so handcuffed that he can’t get anything done,” Hecker said, referring to documentation required to conduct experiments using the laboratory's confined spaces for handling plutonium.  Such regulations significantly slowed the laboratory's steps to begin producing fissile bomb components following the 1989 closure of the Rocky Flats production facility in Colorado, according to the former official. The New Mexico complex ultimately built its initial plutonium explosive parts after 11 years.  Separately, a high-level laboratory official has said the nation's potential to rapidly assemble new nuclear weapons would assume greater importance if the nation continues to shrink its atomic arsenal.  “If the United States is to rely upon [nuclear stockpile] reconstitution as a form of deterrence, the agility of the complex clearly must be improved," the official said in an report.  Hecker earlier this year told legislators he had traveled to plutonium sites in China, France, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. “None of these countries tie the hands of their scientists and engineers as dramatically as we do with our risk-averse regulatory system,” he said in a prepared statement (John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, July 17). 
======================================
Why can I imagine this is probably intentional just regulate nuclear weapons out of existence. It is already apparently illegal for the US to perform R&D on advanced new designs or more accurately no authorized funds to the labs can be used for this purpose. Why not make any testing so difficult and requiring such bureaucratic oversight as to be not worth the headache. I posted somewhere on this thread or another that there is speculation that the US is doing work cooperatively with the British because of these restrictions.

The US should be pouring money into new research to be on the forefront of everything nuclear at least in order to avoid strategic surprise.
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« Reply #139 on: July 26, 2012, 07:51:03 pm »
 Kyl Unwilling To Cut Nuclear Weapons Spending To Avoid Sequestration   

July 26, 2012 By Douglas P. Guarino Global Security Newswire   
WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said on Wednesday he would be unwilling to consider any reductions to U.S. nuclear weapons spending in order to avoid budget sequestration as mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act (see GSN, June 21).
 
“The answer to the question is no,” Kyl told Global Security Newswire after speaking at a Capitol Hill event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups. Kyl said cuts should come from nondefense areas of the federal government.  During the event, titled “Defending Defense,” Republican lawmakers reaffirmed their position that President Obama should take the lead on efforts to avoid sequestration.  “You’re the commander in chief, not me,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, referring to Obama. “You should be leading.”  House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) reiterated previously expressed doubts that Congress would be able to resolve the budget issue during a lame-duck session following the November election.

 
McKeon last month chastised the Obama administration for not coming forward with a plan to deal with possible sequestration. Under the Budget Control Act, automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal programs would be instituted if lawmakers do not enact $1.2 trillion in deficit-reductions by January 2013. No such deal is currently in hand.  Under sequestration close to $500 billion of the automatic funding cuts would come over 10 years from the Pentagon and nuclear-weapon operations at the Energy Department, according to a report by McKeon’s panel. The Defense Department is already facing a similar decade-long spending cutback.

 
Management and Budget Office spokesman Kenneth Baer in June said that while “OMB has not yet engaged agencies in planning, [its] staff is conducting the analysis necessary to move forward if necessary.” He said that should “it get to a point where it appears Congress will not do its job and the sequester may take effect, we will be prepared.”  Fiscal 2013 defense authorization legislation that originated in McKeon's committee and has passed the House allows for $554 billion in base defense spending, more than the $551 billion requested by the Obama administration. The White House has threatened to veto the bill on several grounds, including that it would violate the Budget Control Act. 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #140 on: July 26, 2012, 07:52:55 pm »
 Russia Should Bolster Nuke Capabilities: Putin   

July 26, 2012
 
 
Russia should strengthen its nuclear armaments as well as its air and space protective technologies to demonstrate their efficacy to other nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (see GSN, June 21).  “We are not going to enter the arms race, but no one should have any doubts in the reliability and effectiveness of our nuclear potential, as well as the means of air and space defense,” Russia Today quoted Putin as saying at a gathering on the nation's arms operations.  Russia's atomic armaments are critical to the nation's defense, Putin added.  "The nuclear weapons remain the most important guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and play a key role in maintaining the regional balance and stability,” he stated.  Putin has called for 75-85 percent of Russia's atomic arsenal and seven-tenths of its space and air protective measures to be updated before the end of the decade (Russia Today, July 26).


 Meanwhile, the head of Russia's navy on Thursday said the service would within months conduct additional trials of the Bulava ballistic missile, the Xinhua News Agency reported (see GSN, July 24).  "We are going to launch the Bulava this fall from the Alexander Nevsky nuclear submarine. If the launch fails, we will continue," Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov said to area news organizations.  Chirkov said the nuclear-ready weapon, which has an inconsistent record in testing, would officially enter active duty should it meet expectations in the trials (Xinhua News Agency, July 26). 
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Offline Orionblamblam

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« Reply #141 on: July 26, 2012, 08:01:51 pm »
  "The nuclear weapons remain the most important guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,..."

 
Errrrmmm... does anyone seriously think that someone is planning on invading and conquering even *part* of Russia?
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #142 on: July 27, 2012, 10:07:57 pm »
  Draft Report Urges Accepting Mutual Nuclear Vulnerability With China         The United States should declare that mutual nuclear vulnerability with China is a "fact of life" for both countries rather than investing in strategic offensive and defensive capabilities designed to negate China's nuclear forces, according to a draft report prepared by a federal advisory panel led by former Defense Secretary William Perry.
----------------------------------------------------
Alternate title of report - We're broke and just give up.

Should have never gone below START II levels.

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline GTX

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« Reply #144 on: July 28, 2012, 02:26:01 pm »

Offline Grey Havoc

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« Reply #145 on: July 29, 2012, 02:37:34 am »
Recent history has not been kind when it comes to the outsourcing of key functions & capabilities, defense related or otherwise. Not kind at all.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline GTX

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« Reply #146 on: July 29, 2012, 10:35:21 am »
Maybe in some cases but in others it has been very successful.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #147 on: July 30, 2012, 06:21:56 pm »
 Older Lab Sites Could Assume Nuclear Arms Disassembly Duty 
  July 30, 2012
 
 
The U.S. Energy Department on Friday said it is looking at using standing structures at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to extract plutonium nuclear-weapon cores for conversion into material for operating atomic energy reactors, the Albuquerque Journal reported (see GSN, July 25).  The disclosure followed the 2011 cancellation of plans to carry out the process at a planned Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility at the South Carolina complex. Preliminary steps to establish the facility absorbed $382 million in funding over a 13-year period (see GSN, May 3; John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, July 28).  Meanwhile, New Mexico Senators Tom Udall (D) and Jeff Bingaman (D) on Thursday warned the Obama administration against postponing completion of a planned plutonium research facility at the Los Alamos laboratory, the New Mexico Business Weekly reported (see GSN, June 8). The Obama administration has deferred the project by several years in the face of the federal budget crunch.


 The move would diminish U.S. research capacities critical to sustainment of the nation's nuclear force, the Los Alamos Monitor quoted the lawmakers as saying in written communications to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (Joe Renaud, New Mexico Business Weekly, July 27). 
============================================
Would like to see the word 'Assemble' in the headline one day preferably with 'New, Advanced and Pure Fusion' as well  ;D
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« Reply #148 on: July 30, 2012, 06:23:46 pm »
 Arms Race May Result if Antimissile Dispute Persists: Medvedev   

July 30, 2012
 
 
Russia and the United States could find themselves in a new competition for advanced weaponry if the two nations are unable by 2018 to reach accord on Western ambitions to construct a ballistic missile defense system in Europe, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the London Times on Saturday (see GSN, July 17).  Moscow opposes a U.S. plan to through 2020 deploy increasingly capable missile interceptors around Europe as a stated hedge against feared Iranian ballistic missile strikes. The Kremlin views the envisioned antimissile system, which would form the backbone of a broader NATO shield, as a threat to its own long-range nuclear weapons.  The Obama administration's "phased adaptive approach" program calls for deployment in 2018 of Standard Missile 3 systems capable of countering short- medium and intermediate-range threats.  Brussels and Washington have invited Moscow to participate in the effort. However, several rounds of talks have not produced in agreement, as NATO and the United States have rejected Russia's demand for a legally binding guarantee on the targeting of interceptors in Europe.  The Russian president asserted that NATO states in Europe were being coerced by the United States to host planned missile interceptors even though they have no security need for them, Bloomberg summarized from the interview with the Times (Stephen Kravchenko, Bloomberg, July 29).


 Separately, the U.S. Defense Department has signed a $125 million agreement with defense firm Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems for enhancements to a long-range radar system at the Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported on Thursday (see GSN, March 4, 2010).  Pentagon officials have outlined ambitions to expend roughly $400 million on the Alaska air base over the coming years. Some of that money would cover efforts to coordinate the Clear radar with the country's broader antimissile framework., which also includes 26 silo-based interceptors at Alaska's Fort Greely.  The Raytheon agreement gives the Defense Department the choice of also ordering improvements to another radar unit in Massachusetts. If all options are exercised, the agreement could be worth as much as $176 million.  "This is a joint Missile Defense Agency/Air Force effort and will be funded by fiscal 2012 through 2017 Missile Defense Agency research, development, test and evaluation funds, and Air Force other procurement funds," according to a Pentagon contract announcement (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, July 26). 

 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #149 on: July 30, 2012, 06:26:00 pm »
 Antiwar Protesters Infiltrate Y-12 Nuke Plant 
  July 30, 2012
 
 
Three antiwar advocates were able early Saturday to enter the most heavily guarded section of the Y-12 National Security Complex, where they dumped blood, put up placards and wrote on structures at the facility responsible for producing atomic arms components and holding the U.S. reserve of weapon-capable uranium, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported (see GSN, July 3).  The incident marked the first unauthorized entrance into the Tennessee facility's "Protected Area," National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Steven Wyatt said. The demonstrators allegedly breached three or four barriers and eluded security personnel to reach the site.

 
"There's never been a situation like this before to my knowledge," Wyatt said on Saturday.  The installation's readiness to fend off more dangerous attackers could fall into doubt in light of this incident, according to the News Sentinel.  "I'm sure we'll learn from this, without question, and use what we learn to improve security," the NNSA spokesman said.  Authorities were said to have detained 57-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed, 82-year-old Megan Rice and 63-year-old Michael Walli within the facility at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Representatives of the Energy Department 's inspector general spoke with the protesters, who could now stand accused of vandalism and trespassing violations under federal law, the News Sentinel reported.  Backers said the accused individuals were due to make an initial court appearance on Monday.  The three suspected intruders, identifying themselves as Transform Now Plowshares, on Saturday stated they had carried out the action in opposition to the Uranium Processing Facility slated to be built at the Y-12 complex (see GSN, May 8). The effort involved placement of multiple written statements on the outside of the $549 million Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (Frank Munger, Knoxville News Sentinel, July 29).
------------------------------------------------------------------
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Offline George Allegrezza

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« Reply #150 on: July 30, 2012, 07:17:46 pm »
Wait, the Y-12 complex was breached by an 82-year-old lady?  Seriously?

Offline Orionblamblam

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« Reply #151 on: July 30, 2012, 09:31:47 pm »
Wait, the Y-12 complex was breached by an 82-year-old lady?  Seriously?
1: Guards are probably so unused to the idea that they saw an old lady somewhere she wasn't supposed to be and they couldn't process it
2: The guards had the mistaken notion that an 82 year old lady who breaks into a facility like this was not deserving of a bullet to the head.
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« Reply #152 on: July 31, 2012, 06:52:36 pm »
 Putin Pledges to Bolster Sea-Based Nuclear Arms
 July 31, 2012
   
Russia will bolster its ocean-going atomic capabilities to uphold its status as a pre-eminent naval presence, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged on Monday (see GSN, July 26). Bolstering the naval role of Russia's submarines and their missiles is a goal for the leader, according to Reuters; Moscow is set by 2020 to commit $621.3 billion to development of the systems. "We believe that our country should maintain its status of one of the leading naval powers," Putin said at an event to formally initiate assembly of Prince Vladimir, Russia's fourth Borei-class ballistic missile submarine (see GSN, July 24). "We are talking about the development of the naval part of our strategic nuclear forces, about the navy's role in maintaining the strategic nuclear parity" with the United States, he added.


Russia intends to possess eight Borei vessels before 2021, according to Putin, adding the country's sea-based military services would protect its priorities in the petroleum-heavy Arctic region. "Obviously, the navy is an instrument to protect national economic interests, including in such regions as Arctic where some of the world's richest biological resources, mineral resources are concentrated," Putin stated. Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in recent months said the nation's initial pair of Borei vessels -- the Yuri Dolgoruky and the Alexander Nevsky -- would assume active duty in the middle of 2012 (Gleb Bryanski, Reuters, July 30). Ocean testing of the Yuri Dolgoruky is now under way, RIA Novosti reported on Monday. The Alexander Nevsky and a third Borei ship -- the Vladimir Monomakh -- are still being built. The Bulava ballistic missile, intended for eventual placement on the vessels, is now in late-phase preparation and scheduled for deployment before 2013 on the Yuri Dolgoruky. The weapon has had a troubled history in testing (RIA Novosti, July 30).


