Nuclear Weapons NEWS ONLY

bobbymike

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https://www.cnas.org/publications/podcast/dr-brad-roberts-talks-nuclear-deterrence-and-strategic-fluency?token=ETH29gxqSzFu6ViDN2WOgRVpPHxxGoBG

Dr. Brad Roberts, the Director for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy, joins Julie Smith and Jim Townsend to discuss NATO’s nuclear deterrence capabilities, the space domain, and the North Korean nuclear issue.
 

bobbymike

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A little more detail

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/28/china-nuclear-arms-race-610028

China is aggressively developing its next generation of nuclear weapons, conducting an average of five tests a month to simulate nuclear blasts, according to a major Chinese weapons research institute.

Its number of simulated tests has in recent years outpaced that of the United States, which conducts them less than once a month on average.

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.
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/06/01/new-nuclear-warhead-still-under-fire-from-democrats/

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats have failed in several attempts to hinder the Trump administration’s plan to expand America’s nuclear arsenal with a low-yield nuclear weapon, but four of them are poised to take another shot.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., has proposed an amendment to the 2019 Energy and Water appropriations bill, up for floor debate next week, that would strip the weapon’s funding. The $44.7 billion bill includes annual funding for nuclear weapons and is $8.17 billion more than the president’s budget request.

Lee’s amendment would cut all $65 million for the W76-2 warhead and transfer it to defense nuclear nonproliferation account. That amendment to the bill, one of 50 lawmakers have offered as of Friday morning, must clear the House Rules Committee before it can receive floor consideration.

The Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review calls for two nuclear designs: a low-yield variant of the W76 on Trident II missiles aboard America’s nuclear submarines and a potential new sea-launched nuclear cruise missile.

The systems are supposed to deter Russia from using its own arsenal of low-yield nuclear weapons, but opponents see it as easing the path to nuclear war.

House Democrats have been unable to overcome Republican majorities in recent attempts.

Less than two weeks ago, a weaker amendment to fence half the W76-2 funding in lieu on a report was debated and defeated in a mostly partly line vote, 188-226. Its sponsors — Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and John Garamendi, D-Calif., have joined with Lee and Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich.
 

bobbymike

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How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2018/July%202018/Cruise-Missile-Controversy.aspx

The Long-Range Standoff weapon, or LRSO, is arguably the most controversial element of the Air Force’s strategic modernization plan. While there’s general—though frequently grudging—bipartisan congressional support for replacing most of the geriatric nuclear deterrence enterprise, there’s rather less enthusiasm for LRSO, a stealthy cruise missile that would be launched from B-52 bombers far outside enemy defenses or from B-21 stealth bombers that have penetrated enemy airspace.

The criticisms revolve around the weapon’s cost, whether it’s needed, and its potential to be “destabilizing.”

The Air Force has said relatively little about LRSO, explaining that it wants to keep adversaries guessing about its capabilities and technologies. Last summer, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon each received $900 million contracts to develop competing designs for the weapon, which will succeed the AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) and, indirectly, the AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM).
 

bobbymike

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https://allthingsnuclear.org/emacdonald/low-yield-warhead

A couple of weeks ago, we noted that the Senate Armed Services Committee was about to get its chance to consider the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which in its current form includes $88 million in funding for a new, lower-yield warhead for the Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designated the W76-2. At the time, the House Armed Services Committee had voted, along party lines, to reject an amendment that would have eliminated funding for the new warhead.

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska, These missiles currently carry W76 and W88 warheads with yields of 100 kilotons and 455 kilotons, respectively. The proposed W76-2 warhead would reportedly have a yield in the range of 6.5 kilotons.

