Military Review

Development of the US Strategic Nuclear Forces and Donald Trump's statements


Over the past several years, various measures have been taken in the United States to maintain and develop strategic nuclear forces. From time to time, high-ranking officials talk about successes in this area, and new statements were made just the other day. This time, President Donald Trump personally spoke about the modernization of the strategic nuclear forces.

Presidential statements

D. Trump regularly raises the topic of modernizing the US strategic nuclear forces, and each such statement attracts attention. This year there have already been two similar performances, which are very interestingly related to each other.

In February, the US President recalled the difficult situation in the sphere of strategic arms control. The United States is offering Russia and China to sign a new limiting agreement similar to the current START III, but it does not meet with understanding. In this regard, according to D. Trump, the only option for the American side is the further development of strategic nuclear forces, which will make them the most powerful in the world.

On August 20, D. Trump again touched upon the development of nuclear forces - but this time in the format of a progress report. According to him, a major modernization of the armed forces was carried out, on which they spent $ 2,5 trillion. Part of these funds went to renew the strategic nuclear forces and brought them to "a fantastic level." At the same time, the president hopes that the obtained nuclear and conventional potential will not have to be used in practice.

We are talking about consistent work over several years, starting with the election of Trump as president. However, everything may look as if the named results were obtained in just a few months. So, in February the president spoke about the need to build up strategic nuclear forces, and already in August he pointed to their “fantastic level”.

Fantastic strategy

Currently, the development of the US strategic nuclear forces is carried out in accordance with the plans from 2018, reflected in the "Nuclear Policy Review". This document provides for a gradual increase in spending on the development and production of strategic weapons, as well as their carriers, changing the structure of forces in accordance with new challenges, etc.

In recent years, incl. before the publication of the latest version of the "Review", the development of several new types of equipment and weapons for the strategic nuclear forces was launched. Most of these projects are still at the design stage and are not yet ready for adoption. Nevertheless, the work continues and should give the desired results in the foreseeable future.

It should be noted that over the past six months, which separate two high-profile statements by D. Trump, the strategic nuclear forces have not received any fundamentally new samples. weapons or technology. So far, we are talking only about design, preparation for future tests of prototypes, etc.

Ways of modernization

The current plans of the Pentagon provide for the creation of a cut of several new models for rearmament of strategic nuclear forces in the distant future. All components of the "nuclear triad" are covered, and we are talking about both warheads and delivery vehicles of a number of main classes.

For strategic aviation a long-range bomber B-21 Raider is being developed to replace the cash B-1B and B-2A in the future. "Raider" will be able to use existing strategic weapons; also new ammunition is being developed. In particular, tests of the promising aeroballistic missile AGM-183 are being carried out; new samples expected.

For ground missile units, a promising Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) ICBM is being created, with the help of which the existing LGM-30 Minuteman III will be replaced. The first missiles of the new type will take over duty in 2027. It is assumed that such products will remain in service for approx. 50 years.

After withdrawing from the treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles, the United States began developing new types of strategic weapons. The land-based cruise missile has already entered testing, and the MRBM is still being developed. There are projects of ground-based hypersonic missile systems, which have also not advanced too far.

In the interests of the Navy, a strategic submarine missile carrier of the Columbia type is being designed for the future replacement of existing Ohio-class SSBNs. The lead boat of the new project will be laid next year and in 2030-31. will be commissioned. Prospective submarines will have to use Trident II ballistic missiles, which will undergo another upgrade.

To date, the Navy has begun deploying new warheads of reduced power W76-2. Such products with a capacity of 5-6 kt, installed on Trident-2 missiles, should be a response to the tactical nuclear weapons of a potential enemy.

Thus, in recent months, the development of US strategic nuclear forces has been reduced mainly to work on promising projects of various kinds. The real results of promising projects are still few in number, and most of them are expected only in the second half of the decade. Until then, the strategic nuclear forces will have to use mostly "old" models.

Development without limits

In recent years, the development and optimization of US strategic nuclear forces has been carried out taking into account the limitations of the START III treaty. It does not allow a participating country to have more than 1550 warheads on duty; the number of carriers is limited to 800 units, of which 700 can be deployed. The United States and Russia have long ago reduced their nuclear forces to the required level and continue to maintain them in this form. The necessary combat qualities of the strategic nuclear forces are ensured by changing the shares of various components, carriers and weapons within the limits of the permissible number.

START III ends in early 2021. There is a high risk that it will not be extended and the restrictions will be lifted. This will allow the United States and Russia to build up and rebuild their strategic nuclear forces only in accordance with their own plans. The collapse of the INF Treaty also allows the two countries to develop and deploy missiles of "new" classes that have been absent in recent decades.

Development of the US Strategic Nuclear Forces and Donald Trump's statements

Thus, at the moment, the Pentagon has limited capabilities to change, optimize and improve its strategic nuclear forces. However, the gradual disintegration of international treaties removes such restrictions and opens up new ways for the development of nuclear forces. The first steps in this direction have already been taken, and new programs will be launched in the near future. However, their completion will take at least several years.

Modernization and politics

The current program for the modernization of the US strategic nuclear forces is carried out in accordance with the doctrine of 2018, but its main provisions were determined even earlier, incl. under the previous president. For several years, various projects have been launched to create promising samples and modernize existing ones.

It is curious that most of these projects are still at the design stage and have not even been brought to the test yet. Their results will only appear during the current decade. At the same time, in February, D. Trump promised to build improved strategic nuclear forces, and in August he reported on the completion of such events. With all the observed successes of the Pentagon and the defense industry, the latest statements by the head of state do not fully correspond to the real state of affairs.