Meanwhile, presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has stepped back from prior remarks referring to Moscow as Washington's "No. 1 geopolitical foe," CNN reported on Monday. "Russia is a geopolitical adversary but is not an enemy with a -- you know, with … missiles being fired at one another and things of that nature," Romney stated in an interview (Gregory Wallace, CNN, July 30).
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« Reply #153 on: July 31, 2012, 06:54:21 pm »
 India Claims Successful Development of SLBM 
  July 31, 2012
 
 
The Indian defense sector has indicated it successfully produced a submarine-launched ballistic missile even though the new weapon likely will require further testing, the Times of India reported on Tuesday (see GSN, June 26).  On Tuesday at the yearly Defense Research and Development Organization accolades ceremony, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was slated to award researcher A.K. Chakrabarti with the "technology leadership award" for leading the "successful development" of the nation's initial submarine-fired high-altitude missile, the K-15.  The K-15 has a reported top traveling distance of 466 miles and can be tipped with nuclear warheads weighing 1 metric ton.  "Apart from India, this capability has been acquired by four other nations, the U.S., Russia, France and China. Now, the SLBM system is ready for induction," the award reads. The United Kingdom loads its nuclear warheads on U.S.-made Trident missiles.  Information on India's SLBM effort has been closely guarded in contrast to its land-launched Agni ballistic missile program, which features regular media updates on testing and development of next-generation longer-range weapons.

 
India might be somewhat hasty in announcing the successful development of the K-15, according to the Times, which noted the missile has a ways to go before it can be fielded.  Even if the ballistic missile has been thoroughly vetted through multiple firings from submersible vessels and is now being manufactured, the submarine that would carry the K-15, the INS Arihant, is not yet finished with its "harbor-acceptance trials." The ballistic missile submarine will need a minimum of one more year before it is combat-ready, according to the Times.  After dock work on the atomic-powered submarine is finished and its reactor activated, the domestically developed vessel must complete comprehensive sea assessments and the trial-launch of the K-15.

 
The INS Arihant can be loaded with up to 12 K-15s or, at a later date, four of the developmental K-4 missile, which has a target distance of approximately 2,175 miles.  Once the INS Arihant assumes deterrent patrols, India would possess the full strategic triad -- the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons by air, land, and sea (Rajat Pandit, Times of India, July 31). 
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« Reply #155 on: August 04, 2012, 12:04:22 pm »
 Senate Appropriators Allocate $500M Extra to Missile Defense Agency 
  Aug. 3, 2012
 
 
Senate appropriators on Thursday unanimously approved increasing the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's fiscal 2013 budget by more than $500 million from the spending amount sought by the Obama administration (see GSN, Feb. 14).  The Defense Department had originally requested $7.75 billion for the agency, which oversees the bulk of U.S. antimissile efforts.  The $500 million in proposed extra funding includes $190 million for more Standard Missile 3 Block 1B interceptors, according to an Appropriations Committee press release (Senate Appropriations Committee release, Aug. 2). The panel also delivered $163 million for the purchase of an additional AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile tracking radar, according to Bloomberg Businessweek (Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg Businessweek I, Aug. 2).

 
In addition, the Senate Appropriations Committee backed an extra $194 million for procurement of more Patriot Advanced Capability 3 air-defense interceptors.  The committee signed off on total fiscal 2013 defense spending of $604.5 billion, almost matching the White House request for $604.6 billion. The legislation will come up for a floor vote after Congress returns from its August recess.  The House in July approved its version of the defense spending bill, which would provide a total of $605.8 billion for core and overseas operations. Fiscal 2013 begins on Oct. 1 (Senate Appropriations Committee release).  Senate budget writers allocated approximately $400 million in continued funding for the controversial Medium Extended Air Defense System, the National Journal reported (see GSN,



June 28; Sara Sorcher, National Journal, Aug. 2).  In approving funding for the experimental battlefield antimissile technology, the Senate Appropriations Committee opted to honor the wishes of the Obama administration and to ignore the example set by the House Appropriations Committee and both chambers' Armed Services panels, which all voted to end funding of the program.

 
The MEADS technology is being jointly developed with Italy and Germany. Even though the Pentagon in 2011 said it had no intention of purchasing any MEADS units when they become available, it still asked Congress for one more year of program funding in order to avoid the more expensive penalties that would follow an early contract pull out and to maintain good relations with Berlin and Rome.

 
The antimissile technology was intended to replace Patriot air-defense systems and envisioned as having the ability to protect troops from hostile fighter planes, tactical ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.  The Senate Appropriations defense subpanel on Tuesday recommended allocating $380 million of the Pentagon's $400 million ask for the MEADS initiative in the coming fiscal year, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The subcommittee also ordered the Defense Department to choose whether the new funds would help to finance a "proof of concept" technology test or to meet the contractual obligations necessary for the United States to exit the MEADS partnership (Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg Businessweek II, July 31). 



The Senate Appropriations Committee said it had approved Obama administration funding requests for development of next-generation ballistic missile submarines and bomber aircraft, along with work on prompt global strike capabilities intended to give the military a non-nuclear option for quickly eliminating transitory targets anywhere in the world (see GSN, Feb. 14 and Aug. 1; Senate Appropriations Committee release). 
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Bolding mine - Good news but also hope to see very shortly funding for new ICBM, SLBM and next generation nuclear warhead.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #156 on: August 05, 2012, 12:29:52 pm »
Not all that accurate in terms of warhead/launcher count but a kind of cool chart of all the world's nukes;

http://zazenlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/do-not-use-nuclear-weapons1.jpg
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #157 on: August 07, 2012, 07:56:24 pm »
India's first nuclear submarine set for trials

India on Wednesday said its first home-built nuclear submarine was set for sea trials, as it detailed billion-dollar projects to arm its navy with warships, aircraft and modern weaponry.  The indigenous 6,000-ton INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies) was unveiled in 2009 as part of a project to construct five such vessels which would be armed with nuclear-tipped missiles and torpedoes.

"Arihant is steadily progressing towards operationalisation, and we hope to commence sea trials in the coming months," Indian navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters. "Our maritime and nuclear doctrine will then be aligned to ensure that our nuclear insurance comes from the sea," Verma said, Arihant is powered by an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor and can reach 44 kilometres an hour (24 knots), according to defence officials. It will carry a 95-member crew.  The Indian navy inducted a Russian-leased nuclear submarine into service in April this year, joining China, France, the United States, Britain and Russia in the elite club of countries with nuclear-powered vessels.  Verma said 43 warships were currently under construction at local shipyards while the first of six Franco-Spanish Scorpene submarines under contract would join the Indian navy in 2015 and the sixth by 2018.  The admiral said the navy was also poised to induct eight Boeing long-range maritime reconnaissance P-8I aircraft next year.

 by Marty Melville © 2012 AFP
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For the last four years the US has said the era of nukes are over they will not play an important role in our defense. No one else appears to be listening  ???
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #158 on: August 08, 2012, 03:08:57 pm »
 Strategic Command Chief: Outlines of Plutonium Plan Taking Form 
  Aug. 8, 2012
    By Elaine M. Grossman
Global Security Newswire
   

OMAHA, Neb. -- The outlines of a revamped strategy for supplying the nation’s military with plutonium cores for nuclear warheads are taking shape, according to the top officer at U.S. Strategic Command (see GSN, June 5). “I do think that we are beginning to close [in] on a way ahead here that will [give us] sufficient interim capability while we look to get the long-term solution back on track,” Gen. Robert Kehler, who commands the military organization charged with overseeing any combat use of atomic arms, said during a Wednesday press conference. The 37-year Air Force veteran was referring to Obama administration plans to impose a five-year delay, for budget-cutting reasons, on construction of a $6 billion plutonium research facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Until a Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement nuclear site is completed, the nation’s atomic weapons leaders must identify workarounds to meet Kehler’s annual requirement for the warhead cores, known as “pits.” The new site would help to ensure that new and existing nuclear-weapon pits would function, if needed, despite a moratorium since the early 1990s on underground explosive testing. The administration announced in February that it planned to save $1.8 billion over the next five years, beginning in fiscal 2013, in taking the half-decade pause in construction work on the CMRR facility (see GSN, Feb. 14). Earlier plans anticipated that the new plutonium research and storage plant could be built by 2024. The administration is also reviewing whether it would still need a long-anticipated production capacity of 50 to 80 nuclear pits each year -- samples of which would have to pass through the CMRR facility for analysis -- or if instead future reductions in the size of the nuclear arsenal might decrease the scale of facilities needed. Los Alamos today produces fewer than 10 pits annually, laboratory spokesman Kevin Roark has said.

 Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 27, Kehler said he would ‘‘be concerned until someone presents a [plutonium processing] plan that we can look at and be comfortable with and understand that it’s being supported.’’  On Wednesday, meeting with reporters on the sidelines of a conference here on nuclear deterrence, the commander said he was now confident that his interim needs for warheads could be met in the years leading up to the replacement facility’s construction.  “I don’t know what form that will finally take,” said Kehler, noting he had taken part in some “very good discussions” regarding the way forward. “It’s still under discussion.”  The Energy Department -- whose semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration oversees the atomic arms complex day to day -- is collaborating with the Defense Department to study the matter. An interagency team is expected to report out in late summer or early fall.  The issue has proved highly contentious on Capitol Hill, where some Republican lawmakers have charged that the administration has given the military’s nuclear warhead requirements short shrift. They have cited Kehler’s warnings and those from a national laboratory leader as evidence that the CMRR delay would be a mistake (see GSN, June 8).


 “Without CMRR, there is no identified path to meet the nation’s requirement of 50 to 80 pits per year,” Los Alamos laboratory Director Charles McMillan told his staff in a Feb. 14 letter. “Assuming further investments in [Los Alamos] facilities, we are confident we can deliver -- but only a portion of that requirement.”  On Wednesday Kehler said until a new working blueprint is complete, there could be some risk of dropping under the level of plutonium pits he sees as necessary in coming years.  “I am still concerned, because we still don’t have a plan that closes” all gaps in capacity for storage, research and production during the CMRR nuclear facility construction delay, the four-star general said.  However, the five-year “slip that was put in for the plutonium piece” of the U.S. nuclear-weapon infrastructure modernization plan “I think is manageable,” Kehler said. “There is increased risk doing it this way. But the more we discuss this, the more we learn, the more we comfortable I think we can get with an interim solution.”  In what could be an indication of how the existing nuclear complex might accommodate the military’s annual requirement for fresh pits, Kehler said not all of the 50-to-80-pit annual requirement must be brand new. Some of the need could be filled by warhead cores that have been removed from excess weapons, refurbished and returned into the active or reserve warhead arsenal.  “We don’t differentiate at all” between new versus reused pits, he told reporters.  “What STRATCOM says to the NNSA is you need to provide for us is the weapons we need, when we need them,” said Kehler, referring to Strategic Command and the National Nuclear Security Administration. “And then we rely on NNSA to come back with a plan to fit our need.  “It doesn’t matter to us up front how they go about that, and especially during the study phases that we are in today,” he added. “They are looking at a number of different alternatives to meet the need. And I believe that there are some viable alternatives there.”  Kehler said it could take “another couple of years” to sort out the technical details of solutions embraced in the next few months.  The strategic commander said he continues to support the president’s nuclear infrastructure budget request for the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, but “the enterprise is still in bad shape” in “a couple of places,” namely in uranium processing and plutonium research. Investment in a new Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., though, “is on track,” he said.
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No discussion of a 'surge' capacity?
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #159 on: August 09, 2012, 12:42:51 pm »
Implementing the New Triad from the Institute for Foreign Policy Analyses;

http://www.ifpa.org/pdf/IFC36.pdf
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In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #161 on: August 15, 2012, 10:36:08 pm »
  Draft State Department Report Urges Deeper Cuts To Nuclear Arsenal   

Inside the Pentagon - 08/16/2012  The United States should offer to reduce its nuclear arsenal significantly below current treaty requirements to no more than 1,000 deployed strategic warheads and 500 strategic delivery vehicles if Russia is willing to reciprocate, according to a draft State Department report on near-term options for implementing more nuclear force cuts.
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I have read some recent articles at the Arms Control Association wanting deeper cuts to 500 warheads. All the discussion is cost (and the savings from cuts) and that 500 warheads will 'kill lots of people.'

There is no discussion of deterrence or strategic requirements, nothing. My guess would be because a comprehensive study on the strategic requirements might actually show we need more weapons and launchers and much more robust warhead and delivery system modernization.

I enjoy how they talk about saving a few billion as if this will save us from the $1.4trillion deficits. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #162 on: August 16, 2012, 12:56:54 am »
Wait, the Y-12 complex was breached by an 82-year-old lady?  Seriously?

It's probably that "racial profiling" thing we hear about. She wasn't wearing a headscarf and didn't have a beard, so she automatically got filed under "harmless/ignore".
 
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Thomas L. Nielsen
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #163 on: August 22, 2012, 04:19:34 pm »
 Jury Out: Do Advanced Conventional Weapons Make Nuclear War More Likely?
 