Plans for the new lower-yield warhead have drawn criticism from many quarters, including a number of prominent former officials and military leaders, who collectively sent a letter to Congress asking that it not fund the program. The letter, signed by former defense secretary William Perry, former secretary of state George Shultz, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright (Ret.), and former head of the National Defense University Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (Ret.), among others, calls the new warhead “dangerous, unjustified, and redundant.” The signers say that “the greatest concern…
 

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pentagon-missiles-ai-insight/deep-in-the-pentagon-a-secret-ai-program-to-find-hidden-nuclear-missiles-idUSKCN1J114J

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military is increasing spending on a secret research effort to use artificial intelligence to help anticipate the launch of a nuclear-capable missile, as well as track and target mobile launchers in North Korea and elsewhere.
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/06/05/pentagon-completes-draft-plans-for-new-low-yield-sea-launched-nuclear-weapon.html

The Pentagon has completed initial draft plans for several emerging low-yield sea-launched nuclear weapons intended to deter potential attackers and add new precision strike options to those currently possible with the existing arsenal.

While final requirements for both a low-yield sea-launched nuclear cruise missile and long-range sub-launched low-yield warhead are still in development, Pentagon officials tell Warrior Maven the process has taken several substantial new steps forward.

“The Nuclear Weapons Council has met and approved the draft plan moving forward. The NWC agreed to allow the National Nuclear Security Administration to begin developing scope, schedule and costs for this activity,” Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, Pentagon spokeswoman, told Warrior Maven.

Citing the administrations Nuclear Posture Review released earlier this year, Baldanza said a new set of identified “low yield requirements” is “currently being used as the basis for initial study work and as the baseline for the program.”
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/06/06/partisan-battle-for-new-tactical-nuke-looms-in-senate/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_medium=social

WASHINGTON — Democrats want to take their fight against the Trump administration’s planned a new low-yield tactical nuclear weapon to the Senate‘s annual defense policy bill.

It’s the latest flashpoint in a partisan divide over whether to pursue a new, tactical submarine-launched nuclear missile. The Pentagon and others advocate for the systems to deter Russia from using its own arsenal of low-yield nuclear weapons, but opponents see it as lowering the threshold for a nuclear war.

The Senate Armed Services Committee began debate on its $716 billion annual defense policy bill Wednesday, which contains a provision removing restrictions on the U.S. development or deployment of such a weapon without congressional authorization. The bill would grant the energy secretary new authority to carry out the weapon’s energy development phase, or any subsequent phase, without Congress’ specific approval.

Democrats plan to offer an amendment to preserve congressional oversight, Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., said in a floor speech Wednesday. Reed is among lawmakers who crafted the restrictions in 2003.

“I have spent countless hours [on the issue], and I’m not alone,” Reed said. “My colleagues on the committee and many members of this Senate have spent hours thinking about the issues that are caused by these proposals. I’m concerned that we have not fully grasped all the complex implications. Indeed, there is an honest disagreement among experts in the field on this issue.”
 

sferrin

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Chinese DF-41 ICBM Close to Commissioning

The American website Washington Free Beacon published an article on June 5 saying that China recently completed the 10th flying test of the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), marking a substantial step forward for the actual deployment of China's latest and most powerful strategic weapon.

An official from the U.S. Department of Defense said that the DF-41 missile was launched from Taiyuan City of northern China's Shanxi Province on May 27, 2018, and travelled thousands of miles before it hit a simulated target in western China's Gobi desert.

The article said that China issued a flight notice that day that designated a no-fly zone in the northwest airspace, same as when it test-flew the DF-41 last year.

"We noticed the latest flying test and will continue to pay attention to China's weapon development, but we won't disclose any specific information about this test," said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, spokesperson of the Pentagon.

American media reported that the last test shooting of the DF-41 missile happened on November 6 last year and this was the 10th test flight, and it is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

As one of China's most powerful strategic weapons, the DF-41 missile system has a shooting range of more than 7,500 miles and is able to carry more than ten Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV), American media reported.


