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bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/03/28/what-arms-race/

Much to the disarmers’ chagrin, however, studies in and out of government showed that the U.S. and Soviet leadership rarely, if ever, developed and deployed a nuclear weapon system only because the other side had it. Instead, leaders weighed a number of factors such as domestic political support, budget commitments, arms control priorities, allied support, development time, deterrent effect and more.

The dynamic was perfectly summarized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Harold Brown’s famous quip about the Soviets: When we build, they build. When we cut, they build.

This reality has only come into starker contrast within the last month as the newly published U.S. Nuclear Posture Review revealed “Russia is modernizing an active stockpile of up to 2,000 non-strategic nuclear weapons” including short-range ballistic missiles, depth charges, anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes. The United States got rid of all such systems before or at the end of the Cold War, including the anti-submarine torpedoes, which U.S. submariners joked had a kill probability of two — the target and them.

While the Russians are apparently modernizing these battlefield nuclear weapons, nobody in the U.S. is scrambling to put an atomic warhead on everything, striking another blow to the action-reaction model.

Faced with a nonexistent quantitative arms race, disarmament activists and even former Secretary of Defense William Perry, who incidentally helped develop the technological superiority that the United States enjoys today, now warn of a qualitative arms race.

If the U.S. makes better nuclear weapons or more effective missile defenses, so the thinking goes, the Russians will just make better penetrating missiles in response.
 

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/29/chinese_nuclear_capabilities_and_competition_with_the_us_113253.html

The U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released on February 3, 2018, follows the steps of the National Security Strategy 17 (NSS) and the National Defense Strategy 18 (NDS), confirming China, together with Russia, as U.S. main strategic competitors. According to them, the re-emersion of inter-state strategic competition is the main threat for U.S. national security in the global environment since Beijing and Moscow are striving to limit Washington’s power projection in their areas of influence. In addition, the NPR points that while the U.S. was seeking a smaller, less dangerous and less powerful atomic stockpile, the PRC moved in the opposite direction, increasing and modernizing its own.
 

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http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=104916&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=100000202499776&utm_campaign=Read

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) along with the U.S. Navy's Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) conducted successful test flights of two Trident II D5 Missiles, March 26.

The unarmed test missiles were launched as part of Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) 28 in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California.

The missiles were launched as a double mission test and were the key element of DASO 28, which marked the 166th and 167th successful test flights of the Trident II D5 missile since its introduction to the fleet in 1989. The primary objective of the DASO is to evaluate and demonstrate the readiness of the SSBN's strategic weapon system and crew before operational deployment following midlife refueling overhaul.
 

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Revealed: China's Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Ballistic Missile

"China is developing and has been flight-testing a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) along with a new long-range strategic bomber to deliver it, The Diplomat has learned.

According to U.S. government sources with knowledge of the latest intelligence assessments on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, China has conducted five flight tests of the unnamed missile. The U.S. intelligence community is calling the new missile the CH-AS-X-13.

The missile was first tested in December 2016 and was most recently tested in the last week of January 2018, according to one source. In recent years, the directors of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) have made reference to this nuclear-capable ALBM in their two most recent on-record worldwide threat assessments."

https://thediplomat.com/2018/04/revealed-chinas-nuclear-capable-air-launched-ballistic-missile/
 

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Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments - Sustaining the Triad. GBSD & LRSO

http://csbaonline.org/uploads/documents/CSBA_GBSD-LRSO_Web_04-11_FINAL.PDF

http://csbaonline.org/uploads/documents/CSBA6318-GBSD_LRSO_Report_web.pdf
 

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http://harriman.columbia.edu/event/conference-conflict-cooperation-us-russia-security-relations

Panel One: Nuclear and Strategic Issues
10:00am-11:30am

Moderator: Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University

Matthew Kroenig, Associate Professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Olga Oliker, Senior Adviser and Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Pavel Podvig, Director of the Russian Nuclear Forces Project
 

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https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2018-04/tactical-nuclear-weapons-are-back

n the wake of February’s release of the Department of Defense’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the Navy must undertake tough reflections on its nuclear identity. Specifically, the NPR recommends augmenting the nuclear arsenal with low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) as well as nuclear-armed submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). To understand the potential impact of these and other tactical nuclear weapons (TNWs) requires a look at their history—to evaluate how the United States has attempted to use technological developments to offset adversaries’ perceived advantages—and knowledge of how TNWs repeatedly have challenged the critical balance between nuclear and conventional forces. An understanding of how potential adversaries can use TNWs disruptively can help identify ways the United States can enhance its own TNW capabilities to improve both deterrence-by-denial and management of the ladder of escalation. Before developing new TNWs, however, the Navy must comprehend fully the consequences of such a course.
 