Aug. 22, 2012 By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire       
 
WASHINGTON -- Nuclear weapons policy-makers and experts gathered recently at a nondescript conference center in Nebraska to grapple with a jolting, if somewhat arcane, paradox: Is it possible that futuristic conventional weapons could actually make a nuclear blast more likely?  “The big problem right now for the United States is that U.S. conventional war plans and doctrine are likely to create circumstances that will force our adversaries to threaten the use of nuclear weapons -- or to use nuclear weapons -- against us or our allies,” Keir Lieber, a Georgetown University scholar, said at a symposium on conflict deterrence.  Hosted by U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, conference-goers early this month were asked to consider, for example, whether a state-of-the-art hypersonic vehicle might someday offer a viable conventional alternative to a nuclear-armed ballistic missile for situations in which a U.S. president wants a far-flung target struck in less than 60 minutes.  “If it’s a long way’s away and we really need to do something about it right now, you could send a nuke,” said retired Gen. James Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noting that today there might be no other weapons within reach of a distant, time-sensitive target.  However, he said, the use of a nuclear warhead, as a weapon of last resort, “may not be proportional [and] it may not be appropriate for the neighbors.”


 Over the past several years, the Defense Department has developed a number of technological candidates for the so-called conventional “prompt global strike” mission, but none appear anywhere close to fielding. These are largely regarded as niche weapons that would be deployed only in small numbers, but might eventually substitute for assignment against 10 to 30 percent of today’s nuclear target list, say some military analysts.  Among the conventional weapons under development potentially capable of such strategic effects are an Air Force Conventional Strike Missile with a Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 front end that has encountered some setbacks in testing; an Army Advanced Hypersonic Weapon that military leaders describe as a useful test bed; and a nascent concept for intermediate-range ballistic missiles aboard Navy attack submarines.  Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, would oversee any U.S. launch of nuclear weapons and could control wartime use of future long-range conventional arms, as well.  Instances in which the White House might someday order a non-nuclear rapid strike could include a sudden move by China toward destroying a U.S. or allied communications satellite by rocket or laser; a North Korean ballistic missile being readied for launch against a neighboring U.S. ally; or a potential adversary’s nuclear warhead observed being mated with a delivery system, symposium speakers said.  “For me, all of those are probably important; all of those have a scenario that go with them, that [make] you go, ‘Gee, I wish I had a tool like this,’” said Cartwright, now Harold Brown chair in defense studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  In fact, if the United States finds itself faced with an international crisis, a prompt conventional strike against a desperate antagonist’s weapon of mass destruction might stop a launch in its tracks, effectively preventing a deadly escalation.  Here’s where the problem creeps in: An adversary leader, knowing his antisatellite weapon or nuclear-tipped ballistic missile is at risk of being suddenly destroyed by a rapid U.S. conventional strike, might rush to execute that launch.  The United States and Russia during the Cold War took steps to prevent this type of nuclear use-it-or-lose-it phenomenon, installing in the White House and Kremlin a “red phone” presidential hot line for emergency bilateral consultations and developing incentives for the reduction of multiple-warhead missiles, among other measures.  Now that the Cold War is over, nuclear experts and policy-makers are just beginning to sort out how the risks of crisis instability have evolved, as nations such as North Korea and allegedly Iran pursue nuclear-weapons capacities. A handful more states appear to contemplate a similar path.  Over time, the world’s nuclear powers have largely transformed their thinking. They formerly devised nuclear-warfighting strategies but now see these weapons as usable purely in a political role, observed British Rear Adm. John Gower, serving as a panel discussion moderator.  “The advanced conventional weapons have the potential to bridge this separation, to fill it up,” said Gower, London’s assistant chief of defense staff for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons policy. “But do they fill it as an insulator, or as a lightning conductor?”

 
To Georgetown’s Lieber, the answer seems apparent. Washington’s superior conventional capabilities and its willingness for military intervention abroad have spawned new global interest in acquiring nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction, and perhaps even increased the likelihood of WMD use.  “For the foreseeable future, the United States is not going to lose a conventional war … against any adversary,” he said. “The likely outcome will be clear to our adversary: Regime change.”  The takeaway for would-be military challengers to the United States is that they should develop unconventional weapons. The former leaders of Iraq and Libya, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qadhafi, moved to eliminate their WMD stocks but later found they lacked an “ultimate weapon” with which to prevent their own ouster.  “Our potential adversaries do not want to be Saddamized,” Lieber told the conference, prompting gales of laughter and apologizing for his Washington pronunciation.  “But that outcome -- having a regime overthrown, being dragged on the gallows, have your sons murdered, to face the same fate that Saddam faced -- when you lose a conventional war, the prospects do not look good,” he said.  “Given that existential risk to an adversary regime, that regime is going to face huge incentives for nuclear escalation,” Lieber said. “Why? Not to punish the United States or punish our allies, but to coerce a halt to the conflict before it’s too late.”  Potential U.S. military adversaries, including North Korea and China, are increasingly hiding their launchers and warheads in tunnels, and burying key command-and-control nodes underground, all in an effort to evade targeting.  “So why do we think that hitting them a little faster or a little better would strengthen deterrence?” asked Hans Kristensen, who directs the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project.  “It seems more likely that prompt global strike would push them even further toward more prompt-launch capabilities,” he said. “More trigger-happy postures, if you will, that could in fact weaken deterrence and increase the risk of mistaken, inadvertent or even deliberate escalation.”  For example, Kristensen said, China’s war-planners “would have to assume” that any U.S. conventional prompt-attack forces could strike without warning against their own targetable nuclear-weapon forces or support installations.

 
“In fact, they would have to conclude that a strike against their nuclear deterrent could come before the conflict had escalated to nuclear use,” he told the audience, suggesting this assumption could inadvertently give China clear incentive to launch pre-emptively any of its nuclear arms believed vulnerable to U.S. conventional attack.  “We’d better think carefully about these side effects before rushing to acquire more advanced conventional weapons for what … in any case is argued to be a very limited, niche mission against small adversaries that won’t be able to provide an existential threat against us,” Kristensen said.  Cartwright -- who between 2004 and 2007 served as the first Marine to head Strategic Command -- acknowledged the risks. He suggested, however, that the inherent dangers be handled directly, rather than become show-stoppers for developing conventional weapons with the potential for useful strategic effects.  “Finding ourselves in a world where proliferation is a reality, no matter how hard we work at it, and where technology is moving us forward, no matter how much we would like to be in the last war,” Cartwright said, “we are going to have to manage the stability issue.”  To reduce instability, U.S. political and military leaders must signal the world about what specific new capabilities the Pentagon has at its disposal; train and exercise those capabilities to demonstrate control and proficiency; and engage with other world powers to create confidence-building protocols, treaties and verification practices, he said.  “You bring the level of ambiguity … and the anxieties and instability that could come from those weapons down to a manageable point,” Cartwright said. “Uninventing them doesn’t work that well.” 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #164 on: August 24, 2012, 07:06:45 pm »
Chinese Missile Push Seeks to Counter U.S. Protections, Experts Say   

Aug. 24, 2012
 

China is preparing means to place more than a single nuclear bomb onto ICBMs, Beijing's government-run Global Times newspaper said on Wednesday. The journal Jane's Defense Weekly, though, was incorrect in asserting the nation had undertaken a trial launch in July of its developmental Dongfeng 41 missile, according to the Chinese publication. "The third generation ICBM equipped with multiple independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) is exactly the developing direction" of China's Second Artillery Corps, Chinese armed forces specialist Wei Guoan said to the Global Times. The strategic missile unit probably lacks the capacity at present to vet an experimental ICBM in every flight phase, Kanwa Defense Review editor Andrei Chang said in a Friday report by the South China Morning Post.
 
"The challenges and difficulties between the second and third generation of ICBMs are very complicated, and the intelligence I've gathered tells me that China is still incapable of overcoming many problems, even though they have spent more than 20 years to develop it," he said.  Beijing is pursuing an ability to fit an ICBM with up to 10 nuclear explosive devices as well as decoys intended to draw away missile interceptors, the New York Times quoted Larry Wortzel, head of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, as saying.  Wortzel added: “The bigger implication of this is that as they begin to field a force of missiles with multiple warheads, it means everything we assume about the size of their nuclear arsenal becomes wrong.”  He said China had carried out trials in past weeks of submarine-launched missiles with potential to evade U.S. countermeasures.  The Chinese government is faced with a developing U.S. military "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific region. The Defense Department was reported this week to be moving to augment its missile defense capacities in the sector.  Steps by Washington and other governments to augment their respective militaries have prompted comparable moves by China, Beijing-based analyst Sun Zhe said.

 
"We have again and again said that we will not be the first country to use nuclear force,” the expert stated. “We need to be able to defend ourselves, and our main threat, I’m afraid, comes from the United States.”  State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Thursday said that U.S. antimissile operations in the region are focused on the danger posed by North Korea, the Associated Press reported.  "These are defensive systems. They don’t engage unless missiles have been fired," she told reporters. "In the case of Asian systems, they are designed against a missile threat from North Korea. They are not directed at China."
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I remember the 80's when I could go to the newsstand and pick up a Time or US News & World Report or my latest AvWeek was talking about MX, Trident II, Midgetman, neutron bombs and next generation nuclear weapons. Ah the good old days now I post about China and Russia's next generation systems and the constant neglect of US deterrent forces  :'(
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #165 on: September 05, 2012, 08:39:53 pm »
One issue that Congress likely will vigorously debate later this year is the future size of America’s atomic arsenal. Democrats and Republicans appear unlikely to find much common ground. Republicans favor keeping the existing nuclear fleet in place, while Democrats believe the arsenal — which is expensive to operate and maintain — is ripe for cuts.  The Democratic platform notes the Obama administration already “has moved away from Cold War thinking by reducing the prominence of nuclear weapons in America's national security strategy.” 

The official Democratic platform document trumpets a nuclear-arms reductions treaty with Russia that the Obama administration finalized last year — and uses it to take a swipe at President Barack Obama’s GOP foe, Mitt Romney. The George W. Bush administration had an early hand in negotiating that pact, called the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START for short. “Despite bipartisan consensus among former national security advisors, secretaries of defense, and secretaries of state that New START makes America safer, Mitt Romney strongly objected to the treaty,” the Democratic platform states. To that end, the GOP platform alleges “the United States is the only nuclear power not modernizing its nuclear stockpile.” “It took the current administration just one year to renege on the president’s commitment to modernize the neglected infrastructure of the nuclear weapons complex — a commitment made in exchange for approval of the New START treaty.”But administration officials in recent months have called those charges unfounded, pointing to the Obama administration’s 2013 budget proposal to show the White House intends to carry out that infrastructure work.
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Bolding mine ok you want disarm but please $10 billion out of a $4 trillion budget is not costly  :o
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #166 on: September 11, 2012, 03:11:20 pm »
U.S. Missile Defense Strategy Is Flawed, Expert Panel Finds (New York Times, subscription may be required)
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #167 on: September 14, 2012, 12:30:20 pm »
 U.S. Nuclear Commander Warns Against Rushing Further Arms Cuts 
   

By Elaine M. Grossman  Global Security Newswire
   

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Air Force general who oversees nuclear-capable bombers and ICBMs warned on Thursday against seeking deeper arms control reductions with Russia until the ramifications of such cuts could be fully weighed.  “I’m concerned that by pursuing a lower force structure” than laid out by last year’s U.S.-Russian New START arms control accord, “we could be on a course that would require us to be at least thoughtful and considerate of some factors that need to be out in the public arena,” Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, who heads Air Force Global Strike Command, said at a speaker forum on Capitol Hill.  The senior officer’s remarks come just as the Defense Department is believed to have laid the groundwork for additional reductions in a still-secret nuclear policy “implementation study.” Pentagon officials say the document is essentially complete but the White House has not yet moved to approve it or publicly announce its findings.  Media reports have suggested the study, which was to be based on the Defense-led 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, could set the stage for a lower warhead ceiling, ranging anywhere from 1,100 warheads in the near term to as few as 300 in the longer haul.  The Obama administration is believed unlikely to debut any fresh proposals for further nuclear arms reductions prior to the November presidential election.  Under New START, Washington and Moscow by February 2018 will each cap their deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550. The two former Cold War adversaries also agreed to limit fielded nuclear delivery vehicles -- including bomber aircraft and missiles based on land and at sea -- to 700, with an additional 100 permitted in reserve.

 
James Miller, the Pentagon’s top policy official, in February said deterrence of threats to the United States and its allies could actually be strengthened “with lower numbers” than those set by New START. He has declined to discuss specifics pending release of the study findings.  This week, Kowalski said he was “confident” the U.S. nuclear arsenal would remain a “safe, secure and effective” deterrent against current and future threats at the force levels afforded by the existing treaty. However, he waved a red flag about going any further.  “Such discussions need to be taken at a measured pace and need to be informed by analysis,” the three-star commander said. “They need to be bounded by the realpolitik of international relations.”  As leader of Global Strike Command -- located at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana -- the general is responsible for the nation’s 450 ICBMs, 93 B-52 bombers and 20 B-2 bombers, all capable of delivering nuclear payloads.  When asked, Kowalski said he intended no criticism of the as-yet unreleased Nuclear Posture Review implementation study.  “Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not part of any other group that’s doing analysis,” he told roughly 180 attendees at a one-day conference on the U.S. air, sea- and land-based nuclear weapons triad. On Friday, a spokeswoman for Kowalski said he played no role in drafting -- or reviewing the results of -- the new implementation study.