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/193846/china%E2%80%99s-df_41-icbm-close-to-entering-service.html


And it's mobile.
 

sferrin

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China’s New Multi-Warhead ICBM Among World’s Most Advanced Missiles

"China’s new multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Dongfeng-41 is among the world’s most advanced missiles, military expert Shao Yongling recently told People’s Daily Online.

The photo circulating on the internet shows equipment suspected to be Dongfeng-41

According to foreign media, officials from the U.S. Department of Defense revealed China's launch of the Dongfeng -41 intercontinental missile on May 27. The Dongfeng-41 missile launched a number of warheads and hit targets of the Western China range.

Shao said that if the report is true, the Dongfeng-41 is now combat ready.

Currently, China has two major ICBMs, Dongfeng-5 and Dongfeng-31. Dongfeng-5 is a silo-based liquid-propellant missile, and it is able to accommodate multiple re-entry vehicles. Dongfeng-31 is a mobile launcher based missile that is propelled by solid fuel. "


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/193878/china-touts-capabilities-of-new-icbm.html
 

kaiserd

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A number of articles on the US/ North Korea summit/ agreement.
Surprised other more frequent posters haven’t already done so.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44450000

https://www.google.ie/amp/www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/12/north-korea-summit-trump-stuns-region-with-call-to-end-military-drills.amp.html

https://www.google.ie/amp/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5b1f811fe4b0bbb7a0e1009c/amp

https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/world/2018/6/12/17452616/trump-kim-jong-un-north-korea-summit

https://thebulletin.org/what-trump-gave-away11910
 

kaiserd

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https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/13/politics/trump-north-korea-nuclear-threat/index.html

In summary;

“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”
 

sferrin

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Russian Air-Delivered Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons

"Before starting a discussion of Russian non-strategic or tactical air-delivered nuclear weapons, it is important for the reader to understand that these weapons do not exist in isolation. They are part of what amounts to a Russian non-strategic nuclear Triad composed of: 1) ground-based nuclear capable short- to intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles; 2) a sea-based force of nuclear-capable cruise missiles carried on both surface ships and submarines; and 3) an air-delivered non-strategic nuclear force of Backfire bombers and a variety of long-range fighter aircraft which carry both nuclear bombs and nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles. Russia’s non-strategic nuclear Triad has the same resilience, flexibility, survivability, and defense penetration ability of Russia’s better known strategic Triad. Only Russia, and apparently China, have a non-strategic nuclear Triad. Russia is secretive about its non-strategic nuclear capabilities, particularly its low-yield weapons; hence, it is unlikely that the picture derived from open sources is complete.

Russia routinely practices the first use of nuclear weapons in major theater exercises. Indeed, in 2014, Russian expatriate Nikolai Sokov wrote, “…nuclear exercises have been conducted with targets in Europe, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and even the continental United States,” and, “…all large-scale military exercises that Russia conducted beginning in 2000 featured simulations of limited nuclear strikes.”[1] The implication of this is that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons in a variety of conflicts, including minor ones, which was suggested by its Secretary of the National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in October 2009. He said that existing policy allowed the first use of nuclear weapons even in “local” wars.[2] Indeed, in 2010, the official newspaper of the Far East Military District said, “To suppress a large center of the separatists’ resistance and to achieve minimal losses of the attacking troops a low-yield ‘nuclear’ attack was mounted against the enemy.”[3]"


https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/15/russian_air-delivered_non-strategic_nuclear_weapons_113537.html
 

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http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2151325/china-adds-nuclear-arsenal-amid-military-modernisation

China is pushing ahead with modernising its nuclear weapon delivery systems and has added to its arsenal as it boosts military expenditure, according to a report released by an independent think tank on Monday.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/global/2018/06/19/which-nations-increased-the-size-of-their-nuclear-arsenal-in-2017/

WASHINGTON ― The past several months have been a busy time for nuclear weapon issues: North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review steered U.S. nuclear policy towards a return to great power competition and suggested the development of two new nuclear weapons in addition to other expensive nuclear modernization programs.