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China Reportedly Ramps Up Testing of New Long-Range Air-Launched Missile

The unnamed missile, classified by US intelligence as the CH-AS-X-13, is a two-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile with a 3,000 km range, and has been undergoing testing since late 2016, with the last test conducted in January 2018, a source speaking to the magazine said. The missile, which can be fitted with both conventional and nuclear payloads, is believed to be a light-weight composite materials-based variant of China's DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile.

The last two tests were launched from a modified H-6K, China's license-built version of the Tupolev Tu-16 long-range, air-refuelable strategic bomber. The modifications, reportedly made by H-6 manufacturer Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, are said to have given the bomber ALBM delivery capability.

According to The Diplomat, with a combat radius of nearly 6,000 km for the modified H-6K, and the additional 3,000 km range for the CH-AS-X-13, the new weapons system will hypothetically be able to carry out strikes against the contiguous United States, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and other US territories in the Pacific.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/192491/china-upgrading-carrier-liaoning%2C-testing-air_launched-missile.html
 

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China's Rocket Force Embraces New Medium-Long Range Ballistic Missile

"BEIJING --- The Rocket Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army commissioned days ago a new medium-long range missile system to a newly-established missile brigade. The brigade is forming overall combat capability with the new missile system.

The medium-long range ballistic missile system is developed by China and has complete independent intellectual property rights.

The missile system, capable of firing both nuclear and conventional weapons, is able to conduct rapid nuclear counterattacks and carry out conventional medium and long-range precision strikes against important land targets and large and medium-sized ships at sea. "


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/192525/china-stands-up-rocket-force-brigade-with-new-ballistic-missile.html
 

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https://news.usni.org/2018/04/16/navy-optimistic-nuclear-sub-uss-columbia-will-ready-first-deterrence-patrol-2031?utm_source=RC+Defense+Morning+Recon&utm_campaign=a608eeab2f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_694f73a8dc-a608eeab2f-81812733

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs was confident that the first of a new class of ballistic missile submarine, the planned USS Columbia (SSBN-826), would be ready for its first patrol in 2031. That will be just before the current Ohio-class nuclear-deterrent boats are too old to submerge.

The major components of what will be on Columbia are “on schedule and on track to support” a 2028 launch and a 2031 patrol, SSP director Vice Adm. Terry J. Benedict said.

Meeting that deadline is critical because the Ohio-class submarines will be reaching the absolute limit of their ability to submerge for a patrol, Navy officials have warned.
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nuclear-triad/2018/04/17/trump-administration-repurposes-65-million-for-new-nuclear-warhead-design/

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration has requested $65 million be repurposed for the Department of Energy’s budget in order to start work on a new low-yield nuclear warhead design.

In a reprogramming request sent to Congress last week, the Office of Management and Budget requested shifting $65 million to the National Nuclear Security Administration for “engineering development, and any subsequent phases, of a low-yield nuclear weapon.”

The creation of a submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear warhead was announced in February with the launch of the Nuclear Posture Review. But because of the timing of the NPR and the release of the fiscal 2019 budget request, the NNSA didn’t receive any funding for that program.

In March, NNSA head Lisa Gordon-Haggerty said her office was working with OMB to try and find the money for the warhead design.
 

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Latest New START numbers

https://www.state.gov/t/avc/newstart/278775.htm
 

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https://warontherocks.com/2018/04/americas-endangered-nuclear-deterrent-the-case-for-funding-two-critical-capabilities/

The U.S. nuclear triad is an aging collection of weapons, many of which were designed before today’s policymakers were even born. Because of modernization program cancellations, the average age of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is climbing into the mid-40s, while the air-launched cruise missile weapons system has aged more than 20 years past its original intended service life.