 
“If we decide to pursue a number lower than 1,550, I’m laying out a list of things that need to be part of that consideration,” the general said at this week's event.  Topping Kowalski’s list: “We must consider what force size is needed to ensure we have adequate human capital, adequate intellectual infrastructure at our laboratories, and an adequate industrial base. Those are three things that I have seen absent from the conversation thus far.”  Rather, he said, “most of the discussion, and rightly so,” has “been about political implications and what’s the right level of weapons to ensure deterrence [of threats] and assurance” of Washington’s allies.  Some in the audience shared the worry. “While I suspect the [implementation] study will recommend reductions to even lower levels, I am concerned that it will be lacking in analytical rigor or structured to justify a preordained conclusion,” said David Trachtenberg, who served as a Defense policy official during the Bush administration.  “I think comments about the desirability of going lower put the cart before the horse, and may lead to doubts about U.S. resolve that embolden adversaries and unnerve allies,” he said in response to e-mailed questions.  Based on his own dialogue with arms control proponents and detractors alike, Kowalski said he is convinced there is broad agreement that additional cuts to the nuclear arsenal would require a serious intellectual scrub -- particularly if they are viewed as steps toward a more ambitious goal.  “The world we live in today is not a world that is ready for zero nuclear weapons,” he said, alluding to President Obama’s stated long-term objective for global atomic disarmament. “So what do we need to think about?”


Potential future threats are among those issues not yet fully vetted, he said. Advising that the United States continue to seek nuclear force “parity” with Russia, Kowalski said any contemplation of more profound U.S. reductions must assess where Moscow is headed with its own atomic arsenal.  “While we don’t anticipate that Russia would have the intent to pursue conflict, it would be irresponsible to ignore their capability,” he said. “Capabilities take years to develop; intent can change very quickly.”  Moscow has begun producing a new multiple-warhead ICBM, the RS-24, and is readying multiwarhead Bulava missiles for submarines. Yet, by the beginning of the next decade, roughly 98 percent of older missiles fielded in the Russian land-based force are expected to retire.  “The current production and deployment rate of new ICBMs is not fast enough to offset the old-missile retirements,” according to a recent analysis by nuclear weapons experts Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists.  “By the early 2020s, they will probably be down to something on the order of 400 delivery vehicles in their entire triad,” Kristensen said in a Thursday interview. “We have 450 ICBMs [alone].  The analyst, who directs his organization’s Nuclear Information Project, laid out the case for a fresh round of negotiated strategic arms reductions between Washington and Moscow.  “You can see the problem,” Kristensen said. “If we don’t change our posture,” Russia will be more likely to grow its nuclear force with weapons that increase the threat to the United States, such as developing another “new, multiwarhead ICBM,” he said. 



Washington faces a window of opportunity in coming years that could head off an unnecessary post-Cold War arms race between the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, he said.  “Even with [the RS-24 and Bulava] built, they will not be able to compensate for the reductions” due to retirement, in terms of even being able to meet New START warhead ceilings, according to Kristensen.  “We need to go out and signal” a readiness to reduce U.S. forces alongside Russia’s -- “earlier rather than later,” he said.  Speaking on Capitol Hill, Kowalski also cited other potential global threats that might justify maintaining New START force levels, at least for the time being.  Without singling out China or other growing nuclear powers by name, the general said Washington must contemplate the “temptation that lower numbers might be offering other nations to expand their arsenals and to join us at the high end of nuclear capability.” 
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #168 on: September 17, 2012, 05:22:21 pm »
 U.S. Nuclear Arms Due for High-Cost Revamp


The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maryland, shown in August. The United States could spend hundreds of billions of dollars in a looming update to its nuclear weapons, carriers and associated infrastructure, according to one analysis (U.S. Navy photo). 
 
The United States is on track to undertake the priciest revamp to date of its nuclear weapons and associated infrastructure, despite anticipated funding reductions to other weapon initiatives by the country's armed forces during a period of budgetary constraints, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. The deteriorating status of facilities responsible for supporting U.S. nuclear-weapon operations has been an issue facing presidents for the last 20 years, but decision-makers have bolstered the ultimate expense of updates by deferring the high-cost, low-profile sustainment initiatives. The United States has established no formal expense projection for the modernization and upkeep of its 5,113 nuclear weapons, swapping out antiquated launch vehicles and overhauling sites used to carry out atomic operations. Managing and sustaining the nation's nuclear armaments would require no less than $352 billion in the next 10 years, the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington said in a June assessment; the cost could be significantly greater, especially if maintenance projects face further postponement, according to separate observers. Meanwhile, the nation's armed forces have decreased their reliance on nuclear arms to stave off foreign aggression. Instead, they have looked increasingly toward focused actions reliant on special operations personnel and toward rapid use of force in fighting contemporary antagonists. Still, the need for significant expenditures to sustain the country's silo-, submarine- and aircraft-based nuclear armaments is a matter of agreement among U.S. government personnel and a large number of independent experts. Continued inaction through 2013 would probably eliminate any opportunity to blueprint and construct replacement assets necessary if the existing weapons are undependable or potentially hazardous, the sources said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I haven’t seen a moment like this,” National Nuclear Security Administration head Thomas D’Agostino said. D'Agostino's agency, a semiautonomous branch of the Energy Department, is responsible for overseeing the nation's nuclear stockpile and its supporting facilities. President Obama is seeking more than $7.5 billion in fiscal 2013 for carrying out atomic-armament updates, $1.1 billion more than in the current budget year that ends on Sept. 30. The Pentagon has for the first time backed plans to put forward $8 billion over half a decade for such efforts.  “We came in thinking it had been taken care of and were shocked to hear how poorly it had been treated,” said Jon Wolfsthal, formerly a top counselor on arms control issues for Vice President Joseph Biden.  Washington would have to dole out tens of billions of dollars to ensure its nuclear weapons and missiles remain prepared for combat and resistant to accidents. The Defense Department has said updating B-61 nuclear gravity bombs alone would probably require $10 billion in half a decade.


 As much as $110 billion could be necessary for constructing a dozen new ballistic missile submarines to supplant the 1980s-era Ohio-class fleet, the Congressional Budget Office has projected. A $7 billion revamp of the country's Minuteman 3 ICBMs is under way amid discussion of a potential successor to the weapon. The country is also manufacturing F-35 planes suited to carry nuclear bombs; the jets each carry a $162 million price tag. The National Nuclear Security Administration has said overhauling nuclear-weapon science and production sites is anticipated to require no less than $88 billion in a decade. The "9212" highly enriched uranium processing center, a decades-old component of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, best exemplifies the decay seen at the 40 structures judged by NNSA assessments to require improvements, according to the Post. The atomic agency has said an unexpected suspension in 9212 activities would interrupt hazards mitigation efforts for armaments while potentially idling nonmilitary reactors around the world that are dependent on the site's low-enriched nuclear fuel. Metal lining in the 9212 structure's interior has oxidized and broken down considerably, Darrel Kohlhorst noted prior to his resignation last month as head of the Y-12 site's contract operator. Liquid penetrates the site in periods of rainfall, he said. “If water hits the floor, we treat it like a contaminated spill,” Kohlhorst added.

 
Despite longtime calls by atomic specialists for a successor structure, cheaper updates and science-focused projects have been alternatives favored by multiple presidents. The anticipated expense of the new site has risen to $6.5 billion, an increase of more than 10-fold since 2004.  Early expense projections are consistently "speculative," and end projections require plans to be near completion, NNSA spokesman Joshua McConaha said in accounting for the change. The National Nuclear Security Administration's budgetary oversight has been subject to criticism in past years from the Defense Department, Government Accountability Office and certain legislators. The agency's supervision of activities by private firms has for 22 years been included on a GAO "high-risk list" for corruption and unnecessary spending. The projected expense of an arms operations site -- once slated for construction at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina -- increased from $1.4 billion to $5 billion prior to the project's cancellation; initial preparations for the facility absorbed $700 million. The cost of a fuel production site planned for the South Carolina complex has increased to $5 billion -- a threefold jump -- and its anticipated 2016 completion date is 10 years later than originally intended. President Obama over the past 12 months has weighed potential moves for the atomic arsenal as he establishes guidance that would be used in developing the details of an updated nuclear combat strategy.  Obama hopes through negotiations with Russia to decrease the deployed U.S. arsenal to 1,100 strategic nuclear weapons, down from the 1,550-weapon ceiling each side is required to meet in coming years under the bilateral New START treaty, according to independent observers and certain U.S. government insiders. Most analysts believe he would delay any statement on the matter until after the presidential campaign concludes.
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« Reply #169 on: September 18, 2012, 09:19:40 pm »
The Abiding Strength of Nuclear Peace: Nuclear deterrence utterly changed the mission of the Air Force from combat, to preventing enemies from aggression in the first place, according to Vice Admiral C. R. Bell, former vice director of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff during the Cold War. Discussing the legacy of Strategic Air Command at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Tuesday, Bell said that before the nuclear age, “the chief purpose of the military establishment was to win wars,” but “with the advent of the atomic bomb, its principal purpose has changed—to avert war.” This strategic change in warfare and “the knowledge to build nuclear weapons can never be erased,” stressed Bell. With fewer warheads in our current inventory, “the preservation of our capability to adapt our deterrent forces to a rapidly changing unpredictable strategic future becomes critical,” he added.  Since we have “neither new delivery platforms nor new warheads in development, we must not be hasty to take an irreversible step to reduce our capabilities and their flexibility,” underscored Bell. “The greatest utility of nuclear weapons is in their non-use, in the diplomacy derived from the threat,” he concluded.
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Bolding mine  :'(
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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« Reply #170 on: September 18, 2012, 09:21:06 pm »
Think Before You Act: The ICBM force "is stabilizing, lethal, responsive, and highly credible," but may be coming under increased attack for reduction or all-out elimination due to increasing pressures on the defense budget and those who favor the United States reducing its nuclear deterrent even more, said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, who oversees nuclear and strategic matters on the Air Staff. In Fiscal 2011, maintaining the Air Force's fleet of some 450 Minuteman III missiles cost only one percent of the service's overall budget, Chambers told attendees of AFA's Air & Space Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18. "That's not a lot of money," in the grand scheme of national security for the capability this fleet provides, he said. Even if overall size of deterrent force is reduced, maintaining the triad and an ICBM force "remains the safest, more prudent course of action," said retired Lt. Gen Frank Klotz, former head of Air Force Global Strike Command. Eliminating the ICBMs would make it much easier for an adversary against the United States by taking away the vexing challenge of having to factor a force of single-warhead missiles spread out over an area "roughly the size of Pennsylvania," he said. "Why in heaven's name would we ever want to do that?" asked Klotz.
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« Reply #171 on: September 19, 2012, 05:14:59 pm »
Staying Relevant: Making the ICBM force more affordable, survivable, and controllable are perhaps the best ways to help it withstand its biggest potential nearer term threat: the budget axe, said Richard Colby, principal analyst at CNA. Speaking Sept. 18 at AFA's Air & Space Conference outside of Washington, D.C., Colby said ICBM critics may argue, in an era of fiscal austerity, that money spent on the ICBMs would not yield the same value as investing in areas like the F-35 or ballistic missile defense. Therefore, it's important to make the ICBM force more capable and increase its contribution to "the overall attributes of the future strategic deterrent," he said. For example, since ballistic missile submarines may become more vulnerable in coming years, bolstering the ICBMs' survivability would enhance the overall deterrent and strengthen their role in it, he said. Therefore, approaches like mobile basing might make sense for a future ICBM, he said. Further, while US nuclear forces are today "highly controllable," advances in cyber threats may make control less assured at some point, so enhancing ICBM command and control would also strengthen the deterrent. Colby, who supports maintaining an effective triad for the future, was part of the panel discussion on the role of the ICBM force in 21st century deterrence. —Michael C. Sirak

B-52 Denuclearization Plan OK: The Pentagon approved Air Force Global Strike Command’s technical plan to denuclearize a handful of B-52 bombers to keep them from counting against force levels stipulated under the New START agreement with Russia. “The proposal on how to do it so that it’s treaty compliant has been approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Compliance Review Group,” said AFGSC chief Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, speaking with reporters at AFA's Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., Tuesday afternoon. AFGSC has “all the money laid in” to the current program of record to permanently convert the bombers to a conventional-only configuration, in accordance with the treaty implementation timeline, explained Kowalski. The command’s preference is to split the conventional-only bombers evenly between USAF’s two operational B-52 wings, but “we’re awaiting final force structure decisions,” before moving forward said Kowalski.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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« Reply #172 on: September 27, 2012, 09:56:08 pm »
 Russia Preps Nuke-Ready Cruise Missile 
Sept. 27, 2012 
 
Russia is readying for service new cruise missiles designed to carry nuclear or nonatomic warheads, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.  The conventionally tipped Raduga Kh-101 should become operational next year, the newspaper Izvestia quoted a Russian air force insider as saying. Its designed maximum flight distance of 6,000 miles would provide the service's long-range aviation branch for the first time with an extended-distance missile able to hit targets with high accuracy.  The Kh-102, a nuclear-ready version of the missile, is also due to begin operations.  Both forms of the cruise missile would be significantly larger and carry more massive payloads than the existing Kh-555 missile, meaning they could only be loaded onto the hulking Tu95MS and Tu-160 bomber aircraft. The Kh-555 will remain loaded onto the smaller Tu-22M3 aircraft.  Meanwhile, the Russian Baltic Fleet conducted a flight trial of a short-range Tochka ballistic missile in the Kaliningrad region, Interfax reported on Wednesday.