But these were not the only events that impacted the global nuclear balance.

A new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows that although the U.S. and Russia decreased the number of nuclear warheads in their stockpiles in 2017, smaller nuclear powers like China, India, North Korea and Pakistan took steps to expand their arsenals.

According to the report China increased its total number of warheads by 10, from 270 to 280. India was believed to have between 120 to 130 warheads in 2017, and is estimated to have added 10 more warheads as well, for a 2018 total between 130 and 140. Pakistan also increased its arsenal by 10, bringing their approximate warhead stockpile to between 140 and 150. SIPRI estimates that North Korea has anywhere between 10 and 20 warheads.
 

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https://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/russian-and-chinese-nuclear-arsenals-posture-proliferation-and-the-future-of-arms-control/

Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Keating, and members of the subcommittee, it is an honor to appear before you today to discuss Russian and Chinese strategic capabilities, and their implications for U.S. strategy and arms control. Let me begin by stating that although I am currently a senior fellow for security and strategy at the Brookings Institution, I am presenting testimony representing my personal views. As an independent think tank, the Brookings Institution does not take institutional positions on any issue.
 

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https://cfrd8-files.cfr.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/Patricia%20Kim%20-%20Testimony%20at%20HFAC%20TNT%20-%20June%2021%202018.pdf

Chinese Perceptions on Nuclear Weapons, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation
 

bobbymike

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Have to become a paying member for the full article.

https://rusi.org/publication/rusi-journal/escalation-and-nuclear-weapons-russia%E2%80%99s-military-strategy

he development of Russia's nuclear weapons programme suggests that the country may be prepared to use them to offset its conventional weaknesses.

The assessment that Russia envisages limited nuclear first use, potentially including low-yield nuclear weapons, as a coercive advantage over a symmetrical adversary has contributed to justify additional capabilities in the US nuclear arsenal. Contrary to the critics’ claims, Katarzyna Zysk shows that the Russian military strategy has been corroborated in strategic documents and official statements, defence acquisition programmes and deployments, and operational pattern.
 

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https://warontherocks.com/2018/06/the-forgotten-side-of-arms-control-enhancing-u-s-competitive-advantage-offsetting-enemy-strengths/

In the spring of 1988, President Ronald Reagan described the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as an agreement that would, “for the first time, eliminate an entire class of U.S. and Soviet missiles.” Reagan’s description of the INF Treaty as a historic and mutually beneficial reduction of nuclear arms remains the conventional wisdom. This narrative is not wrong, of course, but it is incomplete: Arms control has never been purely cooperative. Rather, the United States employed arms control negotiations to build military-technological advantages over the Soviet Union. From the 1940s onwards, U.S. leaders sought to “offset” the Soviet Union’s advantage in conventional weapons by developing advanced military technologies that their Cold War opponent did not have. Arms control played an important role in advancing this offset strategy. American leaders raced the Soviets in military technologies where the United States was perceived to enjoy significant advantages, while simultaneously entangling the Soviet Union in an arms control regime that would limit areas of Soviet strength. By combining arms racing and arms control, the United States pursued a holistic offset strategy.
 

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As bobbymike pointed out, this is a NEWS ONLY thread .

Cleaned up, apologies for being late with that.
And now, please, news only again !
 

bobbymike

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https://www.llnl.gov/news/warhead-life-extension-passes-key-milestone

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/03/09/lawmaker-us-should-field-new-nukes-after-russia-violated-treaty.html

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/06/30/b61-12-nuclear-gravity-bomb-completes-first-qual-tests-b-2-bomber.html
 

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http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/394924-its-time-to-re-nuclearize-americas-defense-policy

The world’s first nuclear war was the Cold War. It was fought with nuclear weapons, and it ended in an immense victory for America. It accomplished three important objectives: First: Not a single nuclear weapon was ever detonated; second, it brought about the total collapse of the Soviet Union; and third; it exposed communism as a failure to the world.

