US Must Rethink New Subs (and Bombers).
From the latest US DefenseNews - (Gannet Govt Media Corp) (Edited=dsl):
"Twenty years after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The US Navy plans to build 12 Submarines to carry more than 1,000 nuclear warheads into the 2070's,at a total cost of almost $350 billion. (The Air Force wants a strategic bomber that will cost at least $50 billion,as well s a new ground based missile.
As the Pentagon searches for hundreds of millions in budget reductions,can the United States afford to spend in excess fof $400 billion on nuclear weapons over the next decades....No it can't !...as General James Cartwright (outgoing Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in July....."The challenge here is that we have to re-capitalize all three legs (of the nuclear triad) and we don't have the4 money to do it"
Under the US/Russian START Treaty,both sides are limited to 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads . Planners are looking to stay at that limit, but to do ity in a "more financially responsible fashion"
The US Navy's planned 12 new submarines will cost $29 billion per boat,the most expensive nuclear program by far. Potential budget savings would be if the Navy build only eight subs instead of 12 saving $27 billion over ten years and $120 billion over the lifetime of the program.
Eight operational boats would still allow the US Navy to deploy the same number of sea-based warheads (about 1,000) as planned under the new START Treaty.
Key to this plan is that the Navy has extra space on it's missiles.
Each Trident missile deployed on subs can carry up to eight nuclear warheads (but the Navy currently loads each with four or five). With more efficient use of the space on each missile/The Navy could buy fewer missiles...and subs "
The article goes on at length with these suppositions.....the writers are Tom Collins a research director of the "Arms Control Association.Washington" and
Kelsey Davenport a "Herbert Scoville,Peace Fellow"