Although every administration since the end of the Cold War has agreed that maintaining a triad of nuclear-capable weapons systems is critical to the nation’s security, most have nonetheless treated nuclear modernization as a second-tier concern. In an era of renewed great power competition, nuclear delivery systems should no longer receive low prioritization. It will be especially important in an increasingly competitive global threat environment to maintain a credible deterrent that underpins not only homeland defense, but also America’s numerous allied defense commitments. But for the U.S. to retain that credibility, its systems must receive timely modernization and capability upgrades, just as U.S. conventional forces do. For this reason, it is imperative to fully fund and deliver on schedule the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent and Long Range Standoff weapon (LRSO) programs to ensure that as the Minuteman III and air-launched cruise missile systems are retired in the coming decades, their capabilities will be replaced on schedule.
 

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https://thebulletin.org/china%E2%80%99s-strategic-arsenals-new-era11716

Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that Chinese national defense and military modernization have entered a “new era.” He has called for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to become a (or perhaps even the) “world-class” military by mid-century. The “China Dream” that Xi seeks to advance—a quest for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”—includes and is enabled by the “dream of a powerful military” (强军梦).

In this new era of Chinese military power, the PLA is seeking to develop new strategic arsenals that could enhance its future deterrence and war-fighting capabilities. In particular, the PLA recognizes the criticality of “assured retaliation” within its second-strike nuclear posture—and of advancing new capabilities in the space, cyber, and electromagnetic domains, which are seen as new “strategic frontiers” of warfare. Xi has also underscored the importance of new frontiers of military innovation in emerging technologies. Indeed, the PLA is pursuing next-generation capabilities, ranging from hypersonic missiles to counterspace weapons or military applications of artificial intelligence.
 

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http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/384462-nuclear-misconceptions-must-not-inform-us-weapons-policy

An informed debate about our nuclear deterrent policy is welcome, especially on an issue that is so critical to the nation’s security. Unfortunately, too much of today’s nuclear debate is characterized by critics of our nuclear deterrent policy endlessly repeating what I call the “seven deadly nuclear sins.”

These are commonly held assumptions about our nuclear policy that turn out to be largely mythical; nonetheless, because they are so often repeated by a misinformed media, they tend to drive the debate.
What are they?

The first sin is the characterization of the United States nuclear modernization program as creating an arms race.

The second sin is describing our nuclear modernization effort as “unaffordable.”

The third transgression is the claim that Russia’s buildup of nuclear weapons is a response to offset America’s building of missile defenses.

The fourth sin is the assumption that Russia’s adoption of an escalatory policy to use nuclear weapons early in a conventional conflict is simply a counter to America’s similar policy or is not Russian policy in the first place.

Fifth is the claim that newly proposed American low yield nuclear warheads would be highly destabilizing and lower the nuclear threshold.
 

sferrin

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China Deploys Dongfeng-26 Ballistic Missile with PLA Rocket Force

China announced on Thursday that its new intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of precision strikes against land- and sea-based targets has been deployed with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force, a move hailed by Chinese observers as part of the country's warning to Taiwan secessionists and aircraft carriers-powered US forces behind them.

The Dongfeng-26 ballistic missile has officially joined the combat sequence of the PLA rocket force after tests, Wu Qian, the Chinese defense ministry spokesperson, confirmed at a regular press briefing on Thursday, according to the Ministry of National Defense website.

The domestically-developed weapon is China's new generation intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of not only swift nuclear counterattacks but also precision strikes on medium and large targets on land and sea, Wu said.

"EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the statement by the Chinese MoD spokesman on the DF-26 missile at the April 26 press conference:
“The newly commissioned weaponry of the Rocket Force is Dongfeng-26 missile. After the trial and operational test, this type of missiles are ready to be equipped to the full establishment of unit and have since then been officially commissioned to the Rocket Force.
“As a new generation of medium-and-long range missile, DF-26 has the following 4 features: first, it is researched, developed and manufactured by China independently and we have complete property right over it.
“Second, it can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, capable of both rapid nuclear counter-strikes and conventional medium-and-long range precision strikes.
“Third, it is capable of launching precision strikes at both critical target on land and medium- and large-sized vessels at sea.
“Fourth, several new technologies have been applied to the missile, which helps increase the missile’s utilization and improve its integration and informationization. It should be stressed that there is no change in China’s self-defense nuclear strategy and “No First Use” of nuclear weapons policy.”"