The Cold War lasted for almost a half-century (1946-1991), and for most of that time the fate of the world hung in the balance every single moment. Tens of thousands of nuclear weapons were poised for instant launch on each side, threatening thermonuclear war and unimaginable death and destruction across the world.

We won that war because we learned how to fight a nuclear war better than our adversary, and we learned it the hard way, by doing it. We advanced our technology faster than our enemy. We changed our strategy faster than he did. When an approach worked well, we doubled and tripled it. In addition to our high-yield strategic weapons, every branch of the service had low-yield weapons for every military purpose. Most of all, we out-thought our enemy in every sector of our society: military, industry, science, finance, academia, and others.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/03/wargaming_and_deterrence_options_signalling_a_low-yield_response_113576.html

When wargaming a Russian attack on the Baltic states, the Rand Corporation, demonstrated that current NATO forces in Europe are an insufficient deterrent. Findings indicated that if Russia was to attack the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, the longest length of time it would take their forces to reach the outskirts of Tallinn and Riga is 60 hours. RAND found that a NATO force of about seven brigades, including three heavy armored brigades supported by air power and adequate land-based fire support would be necessary to prevent a rapid defeat until more forces can arrive in Europe. This, they argued would be the necessary conventional force required to deter a Russian attack.

The problem with fielding such a force is politics based on cost and will. Deploying seven brigades with heavy armored fire support and logistics would cost billions of dollars, and it would most likely be the United States that is required to provide the bulk of these forces. In the current climate where the Trump administration is at odds with most NATO members for failing to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense, the chances of the U.S. being willing to supply the forces required to defend Europe is highly unlikely.
 

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https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/files/2018-07/IB4880_2.pdf

Russia’s tactical and intermediate-range nuclear weapons threaten U.S. deployed forces and allies in Europe, and the U.S. has no in-kind response.

The New START Treaty requires the U.S. to bear majority of weapons reductions, and the U.S. should not agree to an extension after its 2021 expiration.

At the U.S.–Russia summit on July 16, President Trump should adopt a “protect and defend” approach, which focuses on preserving U.S. defense options.
 

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https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/07/dont-give-russia-gift-extending-new-start/149605/

With Moscow’s recent behavior, there’s no need to rush on a treaty that still has nearly three years to run.

“Our most serious mistake in relations with the West is that we trusted you too much,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year. It’s an odd lesson to have drawn in the wake of the good-faith but failed U.S. effort at “reset” with Russia, promised “flexibility” on missile defense plans, and the bilateral New START arms control treaty under which only the United States had to reduce its nuclear warheads. Russia broke the trust engendered by these efforts, and chose instead the paths of deception and aggression.

With the Trump-Putin summit in Finland quickly approaching, commentators are urging President Trump to ease tensions, to build trust with the Russian bear. But it is clear that Putin believes Russia has itself been burned, and that the only real “trust” in the Russian government is the loyalty shown to Putin himself.
 

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/07/inside-americas-aging-nuclear-missile-submarines/

“Every leg of the triad is up against the red line in terms of recapitalization,” agreed Rear Adm. John W. Tammen, director of undersea warfare (N97) on the Navy staff. “The green-eyeshade people…have repeatedly delayed and delayed each of the programs. (Now), the bottom line is there’s no additional margin for construction and delivery of Columbia.” To reduce the risk, defense contractors have already started building missile tubes — some of which will go to the Royal Navy‘s SSBN program — as well as a full-up prototype of the new design’s electric drive.
 

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https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2131261/china-needs-more-nuclear-warheads-deter-us-threat

In the PLA Daily on Tuesday, a commentary said China had enough nuclear weapons to prevent “bullying” by other nuclear powers but still needed to respond to changes in US strategy.

“To enhance China’s strategic counterbalance in the region and maintain China’s status as a great power, and protect national security, China has to beef up and develop a reliable nuclear deterrence capability,” it said.