 "The missile flew along a ballistic trajectory and hit the simulated enemy command post. Strike accuracy was 97 percent. Burst area was about 7 hectares," according to a release from the Western Military District.  The Tochka has a flight range of about 75 miles, according to previous reporting. The missile can be loaded with conventional, nuclear or chemical warheads for use against aircraft facilities, ammunition storage sites and other locations. It is believed to have been used during the conflict in Chechnya.  Russia has previously threatened to deploy short-range Iskander ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad if no compromise can be reached with NATO and the United States regarding their plans for a European missile shield. Moscow says it worries the system ultimately poses a threat to its long-range nuclear force, while the military alliance says the shield is intended to counter missile strikes from the Middle East.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #173 on: September 27, 2012, 10:47:58 pm »
U.S. Nuclear Arms Due for High-Cost Revamp

What a load these recent articles are. 

Besides the integration of JADAM tail-kits on a few B61s, I don't see any revamps to nuclear weapons here; no new warheads, no new missiles.  The Ohio class is being replaced because subs get old; the same Tridents and the same warheads otherwise for the new boats.  The next generation bomber isn't being designed with strategic delivery as the priority; in fact, it will be operational some time before it's certified for nuclear use (if it ever is).  The Minuteman IIIs are simply getting yet another upgrade among the many they've already received (the last one was completed in 2008 I believe); still the same missiles with the same warheads.  Of course, my favorite is when they lump in the F-35 as a nuclear program as well.  Right, the JSF was totally about nuclear weapons from the start. ::)

Defense writers are just cherry picking a bundle of long-planned, routine upgrades/recapitalization and calling it some kind of comprehensive program (which it isn't).  I'm not taking these articles seriously unless there are plans a new-built physics package or delivery system.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #174 on: September 27, 2012, 11:25:23 pm »
U.S. Nuclear Arms Due for High-Cost Revamp

What a load these recent articles are. 

I'm not taking these articles seriously unless there are plans a new-built physics package or delivery system.

Agree 100% - there needs to be a plan for new warheads, advanced concept research, new missiles, etc. (in my lifetime anyway)  :o
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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« Reply #175 on: September 28, 2012, 12:11:11 am »
U.S. Nuclear Arms Due for High-Cost Revamp

What a load these recent articles are. 

I'm not taking these articles seriously unless there are plans a new-built physics package or delivery system.

Agree 100% - there needs to be a plan for new warheads, advanced concept research, new missiles, etc. (in my lifetime anyway)  :o

The following would qualify as a "Revamp."

1. A new, lower maintenance warhead.

2. A nuclear armed JASSM-ER or JSOW-ER type tactical-weapon that doesn't fall under New START.

3. Replace Minuteman III with a Midgetman type missile that's capable of land-mobility. 

Offline Sea Skimmer

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« Reply #176 on: September 28, 2012, 02:19:24 am »
New START counts every deployed nuclear warhead for bombard armament equally, and allows each side to question the status of new nuclear weapons. You don't get to cheat the treaty just by fielding a 500nm range nuclear weapon that can be fired by a fighter. Such dickery is pointless anyway, the point of the recent arms treaties was to be simple so that negotiating them didn't take years on the basis that both sides would not deliberately attempt to cheat. Nothing good will be accomplished by forcing a return to the old style of treaty, or none at all.

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« Reply #177 on: September 28, 2012, 03:02:37 am »
New START counts every deployed nuclear warhead for bombard armament equally, and allows each side to question the status of new nuclear weapons. You don't get to cheat the treaty just by fielding a 500nm range nuclear weapon that can be fired by a fighter. Such dickery is pointless anyway, the point of the recent arms treaties was to be simple so that negotiating them didn't take years on the basis that both sides would not deliberately attempt to cheat. Nothing good will be accomplished by forcing a return to the old style of treaty, or none at all.

Uh, no.  New START only counts weapons on strategic delivery systems.  Ergo, long-range cruise missiles like the ALCM and the bombers that carry it are limited.  Tactical weapons that can be carried by bombers are not.  Little known fact, the Russians are heavily dependant on tactical nukes (they have a lot more than us) and don't want a treaty limiting those.  If they wanna start crying over a nuclear-armed JASSM, we can just remind them about their plans to build nuclear Iskander missiles. 

Offline sferrin

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« Reply #178 on: September 28, 2012, 03:53:32 am »
New START counts every deployed nuclear warhead for bombard armament equally, and allows each side to question the status of new nuclear weapons. You don't get to cheat the treaty just by fielding a 500nm range nuclear weapon that can be fired by a fighter. Such dickery is pointless anyway, the point of the recent arms treaties was to be simple so that negotiating them didn't take years on the basis that both sides would not deliberately attempt to cheat. Nothing good will be accomplished by forcing a return to the old style of treaty, or none at all.

Uh, no.  New START only counts weapons on strategic delivery systems.  Ergo, long-range cruise missiles like the ALCM and the bombers that carry it are limited.  Tactical weapons that can be carried by bombers are not.  Little known fact, the Russians are heavily dependant on tactical nukes (they have a lot more than us) and don't want a treaty limiting those.  If they wanna start crying over a nuclear-armed JASSM, we can just remind them about their plans to build nuclear Iskander missiles.

I see no reason W80s couldn't be fitted to JASSM.  (Assuming W80s actually work anyway.)
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

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« Reply #179 on: September 28, 2012, 05:25:55 am »
New START counts every deployed nuclear warhead for bombard armament equally, and allows each side to question the status of new nuclear weapons. You don't get to cheat the treaty just by fielding a 500nm range nuclear weapon that can be fired by a fighter. Such dickery is pointless anyway, the point of the recent arms treaties was to be simple so that negotiating them didn't take years on the basis that both sides would not deliberately attempt to cheat. Nothing good will be accomplished by forcing a return to the old style of treaty, or none at all.

Uh, no.  New START only counts weapons on strategic delivery systems.  Ergo, long-range cruise missiles like the ALCM and the bombers that carry it are limited.  Tactical weapons that can be carried by bombers are not.  Little known fact, the Russians are heavily dependant on tactical nukes (they have a lot more than us) and don't want a treaty limiting those.  If they wanna start crying over a nuclear-armed JASSM, we can just remind them about their plans to build nuclear Iskander missiles.

I see no reason W80s couldn't be fitted to JASSM.  (Assuming W80s actually work anyway.)

I've been sayin that on on the other board for awhile.  Glad to see the idea getting picked up.  Our ICBM/SLBM deterrent is fine for Russia or China, but what if we were to suffer a nuclear terrorist attack by proxies of a lower-tier enemy; how would we retaliate?  Do we really want to send several giant IR plumes heading for the Eurasian landmass in a situation that tense?

Offline sferrin

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« Reply #180 on: September 28, 2012, 05:41:18 am »
New START counts every deployed nuclear warhead for bombard armament equally, and allows each side to question the status of new nuclear weapons. You don't get to cheat the treaty just by fielding a 500nm range nuclear weapon that can be fired by a fighter. Such dickery is pointless anyway, the point of the recent arms treaties was to be simple so that negotiating them didn't take years on the basis that both sides would not deliberately attempt to cheat. Nothing good will be accomplished by forcing a return to the old style of treaty, or none at all.

Uh, no.  New START only counts weapons on strategic delivery systems.  Ergo, long-range cruise missiles like the ALCM and the bombers that carry it are limited.  Tactical weapons that can be carried by bombers are not.  Little known fact, the Russians are heavily dependant on tactical nukes (they have a lot more than us) and don't want a treaty limiting those.  If they wanna start crying over a nuclear-armed JASSM, we can just remind them about their plans to build nuclear Iskander missiles.

I see no reason W80s couldn't be fitted to JASSM.  (Assuming W80s actually work anyway.)

I've been sayin that on on the other board for awhile.  Glad to see the idea getting picked up.  Our ICBM/SLBM deterrent is fine for Russia or China, but what if we were to suffer a nuclear terrorist attack by proxies of a lower-tier enemy; how would we retaliate?  Do we really want to send several giant IR plumes heading for the Eurasian landmass in a situation that tense?

I can't tell you how many times I've thought how useful Skybolt would be today.  It could have lofted a decent size conventional penetrator in the conventional role.  And while JASSM is a significant step backwards from AGM-129 (there's some short-sightedness) it'd still be better than nothing.  Better still would have been a nuclear armed Fasthawk/RATTLRS/LRASM-B (ASALM).   Ah well.  I guess I should be happy we still know how to make subsonic cruise missiles.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 05:44:03 am by sferrin »
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Offline George Allegrezza

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« Reply #181 on: September 28, 2012, 06:10:11 am »
I've been sayin that on on the other board for awhile.  Glad to see the idea getting picked up.  Our ICBM/SLBM deterrent is fine for Russia or China, but what if we were to suffer a nuclear terrorist attack by proxies of a lower-tier enemy; how would we retaliate?  Do we really want to send several giant IR plumes heading for the Eurasian landmass in a situation that tense?


I think that's what your B-2s are for.  Not to say SRAMs or Skybolt wouldn't help.  ;)

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« Reply #182 on: September 28, 2012, 06:00:30 pm »
I've been sayin that on on the other board for awhile.  Glad to see the idea getting picked up.  Our ICBM/SLBM deterrent is fine for Russia or China, but what if we were to suffer a nuclear terrorist attack by proxies of a lower-tier enemy; how would we retaliate?  Do we really want to send several giant IR plumes heading for the Eurasian landmass in a situation that tense?
I think that's what your B-2s are for.  Not to say SRAMs or Skybolt wouldn't help.  ;)

When it comes to nukes, a stand-off weapon is always better (unless you're going for sheer numbers), keeping your launch platform clear of IADNs (even the B-2 isn't completely undetectible) and weapon effects.  Stand-off also reduces risks further because your bomber doesn't have to fly to each separate target.

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #183 on: September 28, 2012, 10:25:16 pm »
   Securing billions of dollars to modernize the U.S. nuclear arms fleet will be challenging as Washington wrestles with its shabby finances, a senior State Department official said Sept. 26.  Additionally, the Obama administration plans a “persistent” push to convince the Senate to ratify a key nuclear arms treaty, said Rose Gottemoeller, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.  The U.S. possesses 1,737 deployed strategic nuclear warheads that are fitted on land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and bombs dropped from Air Force aircraft. The Obama administration, in its fiscal 2013 budget request, is seeking a 5 percent hike for all nuclear arms activities.  What’s more, over the next four years, the administration intends to spend $9.6 billion to maintain and modernize the atomic arsenal, according to the Arms Control Association.



“We’re going to have to work with Congress on the … request for the infrastructure modernization and stockpile stewardship part to make sure that funding is forthcoming,” Gottemoeller told a forum in Washington.  She noted officials and lawmakers face a “very complicated situation on Capitol Hill” to find the billions necessary for the pricey work “with the fiscal cliff [and] with sequestration looming out there.”  The fiscal cliff Gottemoeller was referring to is a term used inside the Beltway to describe the perceived effect of a number of budgetary and fiscal laws slated to expire Dec. 31: George W. Bush-era tax cuts, temporary payroll tax cuts and tax reductions for business. That also is when the health care law President Barack Obama pushed through Congress kicks in.



Additionally, twin $500 billion, decade long cuts to planned federal defense and domestic spending will take effect under a process called sequestration unless Congress produces a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan that either President Obama or GOP nominee Mitt  Romney would sign into law. To keep the nuclear modification work funded, Gottemoeller said Obama administration officials must form “deep partnerships” with key lawmakers and aides. Despite the 2013 modernization plans, some hawkish congressional Republicans charge that the White House is blocking efforts to modernize the U.S. nuclear arms fleet.  “The president has really emphasized the funding for infrastructure modernization and the stockpile stewardship program,” Gottemoeller said. “He has been clear. We will continue to drive forward to get the funding we need for those.”  Meantime, she also announced the administration is preparing to make a new push to convince the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).  That international pact would “institute a worldwide ban on nuclear tests and the use of networks to apply pressure against states like Iran and North Korea,” according to the American Security Project, a nonpartisan Washington think tank.  “Ratification would be significant affirmation to the importance the U.S. gives the international nonproliferation regime,” Gottemoeller said. “U.S. ratification would increase” global efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapons around the world, she said.  If the Senate ratified the treaty, “states interested in nuclear weapons would … face international condemnation,” Gottemoeller said.


Treaty proponents believe if the U.S. ratifies it, many other nations will follow suit. A wave of such approvals would make it easier to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear arms and convince Iran to cease its pursuit of them, proponents argue.  But some in Washington don’t buy the alleged virtues of the CTBT.  “Opponents maintain that there can be no confidence in existing warheads because many minor modifications will change them from tested versions, so testing is needed to restore and maintain confidence,” states the Congressional Research Service.  But Gottemoeller says verification technologies and tactics have improved greatly over the last decade, making evasion tougher.  The Obama administration has “no timetable” for a Senate vote on the measure, but made clear officials plan to meet with key senators and staffers in an attempt to gain their vote.  “We will be patient,” she said. “But we will also be persistent.” 

   
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Offline chuck4

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #184 on: September 28, 2012, 10:41:27 pm »
Nuclear weapon is no deterrent against Russia or china because their objective is to deny us access to regional theater.   They know as well as we do we will not use nuclear weapon to break into a regional theater should they development the ability to make it prohibitively expensive for us to operate conventionally into the regional theater in question.