http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/192861/china-deploys-new-dongfeng_26-ballistic-missile%2C-su_35-fighters.html
 

bobbymike

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/04/lawmakers-push-pentagon-on-reforms-ai-new-missiles/?utm_source=RC+Defense+Morning+Recon&utm_campaign=98e7c9c87e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_694f73a8dc-98e7c9c87e-81812733

Elsewhere, the strategic forces subcommittee instructs Elle Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, to work with the Air Force to speed both the development and fielding of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program and the Long-Range Standoff cruise missile program by at least a year. Strategic Command’s leader, Gen. John Hyten, has repeatedly bewailed the slow place of these programs. However, this may not attract bipartisan support. One Democratic aide said that the Democrats would be unlikely to support that measure, as there is no compelling national security reason to speed both projects up, and take funding from other urgent needs.

Kingston Reif, a missile defense expert at the Arms Control Association, Tweeted that “there is currently no military requirement for a conventional variant,” of the LRSO, and “that requirement is filled by the JASSM-ER. And a conventional variant would add to total program cost.”
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24M3AbBcYm8
 

bobbymike

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From Inside Defense (pay site)

Nuclear missile programs could move faster under new policy language

April 27, 2018 |

Rachel Karas

As military officials repeatedly argue the United States needs to field new nuclear weapons as soon as possible, the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee is asking the Air Force to work with the Pentagon's acquisition chief on plans to speed up the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent and Long-Range Standoff Weapon programs. A House staffer told reporters April 25 the subcommittee's mark of the fiscal year 2019 defense policy bill will also recommend Congress boost funding for both modernization efforts
 

bobbymike

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1966 publication: Principals of Guided Missiles and Nuclear Weapons

https://ia801605.us.archive.org/13/items/PrinciplesOfGuidedMissilesAndNuclearWeapons/Principles%20Of%20Guided%20Missiles%20And%20Nuclear%20Weapons_text.pdf
 

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From Inside Defense pay site

Thornberry proposes spending boost for GBSD, LRSO in FY-19 to address unfunded requirements

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wants to grant the Air Force's wish to boost funding for its nuclear missile modernization programs, which the service included in its fiscal year 2019 unfunded requirements list submitted to Congress earlier this year.
 

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http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022343315626770?platform=hootsuite&


According to a widespread conventional wisdom, there is a link between US nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation and, therefore, in order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to other states, the US government must first make changes to its own nuclear arsenal. This article challenges the notion that US nuclear posture has a significant bearing on the proliferation and non-proliferation behavior of other states. Contrary to the received wisdom in policy circles, this article maintains that state decisions on nuclear non-proliferation issues are driven by a range of other security, economic, and political factors and, once these considerations are taken into account, there is little if any remaining variance to be explained by US nuclear posture. Using a dataset on US nuclear arsenal size from 1945 to 2011, this article examines the relationship between the size of the US nuclear arsenal and a variety of nuclear non-proliferation outcomes.
 

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https://www.federaltimes.com/acquisition/2018/05/09/us-officials-to-decide-future-of-nuclear-weapons-work/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_source=facebook.com

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The federal agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile is expected this week to release a report on the best option for the United States as it looks to ramp up production of the plutonium cores that trigger nuclear warheads.

At stake are hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in federal funding that would be needed to either revamp existing buildings or construct new factories to support the work.

New Mexico’s U.S. senators have been pushing to keep the work at Los Alamos National Laboratory — the northern New Mexico site where the atomic bomb was developed decades ago.
https://breakingdefense.com/2018/05/hasc-kicks-around-trumps-nuclear-plan-approves-it-along-party-lines/

CAPITOL HILL: The House Armed Services Committee voted to approve the Trump administration’s initiative to develop new sea-based nuclear cruise missiles — the so-called low-yield ballistic missiles capable of being launched from submarines.

The plan was unveiled in the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review released earlier this year, and caused sharp debate during the committee’s annual markup hearing for the 2019 defense budget and policy bill on Wednesday.
https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/aged-us-nuclear-stockpile-and-infrastructure-must-evolve-address-21st-century

The United States’ nuclear weapons infrastructure is in dire need of modernization to address emerging challenges.

The U.S. has not produced a new nuclear warhead in 30 years and is unlikely to be able to do so within a time frame to respond to unforeseen circumstances.

The U.S. approach to its stockpile and infrastructure must evolve so that it can continue to fulfill its deterrence and assurance roles.
 