It also said China would still stick to the “no first use” doctrine, meaning there were no circumstances in which it would be the first to use nuclear weapons.

The commentary comes as the administration of US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil its new military weapons policy later this week.
 

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https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/22/trump-administration-control-national-nuclear-secu/
 

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https://mobile.wnd.com/2018/07/china-adding-significant-capabilities-to-nuclear-forces/

China is quietly adding “significant capabilities” to its nuclear forces, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists write that the nation’s nuclear force “includes about 280 warheads for delivery by ballistic missiles and bombers” and the “stockpile is likely to grow further over the next decade.”

Kristensen is director of the Nuclear Information Project with the FAS and Norris is a senior fellow there. Their Nuclear Notebook column has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.

China is continuing a modernization program begun in the 1980s, putting more types and bigger numbers of nuclear weapons in play.

“Since our previous Nuclear Notebook on China in July 2016, the country has continued fielding a new version of an existing nuclear medium-range mobile ballistic missile, a new dual-capable intermediate-range mobile ballistic missile, and an improved road-mobile launcher for an existing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),” they write.

“It has also continued development of a road-mobile ICBM, and might be developing an air-launched dual-capable ballistic missile.”

The analysts estimate China has a stockpile of approximately 280 nuclear warheads for delivery by 120 to 130 land-based ballistic missiles, 48 sea-based ballistic missiles, and bombers.

“This stockpile is likely to grow further over the next decade as additional nuclear-capable missiles become operational. Moreover, in response to the U.S. deployment of missile defense systems in the Pacific, China has equipped some (or all) of its silo-based ICBMs with multiple warheads,” the report said.
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/07/24/tactical-nuclear-weapon-launches-into-development-with-pentagon-policy-bill/

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is poised to get congressional authorization to start building a controversial new submarine-launched low-yield nuclear weapon.

The Senate and House came together Monday on a $716 billion defense authorization report that authorizes $65 million to develop the weapon, aimed at deterring Russia, according to the bicameral compromise conference report.

The requirement for the weapon — likely to be a submarine-launched Trident II D5 with a W76-2 warhead — is part of the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review.

The report for the sweeping 2019 National Defense Authorization Act is expected to come to a vote in the House this week and the Senate next week. The annual must-pass bill covers military hardware, personnel and a wide swath of hot-button national security issues.

In a minor win for opponents of the new weapon, the energy secretary would not be able to reprogram money to begin a nuclear weapons program or begin a new phase of a nuclear weapons program.

Low-yield nuclear weapons per 2004 law need special authorization from Congress, but the new legislation would make them equivalent to other nuclear weapons, with the same authorization requirements. That’s a win for W76-2 advocates.
 

bobbymike

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Chinese nuclear forces 2018

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00963402.2018.1486620?needAccess=true
 

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/27/the_trump_administration_must_revitalize_natos_nuclear_deterrent_113657.html

Russia is a military power primarily because of its large arsenal of nuclear weapons. So central are these weapons to Moscow’s foreign and defense policies that it was even willing to deploy a new long-range, land-based cruise missile in violation of the long-standing Intermediate-Range Nuclear Weapons Treaty to bolster Russian theater nuclear force capabilities.

While Russian conventional forces have been modernized over the past decade, they are a one-trick pony, capable only of limited offensive operations against NATO in areas immediately beyond its Western borders. Russian anti-access/area denial forces are relatively brittle and intended largely to shield the homeland from the power of U.S. and Alliance air and sea forces. The Kremlin’s efforts to organize a national mobilization capability, which would be required in the event of a conflict with NATO, have been largely unsuccessful. Thus, the Russian military is really designed to support a “smash-and-grab” strategy similar to what we saw in Crimea.
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-rouhani/irans-rouhani-says-its-up-to-europe-to-save-nuclear-deal-idUSKBN1KL17B?il=0
 

Flyaway

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US Intelligence: North Korea Is Continuing to Produce ICBMs

North Korea is continuing production of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at a known missile manufacturing site, U.S. officials with knowledge of the latest classified intelligence of North Korea’s weapons programs confirmed to The Diplomat. The new U.S. military intelligence assessment was first reported on Monday by the Washington Post.