Our nuclear weapon is largely a psychological hedge for ourselves.




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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #185 on: September 28, 2012, 10:53:48 pm »
Nuclear weapon is no deterrent against Russia or china because their objective is to deny us access to regional theater.   They know as well as we do we will not use nuclear weapon to break into a regional theater should they development the ability to make it prohibitively expensive for us to operate conventionally into the regional theater in question.


Our nuclear weapon is largely a psychological hedge for ourselves.

That depends on who's most likely to go nuclear over Taiwan.  Despite the wailings pundits, the US still has the conventional edge over China and will have it for some time.  As for nukes, one shouldn't underestimate the willingness to use them.  That's the problem with nuclear armed nations going to war; no one really knows the threshold for desperation.

Offline Gridlock

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #186 on: September 29, 2012, 05:42:49 am »



So, this happened.

Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #187 on: September 29, 2012, 09:25:49 am »
no one really knows the threshold for desperation.

Yep! Ive been reading my Herman Kahn and its grimly fascinating. To imply that there is simply "never a a good time" to use nuclear weapons is dangerously simplistic. If a scenario dictates that nuclear attack is the best option, then nuclear attack will happen.
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1st503rdSGT

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #188 on: September 29, 2012, 03:58:25 pm »



So, this happened.

Doesn't matter.  Israel and Iran can hardly touch each other unless BOTH sides have nukes.  In which case, I doubt either would be stupid enough to strike first (well, the Iranians might be dumb enough to give a nuke to Hezbollah).

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #189 on: October 01, 2012, 11:07:41 am »
 Future of Giant U.S. Laser in Doubt Absent Fusion Success
 
  Oct. 1, 2012
 
 
Prospects for continued federal funding of an enormous fusion array in California are murky amid criticism that the project has been an expensive failure, while proponents contend that gains have already helped ensure a reliable nuclear deterrent, the New York Times reported on Sunday.  The National Ignition Facility, located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has already consumed in excess of $5 billion of taxpayer dollars without accomplishing the never-before-seen feat of nuclear fusion ignition. The NIF project was given until the end of fiscal 2012 to show Congress progress, but the fiscal year ended on Sunday. With significant federal spending cutbacks approaching, advocates for continuing investment in the fusion initiative have a tough case to make to congressional appropriators, according to the Times.   "We didn’t achieve the goal," National Nuclear Security Administration Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Donald Cook told the newspaper. He declined to offer a time line for when controlled fusion would be achieved. Instead, he said, "we're going to settle into a serious investigation" into the reasons behind the lack of mission success.


 The NIF project is mainly intended to help assess the reliability and safety of U.S. nuclear weapons through the creation of controlled blasts like those of a hydrogen bomb, though it is also seen as having uses in the creation of a limitless and cheap energy supply.



"The question is whether you continue to pour money into it or start over," said Stephen Bodner, who used to direct a competitor laser program at the Washington-based Naval Research Laboratory. "I think they're in real trouble and that continuing the funding at the current level makes no sense."  The project's current operating budget is approximately $290 million annually.  Still, a number of researchers believe the NIF project will continue to be funded due to its uses in maintaining a safe and effective nuclear stockpile, which has cross-aisle backing.  "Contrary to what some people say, this has been a spectacular success," insisted NIF project head Edward Moses. He acknowledged, however, that "science on schedule is a hard thing to do."  Meanwhile, it appears that a project to build a new state-of-the-art plutonium research installation at the Los Alamos National Laboratory will be mothballed, even though officials have already expended roughly $425 million in designs for the facility, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.  The Obama administration requested no new funding in its fiscal 2013 budget proposal for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement nuclear facility. The federal budget year began on Monday.  Los Alamos site office official Steve Fong said roughly $80 million has been used from a budget of $200 million to wind down activities for the planned plutonium site in New Mexico, according to a Santa Fe New Mexican report.The remaining $120 million is to be redistributed to different Energy Department initiatives.


 Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) in September submitted a plan that would use the $120 million to operate and enhance the Radiological Laboratory Utility Office Building, which beginning in November is to handle some of the responsibilities that would have been undertaken by the now-delayed CMRR facility.  The Energy Department's head of Finance and Accounting, Joanne Choi, wrote to Levin, informing him the department was still assessing alternatives for establishing the large plutonium research installation. Levin protested back that continuing to dither about the project would result in further significant project cost increases such that the "sheer size of the cost escalation ... could lead to an inability to construct."  The CMRR complex is presently projected to cost between $3.7 billion and $5.8 billion. 
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So how do we attract the next generation of nuclear weapons scientists and engineers when the nuclear enterprise in dying on the vine.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #190 on: October 01, 2012, 11:10:59 am »
 Meanwhile
Russia May Resume Subcritical Atomic Testing: Sources
Oct. 1, 2012 
 
Russia could conduct new sub-critical atomic tests on its nuclear arsenal at the old detonation site in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported on Friday, citing informed sources with the state energy company Rosatom.


 Moscow is a signatory of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits the detonation of nuclear devices. However, the Kremlin has refused to pledge an end to sub-critical atomic experiments.  Separately, the first of a new generation of Russian ballistic missile submarines is ready to be inducted into the navy, ITAR-Tass reported on Monday.  The Yuri Dolgoruky is one of eight planned Borei-class submarines that are to form the core of Russia's sea-based nuclear deterrent once they are outfitted with the new Bulava ballistic missile.  "Sevmash [shipyard] specialists have removed all the shortcomings found by the standing commission for state acceptance of vessels, to which testifies the vessel’s inspection act, signed by Chief of the Main Staff of the Russian Navy Admiral Alexander Tatarinov," the shipyard said.  Elsewhere, different figures offered up by the Defense Ministry on the composition of its ICBM arsenal indicate the country's strategic missile forces are rapidly growing older, according to a separate Monday report by Nezavisimaya Gazeta



According to Strategic Missile Forces spokesman Col. Vadim Koval, "the share of modern missile systems in the Strategic Missile Forces amounts to about 25 percent now." However, toward the end of May, the head of the missile branch, Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said, "In the last few years, the share of modern armament in our troops grew to 30 percent."  The Russian military has yet to give a reason behind the disparity in accounting.  Koval, though, in recent days said the Strategic Missile Forces has prioritized efforts to extend the lifespan of its deployed ICBMs. Occasional test-firings of the longest-serving silo-based RS-20 Voevoda and the RS-18 Stiletto, as well as the transportable RS-12M Topol, show the missiles remain reliable.


 Russian academic Yuri Zaitsev, in an interview with Interfax, said two of Russia's three most critical strategic assets -- its sea-based RSM-52 heavy missile and missile launcher railcars are no longer active.  "The biggest concern of the United States has always been three Russian missile systems practically immune from missile defense. These are BZhRK missile trains, RSM-52 sea-based missiles and RS-20 heavy missiles," the Russian Engineering Academy adviser said. "Only RS-20 is still on duty now."  The incoming Bulava SLBM and the Topol-M ICBM do not make up for the lost strategic capabilities of the heavy missiles, he asserted.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #191 on: October 01, 2012, 11:14:10 am »
SSBN(X) Some OK news but I won't get excited until the first hull is laid.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_09_28_2012_p03-02-500884.xml
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Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #192 on: October 01, 2012, 11:39:54 am »
Thanks for posting all this bobbymike.

Lasers are the weapons of the future, they always have been  ;)
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #193 on: October 01, 2012, 06:04:40 pm »
Thanks for posting all this bobbymike.

Lasers are the weapons of the future, they always have been  ;)

No problem nuclear weapons, their delivery systems and strategic deterrence policy is something I have found interesting ever since Ronald Reagan was going to blow up the world  ;D Actually going out and finding out myself what the true strategic relationship was between the US/NATO - USSR/Warsaw Pact taught me that I could not trust the media to tell the truth I had to go and educate myself. A lesson that I have applied ever since to both defense/foreign and domestic policy. 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #194 on: October 02, 2012, 12:37:27 pm »
 U.S. Could Fall Behind on W-76 Warhead Updates
Oct. 2, 2012 

Technicians handle a U.S. W-76 nuclear warhead. W-76 warhead life-extension efforts are in danger of falling behind schedule, the Energy Department's inspector general warned in a report published on Monday (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration photo). 
 
The United States must substantially increase the speed at which it is updating W-76 nuclear warheads in order to keep to its schedule, but anticipated funding constraints and difficulties in controlling costs could complicate any attempt to accelerate the operations,  the U.S. Energy Department's inspector general warned in a report made public on Monday.  "By the end of fiscal year 2011, [the National Nuclear Security Administration] had completed less than half of the anticipated units due to technical production issues," the Knoxville News Sentinel quoted DOE auditors as saying in the assessment.  "NNSA intended to address this problem by increasing production rates in future years," the investigators wrote. The nuclear administration is a semiautonomous Energy Department agency charged with overseeing the U.S. atomic weapons complex.  Still, no attempt at increasing the speed has proven effective to date, according to the newspaper.
 

 "NNSA may be unable to complete the W-76 LEP [life extension program] within established scope, cost and schedule parameters, unless it adopts a more effective approach to reducing unit costs," the assessment adds. "This concern is exacerbated by the fact that the program is faced with a relatively flat budget over the next few years, even though its annual scope of work is projected to increase significantly."  The project's manufacturing output is due to rise by 59 percent in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, but the initiative would only receive a 2.9 percent funding boost in those years, the paper notes.  "The increase in production appears to be unsustainable given the projected funding," according to the analysis.  Additional expenses would result from personnel retirement benefits and the planned transfer of warhead activities to a new facility in Kansas City, Mo., though lowering individual component processing costs could serve some benefit.  "If the NNSA is not able to lower unit costs below current projections, the W-76 LEP will face large cost overruns," the document warns.


 The Energy Department atomic office to date has failed to assess the implications of potentially shifting money to the W-76 update project from still-unspecified arms initiatives, as high-ranking agency officials have pledged to do if they cannot cut the warhead program's expenses.  The National Nuclear Security Administration is obligated to "conclude the W-76 LEP by FY [fiscal year] 2018, allowing only seven years to complete the 85 percent of refurbishments remaining; therefore any delays have downstream implications," the paper states. "Until the W-76 LEP is completed, NNSA cannot meet the scheduled FY 2018 start date for refurbishment of the B-61 bomb that is needed to meet United States' commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."


 Officials should prepare a "forward-looking plan" in anticipation of achieving project goals without exceeding expense projections, the auditors wrote, adding that funding cuts might require greater cost reductions than those anticipated in the analysis.  Top NNSA personnel backed the document's call for new steps to respond to present funding circumstances, but they voiced reservations over the auditors' technique for determining expenses for individual W-76 updates.
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These articles really worry me. Are we losing our ability to produce modern nuclear weapons including their delivery systems?

 
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Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #195 on: October 02, 2012, 01:25:20 pm »
sounds like Its bottlenecking. Dismantling has been bottlenecking for years too. Thousands of warheads that are to be dismantled or upgraded are hitting the same issue. Too much work, too few people to do it.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #197 on: October 09, 2012, 11:58:23 am »
 U.S. Military Leaders Back Maintaining Nuclear Triad Despite Rising Costs
Oct. 9, 2012 
 
Senior U.S. military personnel continue to advocate for maintaining the full nuclear triad even as it becomes less cost-efficient to build new delivery platforms for a declining number of warheads, Time magazine reported on Monday.  Expenses for upkeep, refurbishment and management of the nation's ballistic missile submarines, strategic bombers, and silo-based ICBMs could amount to roughly $391 billion over the coming decade, according to a spending projection released last month by the antinuclear Ploughshares Fund.  The new extended distance nuclear weapons delivery platforms the Defense Department intends to build to replace corresponding systems will actually be mounted with fewer warheads compared to levels in years past, according to an assessment by the Natural Resources Defense Council. For example, there were 7.5 warheads in 1991 for every delivery platform. That number decreased to 5.8 weapons for every delivery vehicle in 2001 and in 2009 fell further to 2.6 warheads for every platform.   Under the New START arms control accord with Russia, the United States as of the beginning of last month possessed 1,034 active and reserve strategic nuclear delivery platforms. Washington is required to lower the number of such delivery systems to 700 by 2018, though an additional 100 platforms can be held in reserve.  Military leaders contend the full range of options to fire atomic warheads from land, sea, and air is needed to guarantee the survivability of the strategic deterrent should an attack eradicate one or two of the country's delivery methods.


 Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in April said the evolving geopolitical climate necessitates maintaining multifaceted nuclear delivery options. "The more complex the global environment comes, the more flexibility you want between land, sea, and air-based capabilities," he said.  Donley said he believes "it's important to maintain the flexibility and options for the president going forward. There's no doubt in my mind that the international strategic environment is much more complex than it was when we developed this concept and capability back in the '50s and 60s."  The Navy's head of underwater warfare programs, Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, said earlier this month it was essential his service receive a replacement for the aging Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. "We have to get that submarine," the admiral said in an interview with the New London Day newspaper.  The Defense Department earlier this year announced it would postpone by two years plans to develop, build, and acquire a new series of Ohio-class vessels. The first new vessel in the series is not projected to be ready before 2031.
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See bolded - pretty devious, hey those big missiles have only one warhead how inefficient no reason to build new ones.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 03:06:48 pm by bobbymike »
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #198 on: October 10, 2012, 04:30:41 pm »
 NNSA Can Stick to Plan for W-76 Warhead Updates: Official
Oct. 10, 2012 
 
The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration appears capable of delivering on pledges to update W-76 nuclear warheads for the country's submarine-launched ballistic missiles, even though an auditor has warned the maintenance project is in danger of falling behind schedule, a senior NNSA official told the Knoxville News Sentinel last week.  The operation must accelerate substantially to adhere to its time line, but anticipated funding constraints and cost-control problems would pose obstacles to such a move, the Energy Department's inspector general warned in a report published on Oct. 1.  "I have read the IG report summaries at this point," NNSA Deputy Administrator Donald Cook said. "We've taken actions."  The semiautonomous Energy Department branch that oversees the nuclear weapons complex must by fiscal 2014 achieve a 35-percent cost reduction to W-76 warhead yearly maintenance expenses "to meet its scope and schedule commitments within a relatively flat budget," the DOE audit warns.  The assessment refers to existing NNSA plans to decrease the expense by one-forth during that period, Cook noted. "So, you know, the devil's in the details," he said.


 "If you look at the issues from a few years ago to where we are, we have gotten through some of the early issues," Cook said. He suggested the addressed hurdles include "Fogbank," a sensitive, non-nuclear material involved in the nation's warhead life-extension efforts.  "There were a number of technical issues -- three or four -- and we've gotten through each of those. We've gotten to the point where full-rate production, the rate we want to be at, too. We believe we can sustain that now through the end of the W-76 build. We're meeting all the Navy's operational requirements."  The National Nuclear Security Administration is required to wrap up the W-76 life extension effort by fiscal 2018.  Cook said his agency could adhere to its pledges "through the end of [2018] and into [2019]."  "Depending on the number of warheads right now, the build will actually go out to 2021," the official said. "The builds from [2019 to 2021] are really for the hedge. The operational requirements really conclude at the end of 2018."  The official said he had "very high" faith that his agency could adhere to its obligations to the Pentagon.
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I would begin research, development and production of a W-92, W-93 and W-94 (ICBM, SLBM and cruise missile warhead) plus start RNEP and the Advance Concept Initiative again.
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #200 on: October 16, 2012, 06:39:03 am »
Simulated Minuteman Launch at F.E. Warren: Members of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., recently conducted Giant Pace 12-2M, a Simulated Electronic Launch-Minuteman test, as part of Air Force Global Strike Command's activities to confirm the launch-readiness of the nation's Minuteman III ICBM fleet. "A SELM is the most complete test of the operational capability of our ICBMs, from day-to-day operation to issuance of the first-stage ignition signal," said Lt. Col. Matthew Dillow, 321st Missile Squadron commander, in an Oct. 12 release from the base. This SELM was held Sept. 25 to Sept. 27. Airmen of the 576th Flight Test Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., supported the test. AFGSC stages these simulated launches twice yearly with the service's three missile wings. This year's previous SELM, Giant Pace 12-1M, took place at Minot AFB, N.D., with the 91st MW. Along with SELMs, the Air Force conducts periodic operational test launches of Minuteman IIIs from Vandenberg. (F.E. Warren report by SrA. Mike Tryon
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #201 on: October 16, 2012, 06:41:43 am »
From a political site but contains some interesting numbers:

http://www.humanevents.com/2012/10/15/inside-americas-missile-crisis/
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« Reply #202 on: October 16, 2012, 10:48:28 pm »
No Fundamental Change: Support for the nuclear triad remains strong within the Pentagon, said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. "I don't think the fundamental change that would call for us to reconsider the three legs of the triad has taken place," said Chambers in a recent interview. That's despite tightening defense budgets and recent appeals in some circles outside of the Defense Department for additional reductions in US nuclear forces—even elimination of the ICBM force. Chambers said he's actually sensed "a strengthening of the consensus" within military circles in the past year or so that the triad is "actually even more important" as the United States draws down its arsenal to the New START caps, and, potentially at some later point, goes to lower levels beyond New START. "I think that is based on the fact that we've now argued well that the attributes—in particular of our two legs of the triad—actually are well-tailored for the new strategic environment," said Chambers. The Air Force's nuclear-capable bombers, for example, offer "a tremendous amount of flexibility" and visibility. The ICBM force is "stabilizing," "lethal," "responsive," and "highly credible," he said.—Michael C. Sirak

Getting to 2030:
The Air Force has "a very solid master plan" in place to keep the Minuteman III fleet viable out to 2030, said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, who oversees nuclear matters on the Air Staff. The Minuteman's "propulsion is going to have to be addressed towards the end of this decade in order to get motors to 2030," Chambers told the Daily Report in a recent interview. "We've known that for many years because of the lifespan of the last propulsion replacement program," he noted. The Minuteman's guidance system "is another area we are going to have to invest in," added Chambers. He said the Air Force does not know yet if the guidance update would address just reliability issues, as did the previous upgrade, or also improve the missile's accuracy, since this decision is still years out. "Right now, given the requirement as we know it, it could very well just be a further reliability upgrade," said Chambers. The Air Force has already invested some $7 billion to keep the nuclear-tipped Minuteman missiles viable through 2020 as one leg of the nation's strategic deterrent. Congress has mandated that the missiles remain viable out of 2030.
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Just REPLACE the MMIII with a new state of the art ICBM, roughly twice the payload for extended range missions with one warhead or  to have an upload ability in a changing strategic environment. Use this same missile for Prompt Global Strike.
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #203 on: October 17, 2012, 10:49:33 pm »
Perspective Matters: If fiscal pressures should lead to a debate on the relative value of the legs of the nuclear triad compared to other military weapons systems, Maj. Gen. William Chambers said he'd want those discussions to occur "from a strategic perspective," with recognition that the deterrent force represents "national weapons" warranting special consideration. "The nuclear deterrent force underpins and underwrites every other tool of statecraft, every other military capability," said Chambers, who oversees nuclear issues on the Air Staff, in a recent interview. He added, "The reason we can keep small regional, low-intensity conflicts under control is because we have this underwriting of protection against major power conflict that is produced by deterrent forces." Chambers noted that it costs the Air Force only about one percent of its budget (some $1.1 billion of a $119 billion budget in Fiscal 2011) to operate the Minuteman III ICBM force and some two percent ($2.5 billion in Fiscal 2011) to operate its B-2A and B-52H dual-role, nuclear-capable bombers. (For more from Chambers' interview, read No Fundamental Change and Getting to 2030.)—Michael C. Sirak

Diplomatic Ceiling:
By around the fall of 2017, the Air Force expects to arrive at the reduced force structure levels it must meet for the United States to comply with the New START agreement's ceilings on strategic nuclear forces, said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. "We want to be at the central treaty limit a little before" the treaty's February 2018 drawdown deadline, he told the Daily Report in a recent interview. New START requires the United States and Russia to reduce their respective arsenals to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads, 700 deployed launchers (i.e., ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers), and 800 deployed/non-deployed launchers. The Obama Administration intends to meet those caps by maintaining a mix of no more than 60 deployable nuclear-capable bombers, up to 420 deployed Minuteman missiles, and no more than 240 deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Chambers said the White House has not yet determined the final mix of forces, but the Air Force has submitted its preferred makeup of the bomber and ICBM fleets. He said the White House's decision "has to be made" by next spring or early next summer as part of the Fiscal 2015 budget build in order to meet the drawdown timeline.
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« Reply #204 on: October 19, 2012, 12:25:12 pm »
 Former White House Aides: New Nuclear Guidance to Have Lasting Effect Oct. 19, 2012 By Lee Michael Katz  Special to Global Security Newswire


WASHINGTON -- Whether it is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, the U.S. president in coming months and years will face a series of stark decisions on strategic issues, including one that will decide the size of America’s nuclear arsenal. 

Setting the government’s “nuclear guidance” will be a critical upcoming decision no matter who is president, according to Jon Wolfsthal, a former White House official now at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.  “It is the key to all the nuclear decision-making for the next 20 years,” he said.  “The guidance is the basis for all of the plans and the plans are the basis for all of the weapons and the platforms,” agreed retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Smolen, who directed strategic policy and arms control at the National Security Council between 2004 and 2006.  “It is the first commandment in setting all other nuclear decisions,” said Wolfsthal. Until earlier this year he was special adviser for nuclear security to Vice President Joseph Biden.  “It explains [against] what targets our nuclear weapons will be directed, under what circumstances should the military be prepared to use them … and [what constitute] acceptable targets for nuclear strikes,” he said.  The number of nuclear warheads required typically has flowed from this type of guidance, and the Obama administration reportedly is in the process of finalizing just such a directive. Under the Defense Department-led 2010 Nuclear Posture Review “Implementation Study,” the president’s national security team has drafted new atomic-weapons policy.  However, reports are that Obama has not yet approved it and its details have not been publicly released.


 Whatever guidance is issued by the next president, it could determine whether and how deep further nuclear weapon reductions are taken beyond those negotiated by the United States and Russia in the New START accord, said Smolen, who after military retirement served as a Bush administration deputy for defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration.  The agency is a semi-autonomous arm of the Energy Department that oversees the atomic weapons complex.  During the next administration, “there’s going to have to be some sort of decisions on how much we do and how fast we do it,” he said.  Under New START, which entered into force last year, each side agreed to cap its deployed nuclear warheads at 1,550. The pact allows Washington and Moscow to each field 700 nuclear delivery platforms -- such as bomber aircraft, ICBMs and submarine-based ballistic missiles -- with another 100 permitted in reserve.  Leading up to the negotiations that resulted in New START, the Pentagon determined that the existing nuclear guidance and military plan inherited from the Bush administration could form the basis for modest, additional nuclear weapons cuts. A prior accord, the Moscow Treaty, limited each side to 2,200 deployed warheads.  Inside the Obama administration, “we considered both low numbers and high numbers, but this is one decision which is, by definition, presidential,” said Wolfsthal, who now advises the re-election campaign. “Whoever is president on Jan. 20, 2012, is going to have to make this set of decisions.”


 A Government Accountability Office report released this summer described an executive branch “process for developing nuclear targeting and employment guidance” that it said had “remained virtually unchanged since 1991.”  Under the typical process, “the president develops guidance that defines the fundamental role of nuclear weapons, deterrence strategy, and basic employment strategy,” according to the GAO assessment. The White House document normally “includes a list of potential adversaries and target categories to hold at risk,” the report states.  The guidance in place today, issued in 2002 as National Security Presidential Directive-14, “identifies potential adversaries, target categories, and scenarios requiring preplanned nuclear options; emphasizes the need for survivable and flexible nuclear forces; describes the type of nuclear options available to the president; outlines a plan structure designed to avoid an 'all-or-nothing' response to a nuclear attack; and directs nuclear forces to hold at risk those critical assets and capabilities which a potential enemy leadership values most,” according to the congressional watchdog agency. 



Going forward, a complicating factor is the costly scope of maintaining a reliable U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal well into the future, Smolen said.   “The difficulty is on the strategic side we've got to recapitalize all our platforms and virtually all of our weapons,” he said.  The challenge, Smolen said, is “building new weapons that have all the characteristics that we want them to have that will enable us to have smaller numbers, [without explosive] testing, and that will last a lot longer.”
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Maybe back in 1991 we shouldn't have cancelled all new systems and all modernization plans. With trillion dollar deficits I can hear the yelling now if a new president wants to spend money on nuclear weapons, "But the children are starving!"
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #205 on: October 22, 2012, 06:34:20 pm »
 Russia Reportedly Approves Production of New Liquid-Fueled ICBM

Oct. 22, 2012 
 
The Russian Defense Ministry has given the go-ahead to plans to begin manufacturing a new liquid-fueled ICBM before 2012 is over, according to a Monday article by the Vzglyad newspaper. The next-generation 100-ton strategic missile is reportedly to be more capable than the Voyevoda, with the ability to carry as many as 10 heavy atomic warheads or 15 medium bombs at a range greater than 6,200 miles. "At the beginning of October, the Defense Ministry approved the draft project of the new missile as a whole and designers were ordered to improve some things," said former Col. Gen. Victor Yesin, who is presently serving as a consultant to the head of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces. "Production of the missile will begin by the end of the year." The ex-general w ould not disclose what particular problems the Russian military found in the draft designs of the new missile. Separately, Strategic Missile Forces spokesman Col. Vadim Koval revealed to Interfax on Friday that the designing and creation of a new missile that would be transported via railcars has begun. Final approval of the missile has yet to come, he said. Elsewhere, a liquid-propellant R-29R submarine-launched ballistic missile was successfully test-fired by the Svyatoi Georgy Pobedonosets submarine on Friday, according to a different Interfax report.


 "The missile was launched from a submerged position to the Chizha military testing ground in Arkhangelsk region," a Russian navy spokesman said. "The warhead reached the military ground at the set time." The SLBM traveled more than 3,700 miles before exactly striking its appointed destination, Agence France-Presse reported, citing official information. At the same time, the Strategic Missile Forces and Aerospace Defense Forces carried out a successful test launch of a Topol ICBM. The Defense Ministry also announced a successful of test-launch on northern Komy Peninsula of two nuclear-capable cruise missiles by Tu-95 and Tu-1160 bomber aircraft.
 
   Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that President Vladimir Putin personally oversaw what it described as the biggest command- and-control drill in recent years of Russia's strategic forces, the New York Times reported. Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov in a short release said the nuclear command drill involving test-firings of ballistic and cruise missiles equipped with dummy warheads from all three legs of the Russian nuclear triad occurred "under Putin's personal control." "The supreme commander in chief made a high assessment" of the execution of Russian nuclear forces personnel," Peskov said to Russian news agencies. "It was the first time in recent history of Russia that the strategic nuclear forces have held a command exercise on such a scale."
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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #206 on: October 25, 2012, 11:33:23 am »
 Russia Test-Fires Prototype of New ICBM Created to Evade Missile Defenses
   Oct. 25, 2012
 
 
Russia on Wednesday announced a successful trial-firing of a prototype mobile ICBM that is being developed to evade missile defenses, according to an ITAR-Tass report.  Strategic Missile Forces spokesman Col. Vadim Koval said the experimental extended-range missile was launched from a movable launch platform from the Kapustin Yar testing facility in Astrakhan. "The missile's model warhead hit the hypothetical target at the Sary-Shagan Testing pad in Kazakhstan."  The principal focus of the trial was to check if technological fixes to the weapon had been successful. The test was also aimed at affirming the working order of all missile systems and warhead components.  "The missile is being created based on maximum use of new technological solutions of the fifth-generation missile systems," the spokesman said. "These solutions considerably reduce production time and cost." 
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US response - We might try, maybe, someday in 2030 or so, if we're lucky to build a replacement for our 40 years old design MMIII.
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Offline chuck4

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #207 on: October 25, 2012, 11:40:58 am »
Why liquid fueled?   

Offline TaiidanTomcat

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #208 on: October 28, 2012, 02:20:05 pm »
Thats a great question 
All F-35 threads will be locked, and supporters publicly outed or banned.

Offline RyanC

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #209 on: October 28, 2012, 04:37:52 pm »
Probably because in order to have sufficient payload/velocity in order to defeat "easy to defeat" missile defense and still carry a useful payload, solids ain't gonna cut it...

Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #210 on: October 29, 2012, 12:34:27 pm »
60 Years ago today the US detonates the first H-bomb, fast forward to my opinion news, "60 Years Later US, Inventor of the H-Bomb Can No Longer Produce One"   :o

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-11/hiroshima-h-bomb-10-earth-shaking-moments-atomic-science
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 04:48:21 pm by bobbymike »
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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #211 on: November 02, 2012, 04:50:49 pm »
60 Years ago today the US detonates the first H-bomb, fast forward to my opinion news, "60 Years Later US, Inventor of the H-Bomb Can No Longer Produce One"   :o

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-11/hiroshima-h-bomb-10-earth-shaking-moments-atomic-science
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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« Reply #212 on: November 03, 2012, 12:26:35 am »
New ICBM Payload Transporter in the Works: The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a four-year, $39.7 million contract to design, develop, test, and qualify a replacement payload transporter system for the Minuteman III ICBM fleet, announced the company on Nov. 1. The existing payload transporter is nearing the end of its design life, states the company's release. "The replacement transporter will provide an immediate improvement in security and prevent potential supportability impacts from the aging system currently in use," said Mark Bishop, Northrop Grumman's program manager for the payload transporter replacement. The company is the prime contractor for sustaining the Minuteman III fleet, which the Air Force expects to operate out to 2030. (See also Getting to 2030.)
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Waiting for headline, "New ICBM in the works"
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #213 on: November 03, 2012, 01:08:59 am »
Kinda what I asked for:


MDD scheduled for March 2013   Air Force, Seeking Future ICBM Direction, To Hold Industry Day This Month       Posted: Nov. 01, 2012    
       
Air Force officials will be meeting with industry later this month to help mature potential concepts for the service's future intercontinental ballistic missile posture -- an enterprise known as Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent the Air Force is working to better define.  The Minuteman III, the Defense Department's current ICBM fleet, is scheduled to remain operational until 2030, but service officials have already begun to consider how to meet ground-based nuclear requirements after that period. The Air Force held an industry day in February to discuss capability gaps with potential contractors, and this month's event -- to be held Nov. 14-15 at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM -- will be geared toward informing the service's study guidance for an analysis of alternatives (AOA), which is planned for completion in fiscal year 2014.  The Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) industry day was announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website on Oct. 26.  In an Oct. 31 email provided by a Kirtland AFB spokesman, GBSD Provisional Program Manager Antonio Rendon said the Air Force has completed a number of activities since February, including reviewing more than 250 studies in an effort to properly leverage previous GBSD-related findings. Between that effort and a series of meetings with industry, Rendon said his team has progressed in narrowing and understanding the trade space the Air Force should consider in the near future.


        Much of that work, as well as the industry input that should come out of the November meeting, is meant to facilitate the upcoming AOA, Rendon said. Rendon's position as the lead on GBSD concept development is located within the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center's intelligence, program development and integration directorate, but Air Force Global Strike Command's plans, programs and requirements is the overall lead for future ICBM activities.  "[At the upcoming industry day], the GBSD team will present a summary of the GBSD Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and threat environment," Rendon said. "We will also discuss the high-level concepts developed to date and ask industry to explore alternatives to refine our concepts to support AOA activities."  The gathering is timed to generate a wealth of information ahead of an important milestone in March 2013, a Materiel Development Decision led by Office of the Secretary of Defense acquisition officials. A successful decision marks a program's official entrance into the acquisition process, and the GBSD AOA is scheduled to begin immediately after that decision is passed down, Rendon said.  Over the last eight months, the Air Force has begun compiling concept characterization and technical description documents, called CCTDs, that will present the framework for that study.  "These high-level documents capture the preliminary analysis for each concept that will be considered during the AOA to help determine technical feasibility," he said. "CCTDs form the foundation for future acquisition documentation as the program matures."


        In his email, Rendon noted -- as other Air Force officials have in the past -- that the service has not determined that developing a replacement for the Minuteman III is the best strategy going forward. Continuing to modernize the current ICBM fleet to meet future needs "is one of the courses of action being considered for GBSD," he said.  Minuteman III operations are coordinated by Air Force Global Strike Command through its missile wings at Malmstrom Air Force Base, MT, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, WY, and Minot Air Force Base, ND. -- Gabe Starosta 

 
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #214 on: November 21, 2012, 09:40:46 am »
  Russia Preps ICBM for 2014 Fielding   Nov. 21, 2012 
 
A new Russian ICBM is due to be placed on active duty in 2014, RIA Novosti quoted an armed forces insider as saying on Wednesday.  The head of the Russian strategic missile forces, Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev, had earlier stated the midweight, solid-fuel weapon would be fielded in 2015.  "According to the latest information, it will be accepted into service in 2014; the new weapon is part of a response program to the United States ballistic missile defense program," according to the source, who did not provide identifying information for the ICBM.  Moscow has for years challenged U.S. plans to deploy land- and sea-based missile interceptors and associated technology around Europe. While Washington says the joint U.S.-NATO project for European missile defense is aimed at Iran, Russia says the system could be used to counter its own nuclear deterrent.
 
 
Karakayev's command last month conducted a trial launch of the missile from the Kapustin Yar site, the insider said. "This was a test launch as part of combined state trials," he noted, continuing that the testing would be completed before the missile went into service.  The missile is largely intended to be installed on movable firing platforms. "So far there has been no decision on whether to base them in silos," the source said.
 
  Russia Ramps up Deployment of Modern ICBMs      Nov. 20, 2012 
 
Russia is increasing the pace of updating its deployed long-range nuclear arsenal, the head of the military's strategic missile forces told reporters on Tuesday.  Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said for the "first time in two decades we are going to exceed the limits of only two missile divisions rearmament," the Xinhua News Agency reported. "In 2013, we will rearm missile regiments in three divisions and prepare for rearmament of two more missile divisions."  Sophisticated fifth-generation Yars and Topol-M ICBMs are fielded in Russia's center with four regiments of the Teikovo missile division, the commander said. Deployment of new ICBM units to missile divisions in Kaluga, South Siberia, Novosibirsk, and Saratov also began this year.  "Thus, the rearmament program of the strategic missile forces with Topol-M system will be completed," Karakayev proclaimed.  The Yars missile can travel in excess of 6,800 miles while the heavier Topol-M ICBM can hit targets approximately 6,200 miles away.  Russia has approved spending in excess of $600 billion to 2020 for modernizing its military.  The Russian government has also authorized creation of a next-generation long-range nuclear missile to supplant the RS-20V Voyevoda, which is anticipated to be fully retired by 2026.
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USA - We'll maybe get around to doing something with our 40 year old ICBM in 2030 or so and even then we might just refurbish the MMIII becasue of a tight budget because by 2030 the $10 billion we spend on nuclear programs is such a HUGE part of the expected $6.2 TRILLION federal budget (today's plus 3% compounded growth)
 
And in other news total federal welfare spending in the next 4 years will increase from ~ $1 Trillion/annum to $1.3 Trillion
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 12:54:53 pm by bobbymike »
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« Reply #215 on: November 26, 2012, 07:27:44 pm »
General  Dynamics Earns Contract to Continue Common Missile Compartment Development
 GROTON, Conn. - The  U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $61.7  million contract modification for the continued development of the  Common Missile Compartment for the United Kingdom’s Successor ballistic-missile submarine and the U.S. Ohio  replacement submarine. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.
Under  the modification, Electric Boat will procure, manufacture and test prototype  material and equipment to be used in the production of the Common Missile  Compartment.
The  award modifies a contract announced in December 2008  for engineering, technical services, concept studies and design of a Common Missile Compartment for the next-generation ballistic missile submarines being  developed for the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy. If all options are exercised  and funded, the overall contract would have a value of more than $776 million.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #216 on: December 03, 2012, 11:06:15 am »
 U.S. Disassembled More Nukes Than Planned in Fiscal 2012 Dec. 3, 2012 
 
The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration on Monday said it had disassembled 12 percent more nuclear weapons than anticipated in fiscal 2012.  The program for the budget year that ended on Sept. 30 covered B-61 and B-83 bombs as well as W-76, W-80, W-84 and W-78 warheads. An exact number of disassembled weapons was not provided in a press release from the semiautonomous Energy Department branch that oversees the U.S. nuclear arms complex.  “NNSA delivered on President Obama’s commitment to reduce the numbers of U.S. nuclear weapons declared excess to the stockpile and awaiting dismantlement. We exceeded our dismantlement goals for FY 2012 by a significant margin,” NNSA Deputy Administrator Don Cook said in provided comments. “Our stockpile today is smaller, but the deterrent remains just as safe, secure and effective as it was. Dismantlements of legacy weapons are a key part of the Nuclear Posture Review, going hand-in-hand with the safety and security improvements in our life extension programs and critical to our long-term national security." 

Weapons disassembly involves a number of NNSA sites, including the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, which takes apart weapons' uranium parts, and the Pantex Plant in Texas, where duties include extracting plutonium triggers from warheads and securely storing the material.
 The work ensures that nuclear materials cannot be diverted to illicit purposes, according to the agency release. It also enables material to be repurposed to weapons undergoing service life-extension updates or in nuclear reactors on naval vessels. A certain amount of weapon-grade uranium is converted to a more proliferation-resistant form usable in civilian nuclear reactors.
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Way to go (snark) we can take 'em apart but can't build them  :(
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #217 on: December 03, 2012, 03:01:58 pm »
Way to go (snark) we can take 'em apart but can't build them  :(

Takes know-how to build 'em.  Gimme a crecent wrench, torch, and a crow bar and even I could get one apart.
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Offline bobbymike

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« Reply #218 on: December 07, 2012, 10:54:42 am »
 U.S. Conducts Nonexplosive Nuclear Test   The United States on Wednesday completed a nuclear test that did not involve the fission process necessary for atomic detonations, the National Nuclear Security Administration said.  The trial, dubbed "Pollux," would yield findings critical for ensuring the dependability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, the semiautonomous Energy Department agency said in a press release. The study took place at the Nevada National Security Site and involved personnel based at that complex, as well as with specialists from the Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico.  “Challenging subcritical experiments maintain our capabilities to ensure that we can support a safe, secure and effective stockpile without having to conduct underground testing,” NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said in provided remarks. “I applaud the work done by the men and women who worked to make this experiment successful. Experiments such as this help deliver President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”     
 
The subcritical test was the 27th in a series of exercises completed to examine how plutonium responds to a conventional explosive detonation. The last such trial, "Barolo B," took place on Feb. 2, 2011. Diagnostic equipment fielded by our scientists resulted in more data collected in this single experiment than all other previous subcritical experiments,” NNSA Deputy Administrator Don Cook said in the statement. “This type of data is critical for ensuring our computer simulations can accurately predict performance, and thus continued confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s stockpile.”
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New nukes and new underground tests are needed IMHO. Exercise design skills and manufacturing capability.
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Offline 2IDSGT

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #219 on: December 07, 2012, 11:06:00 am »
New nukes and new underground tests are needed IMHO. Exercise design skills and manufacturing capability.
I think there should be a couple of above-ground tests, just so they can filmed in HD.

Offline Triton

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Re: Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY
« Reply #220 on: December 07, 2012, 12:48:27 pm »
I think there should be a couple of above-ground tests, just so they can filmed in HD.

No thank you. Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie narrated by William Shatner is enough for me.

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