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Old new but interesting

https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/05/inside-the-secret-cities-that-created-the-atomic-bomb/559601/

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at rapid speed beginning in 1942, the instant wartime cities of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford/Richland, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico, revolved around military research. They held laboratories and sprawling industrial plants, but also residential neighborhoods, schools, churches, and stores—war workers had personal lives and families, after all. At their peak in 1945, the three cities had a combined population of more than 125,000.

Their research facilities later morphed into national laboratories. But during the war, none of the cities appeared on any maps: They were the top-secret centers of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. military’s initiative to develop nuclear weapons before the Nazis got there first. The project achieved bitter success in August 1945, when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, instantly killing 150,000 people. Japan surrendered several days later, effectively ending the war, although historians still disagree about whether the use of nuclear weapons hastened the end.
 

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https://news.usni.org/2018/05/09/mattis-defends-trump-administrations-call-low-yield-nuclear-weapons

Defense Secretary James Mattis called Moscow’s strategy of threatening to use low-yield nuclear weapons to get its way “bellicose and cavalier,” and he said the administration’s plan to develop America’s own low-yield nuclear weapons and deploy them on submarines would checkmate the Kremlin.

Mattis, speaking to the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee Wednesday, said having a stash of low-yield nuclear weapons would negate Russia’s plan to “escalate to de-escalate” tense confrontations in its favor. As matters stand now, he reminded the subcommittee, the United States’ only nuclear response to a low-yield first strike by Russia would be with high-yield weapons, which would lead Russia to respond with similar weapons – with the result being catastrophic for both nations and the world.

He added that the idea behind the U.S. move to develop low-yield nuclear weapons “is making sure our deterrent is fit for its time.”
https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/articles/joint-statement-ellen-m-lord-and-lisa-e-gordon-hagerty-recapitalization-plutonium-pit

WASHINGTON – An evolving and uncertain geopolitical landscape calls for the United States to recapitalize its defense plutonium capabilities. The Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC) has certified that the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) recommended alternative for recapitalization of these capabilities is acceptable and represents a resilient and responsive option to meet Department of Defense (DoD) requirements.

To achieve DoD’s 80 pits per year requirement by 2030, NNSA’s recommended alternative repurposes the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce plutonium pits while also maximizing pit production activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. This two-prong approach – with at least 50 pits per year produced at Savannah River and at least 30 pits per year at Los Alamos – is the best way to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of such a vital undertaking. Furthermore, by maintaining Los Alamos as the Nation’s Plutonium Center of Excellence for Research and Development, the recommended alternative improves the resiliency, flexibility, and redundancy of our Nuclear Security Enterprise by not relying on a single production site.
 

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Weapons Engineering and Experiments (ADW) Capability Overview

http://permalink.lanl.gov/object/tr?what=info:lanl-repo/lareport/LA-UR-18-20926

Nukes in the Post-Cold War Era A View of the World from Inside the US
Nuclear Weapons Program

http://permalink.lanl.gov/object/tr?what=info:lanl-repo/lareport/LA-UR-18-20950
 

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/16/pivot_with_a_nuclear_edge_low_yield_in_the_scs_113453.html

The much vaunted, U.S. “Pivot to Asia” was launched by the Obama administration in 2011. It was intended to deter China’s challenge to U.S. leadership and curb Chinese coercion in the South China Sea. The idea was sound, but the problem was lack of any real implementation. Aside from a symbolic deployment of U.S. Marines to Darwin, the Pivot failed, as discussed by Hugh White in his Quarterly Essay piece, “Without America.” China continued to systematically militarise and fortify the Spratly Islands, and in May 2018 there were reports that China had deployed land based anti-ship cruise missiles (YJ-12B) and long-range surface to air missiles (HQ-9B) to three islands within the chain.

This effectively means that China now can close the South China Sea if it chooses to and significantly affects the global economy. Approximately $3.4 trillion of trade passes through the South China Sea annually. It’s a major global trade route and China’s recent deployments of anti-ship cruise missiles and surface to air missiles in combination with the range of the DF-21D ‘carrier killer’ ballistic missile provides significant Area Denial Anti-Access (A2/AD) capability. In the case of war, any surface naval vessels including aircraft carriers veering within the range of these weapon systems run a huge risk of being sunk. Even with the Aegis missile defense umbrella in place, the targets face the prospect of being overwhelmed with multiple cruise missiles. So how does the U.S. combat this problem that has entrenched itself as a major trade chokepoint? Enter the low yield tactical nuclear option.
 