At least one—possibly as many as two—Hwasong-15/KN22 intercontinental-range ballistic missiles are being manufactured at the site known as the Sanum-dong Research Center, outside the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, sources confirmed to The Diplomat.

“Work on the new missile likely began after the summit,” one source told The Diplomat, referring to the June 12 meeting between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
https://thediplomat.com/2018/07/us-intelligence-north-korea-is-continuing-to-produce-icbms/
 

bobbymike

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https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.3969

The Department of Energy announced in May that it will spend at least $7.6 billion to build new facilities to manufacture plutonium cores, known as pits, for nuclear weapons. Given the shrinking US stockpile, the probable usability of many pits from retired weapons, and the lack of new weapons on the drawing board, why are new pits required at all?

The Trump administration’s nuclear posture review released in February calls for DOE to build 20 new pits a year beginning in 2024 and increase production to 80 pits annually by 2030. The document said that a sustained pit-manufacturing capability is required “to avoid stockpile age-out, support life extension programs, and prepare for future uncertainty.”

If a US nuclear weapon were ever detonated, high explosives would implode the grapefruit-sized pit as it is flooded with neutrons from a generator. Fissioning of the plutonium would then generate x rays that implode the secondary, fusion–fission stage of the weapon.
28 years ago (1990), at the Pantex Plant in Texas, the United States assembled its last completely new nuclear warhead—a 455-kiloton W88.
 

bobbymike

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https://breakingdefense.com/2018/08/detect-nukes-in-flight-with-electron-beam-technology/

SPACE & MISSILE DEFENSE SYMPOSIUM, HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: Imagine a technology that could detect roadside bombs and landmines buried underground, pick out a nuclear warhead from a cloud of decoys miles away, or even fry enemy electronics, potentially disarming those warheads from a distance. Well, physicist William Dent has invented that technology and briefed its potential to the Army and industry here. It’s called a neutron beam generator.

Dent’s idea is a potential breakthrough for bomb squads and missile defenses, enthused conference organizer David Mann, a three-star Army general who ran Space & Missile Defense Command here (SMDC) until his retirement in 2016. Despite the Star Trek-esque name, Mann told me after Dent’s presentation, this is a feasible real-world technology, a matter of “when, not if.”
 

sferrin

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I remember reading back in the day that the purpose of a neutral particle beam would be to distinguish warheads from decoys as part of SDI.
 

Grey Havoc

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sferrin said:
I remember reading back in the day that the purpose of a neutral particle beam would be to distinguish warheads from decoys as part of SDI.
Indeed. The wheel turns.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/u-s-nuclear-weapons-performance/

A just-released and about-to-be-published scientific report, authored by two respected Los Alamos nuclear experts, raises serious questions about the reliability and performance of U.S. nuclear weapons!

This is important. In today's nuclear weapons era, America's existence depends on our nuclear weapons stockpile. The instant readiness of these weapons for launch by our deployed submarines, bombers, and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the absolute, unquestioned ability of the weapons themselves to perform meticulously to their certified military characteristics, are our nation's only guarantee of survival.

This is what the Cold War was all about, avoiding global thermonuclear war. For 46 years, the Soviet Union and the United States each had tens of thousands of high-yield nuclear weapons poised for instant launch. If there had been any hint of incipient U.S. weapons failure, our nation would have ceased to exist. Our Strategic Air Command used to say that their mission was to ensure that the Kremlin's daily morning meeting ended with the leader saying "Not today, Comrades."
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-britain/u-s-ambassador-urges-britain-to-ditch-support-for-iran-nuclear-deal-idUSKBN1KX09N
 
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