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/18/the_necessary_us_response_to_russias_nuclear_doctrine_113462.html

After decades of neglect, the decline of the United States’ nuclear arsenal is being addressed by the Pentagon. This is driven in large measure by the growth and modernization of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals. Their nuclear doctrines are salient as well. While Chinese nuclear doctrine remains deliberately opaque—which is, in itself, worrisome and a threat to strategic stability—Russian doctrine and statements from officials have emphasized the need to maintain their nuclear arsenal and evinced a willingness to use nuclear weapons in a conflict.
https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.6.2.20180518a/full/

A partially completed, billions-over-budget facility for transforming surplus weapons plutonium into fuel for commercial reactors will be repurposed to manufacture plutonium cores for nuclear weapons, the US Departments of Energy and Defense announced on 10 May. Under the new plan, the Savannah River Site in South Carolina will produce more than half of the 80 plutonium pits per year that the agencies have said will be needed for the nuclear weapons stockpile by 2030. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which had previously been designated as the sole pit production facility, will be responsible for fabricating at least 30 pits annually.
https://www.realcleardefense.com/2018/05/17/applying_039tailored_deterrence039_302077.html

Introduction: On Deterrence

Carl von Clausewitz writes that the nature of war has enduring continuities, but its characteristics change with different circumstances. Similarly, the fundamental nature of deterrence has endured for millennia: a threatened response to an adversary’s prospective provocation causes that adversary to decide against the provocation i.e., the adversary is deterred from attack because it decides that the prospective costs would outweigh the gains. Effective deterrence shapes the calculations and thus the decision making of an adversary in a more benign direction than otherwise would have been the case.

While this threat-based nature of deterrence endures, its character must adapt to different circumstances. Numerous factors can necessitate adapting a deterrence strategy for greatest effect, including the character, attention, and health of the adversary, the deterrence goal, the historical and cultural contexts, and the available channels of communication, inter alia.
 

bobbymike

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/05/navy-looks-outside-budget-to-help-build-new-boomers/

WASHINGTON: The Navy is finally getting the funding it has sought to push production of its next-generation Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. But in a move that has raised some eyebrows, hundreds of millions of dollars for the program are not coming from the Navy budget, a situation that could become the new normal amid continuing budget uncertainty.

Navy leadership has said the Columbia program, which will include 12 nuclear-powered boats to replace the aging Ohio-class SSBNs currently in service, is one of their top priorities to stay ahead of Russian and Chinese sub-building booms, and grow the overall attack sub fleet from the current 52 to 66 by the 2040s.

But money is a major problem. With a host of expensive of modernization priorities like building multiple attacks submarines per year, getting the first four Ford-class carriers out of the shipyards, and buying more F-35s, the Navy is looking for help.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-pentagon-is-seeking-money-for-a-new-nuclear-weapon-congress-should-be-skeptical/2018/05/18/d13fe766-59e4-11e8-8836-a4a123c359ab_story.html?utm_term=.eaaa7310d60c

Top Pentagon officials are telling some pretty tall tales in seeking congressional support for a new, low-yield, nuclear warhead to put on a long-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, gave the most unusual rationale when he testified on March 20 before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The stated purpose of this new weapon is to deter the Russians from using any of their low-yield nuclear weapons — something Russian President Vladimir Putin has often threatened to do if he ever found himself being overwhelmed by NATO conventional forces, presumably in Western Europe.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/23/in_defense_of_the_low_yield_nuclear_trident_missile_113476.html?utm_source=RC+Defense+Morning+Recon&utm_campaign=13ac943da3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_694f73a8dc-13ac943da3-81812733

Why do states go to war? Obviously there is no mechanical formula where if factors x, y, and z are present – then war is certain. Individual leadership personalities, the anarchic international system, the structure of political incentives, and multiple other theories are plausible answers to the question; but one misconception remains popular today: weapons cause war.

As strategist Colin Gray (who according to Secretary of Defense Mattis is “the most near-faultless strategist alive today”) has expounded upon at length, the amount and sophistication of a state’s arms are properly categorized as the effect, not the primary cause of war. “States do not fight because they are heavily armed; rather they are heavily armed because they judge war to be a serious possibility.”
 

sferrin

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syuZA0r_blM
 

bobbymike

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MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Project 955B Borei-B strategic nuclear-powered submarines have stayed outside Russia’s state armament program for 2018-2027 and after 2023 Russia will build six more Project 955A Borei-A subs, a source in the domestic defense sector told TASS on Monday.

As was reported earlier, work on the conceptual design of the improved Project 955B submarines with the new water jet propulsion system and onboard equipment was expected to begin from 2018. Their development was included in the draft state armaments program and a series of four such submarines was planned to be built.


More:
http://tass.com/defense/1005356
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/05/22/democrats-fight-pentagon-push-for-battlefield-nukes/

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are fighting on multiple fronts to block the Trump administration from developing a new tactical nuclear weapon, and the debate threatens to turn into a partisan fight on the House floor.

House Armed Services Committee Democrats broadly backed a failed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act earlier this month that would have stripped the bill’s proposed sea-launched, low-yield nuclear warhead.

Democrats have not given up and since proposed multiple NDAA amendments that are hostile to the weapons. The bill is set to be considered on the House floor this week, and on Tuesday, the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith, of Washington, said the fight isn’t over.

“I wouldn’t even describe it as unease. We are inalterably opposed to it,” Smith told reporters, adding that low-yield nukes are “a mistake.”
https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/05/23/house-rejects-limit-on-new-nuclear-warhead/?utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Wednesday shot down a proposed limit on the Trump administration’s pursuit of a low-yield nuclear weapon.

It was among several amendments to the House draft of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that were voted down Wednesday afternoon. Of the 558 amendments filed for the NDAA debate this week, the House Rules Committee made in order 271 of them and the House voted to adopt 98 of them Tuesday night.

The rejected amendment would have fenced half the 2019 funding for low-yield nuclear warhead development in lieu of an assessment of its impact on strategic stability and options to reduce the risk of miscalculation. Reps. Jim Garamendi, D-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., sponsored it.
 

Flyaway

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Video of the quadruple Bulava launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUdIUdouLv0

More info: http://russianforces.org/blog/2018/05/four-missile_salvo_launch_of_b.shtml
 

Flyaway

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An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (GT-224GM) was launched from LF-04 at Vandenberg AFB at 01:23 PDT on May 14.
More info:
https://thedefensepost.com/2018/05/14/us-tests-minuteman-icbm-nuclear-missile-may/
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article211136069.html
 

sferrin

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Flyaway said:
Video of the quadruple Bulava launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUdIUdouLv0

More info: http://russianforces.org/blog/2018/05/four-missile_salvo_launch_of_b.shtml
See post three posts before yours.
 

Flyaway

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sferrin said:
Flyaway said:
Video of the quadruple Bulava launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUdIUdouLv0

More info: http://russianforces.org/blog/2018/05/four-missile_salvo_launch_of_b.shtml
See post three posts before yours.
Mine was the original Russian source I believe.
 

bobbymike

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Underground nuclear test document

http://permalink.lanl.gov/object/tr?what=info:lanl-repo/lareport/LA-UR-18-24015
 

bobbymike

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https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-28/china-accelerates-next-gen-nuclear-weapons-development-compete-us-russia

As we have been documenting over the last year and beyond, China is rapidly modernizing its military; unveiling a new stealth bomber, an array of guided-weapons, and deploying further from home. Their most recent focus has been on next generation nuclear weapons - as Beijing ramps up blast experiments for nukes comprised of smaller, smarter warheads designed to limit damage by targeting specific targets, according to the South China Morning Post.

Between September 2014 and last December, China carried out around 200 laboratory experiments to simulate the extreme physics of a nuclear blast, the China Academy of Engineering Physics reported in a document released by the government earlier this year and reviewed by the South China Morning Post this month.

In comparison, the US carried out only 50 such tests between 2012 and 2017 – or about 10 a year – according to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. -SCMP

China's development of next gen nukes will put them in direct competition with the United States and Russia, sparking concerns by experts over the prospect of a new cold war arms race that has the potential of boiling over into thermonuclear war.

Of primary concern is the notion that nations possessing smaller, targeted nukes might be more inclined to use them vs. larger and more devastating munitions - which could easily lead down the slippery slope of larger nuclear exchanges.
 
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