This discrepancy between words and deeds can have the simplest explanation. In a few months, the next presidential election will take place, and D. Trump needs to remind the voter of his deeds and merits. Development of the B-21 aircraft, GBSD missiles, Columbia submarines, etc. went during the Trump administration - and he gets the opportunity to view them as an achievement of his administration.

Thus, the military department and the US defense industry continue to implement the adopted doctrine on the development of strategic nuclear forces, taking into account the current tasks, challenges and restrictions, as well as possible changes in the military-political situation. Some of the results of this work have already been obtained, while others will appear only in the future - however, all of them will expand the strategic capabilities of the Pentagon. Against this background, D. Trump is doing everything possible to stay in the presidency and uses nuclear projects to his advantage. How successful this campaign will be will become clear in November, after the elections.
Photos used:
The US Department of Defense
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  1. Vladimir61
    Vladimir61 24 August 2020 05: 54
    For Trump, the word “fantastic” is present in every speech and in every area of ​​his activity. The fact that the United States has enough finance for all developments is quite possible, and sooner or later, there will be some result. But, our promising means will be put into service a little faster - we thought about this earlier, and Ukraine's withdrawal from cooperation only accelerated the process. It's not even a question of funding! Apparently, this is the prerogative direction of ours, as evidenced by the planned scientific and practical conference "On the state and prospects of development of the nuclear weapons complex in Russia", which will be held within the framework of the military-technical forum "Army-2020".
    Such a conference, according to its organizers, should "facilitate the conduct of new joint scientific research" in the interests of the Ministry of Defense in order to ensure reliable defense of Russia.
  2. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 24 August 2020 05: 57
    Elections are coming soon. "Choose me, the bird of happiness of tomorrow"
    and brought them "to a fantastic level."

    and should give the desired results in the foreseeable future.
    Well, there is no need to rush. For how many years have you been scolding a simple Phy-35? And they still somersault.
  3. Doccor18
    Doccor18 24 August 2020 07: 07
    Populism and plans ...
    For the first one needs a language, for the second - a lot of money, brains and time.
  4. g1washntwn
    g1washntwn 24 August 2020 12: 58
    MRBM is still being developed

    The MRBM will fly soon, too, because they are so sharp, and have not worked on the RSD resuscitation program before (if anything, it's sarcasm). The word is not a sparrow:
    1. Cyril G ...
      Cyril G ... 24 August 2020 13: 22
      Quote: g1washntwn
      then they are so harsh, and did not work on the RSD resuscitation program before (if anything, it's sarcasm). The word is not a sparrow:

      It's time to move the administrative capital from Moscow somewhere to the Nizhnevartovsk region, moreover, this had to be done at the latest in the 70s. last century
      1. timokhin-aa
        timokhin-aa 24 August 2020 16: 19
        Vartovsk is vulnerable to the impact of the CD from the sea, plus there are fewer roads to it from the rest of Russia than fingers.
        At that time, Novosib was already a big city with a population of over one million, with science and culture.
        1. Cyril G ...
          Cyril G ... 24 August 2020 17: 49
          Quote: timokhin-aa
          by a strike from the sea,

          this is an extremely sad situation - organizing a missile strike from there ... Even without any opposition from the Russian Navy ...
          However, of course I like Novosibirsk more as a capital.
          1. timokhin-aa
            timokhin-aa 25 August 2020 15: 03
            Even the third block was taken from the Pechora Sea or the southern part of the Kara Sea.
            1. Cyril G ...
              Cyril G ... 25 August 2020 16: 53
              With Moscow, everything is an order of magnitude sadder ...
              1. timokhin-aa
                timokhin-aa 25 August 2020 18: 05
                So I am writing about Novosib
  5. timokhin-aa
    timokhin-aa 24 August 2020 16: 21
    Mr. Ryabov, the Nuclear Policy Review has an official Russian text available for free download, was it smart to put a link in the text? Some kind of frivolous attitude towards readers.
  6. Charik
    Charik 24 August 2020 16: 23
    Apparently svidomye penetrated the site minus everything, well, or American hackers laughing
  7. Virus-free crown
    Virus-free crown 24 August 2020 17: 52
    I ask the Guru for an answer! drinks

    It only seems to me that:

    To date, the Navy has begun deploying new warheads of reduced power W76-2. Such products with a capacity of 5-6 kt, installed on Trident-2 missiles, should be a response to the tactical nuclear weapons of a potential enemy.

    is it like shooting sparrows from a cannon ?! bully
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 24 August 2020 19: 21
      Quote: Corona without virus
      is it like shooting sparrows from a cannon ?!

      This is a forced measure, however, it allows you to bypass a number of sharp corners:
      - launch distance varies widely (from 2300 to 8300); Starting with D min dramatically reduces the reaction time for making a decision (time trouble!);
      - SLBM Trident-2 (D5) by means of intercepting the BSBM, we need a super anti-missile defense system for ICBMs, which only we and the AMs have, but the Khinchiks do not;
      - shooting bearing - a whole fan! - try to determine the direction of the strike, these are not ground launchers, which can be tracked and prevented. Plarb try first find ...
      - this allows you to replace IRBMs with tactical nuclear warheads for a while, while 1 SLBM can carry up to 8 such charges with a very high CEP (up to 90m)
      - This is a kind of means of blackmailing the opponent, which allows one to hope for the absence of further escalation after the use of TNW of low power. And if they also put a neutron BG, then the levels of r / a contamination will be small. The victim, as it were, will have nothing to be offended - so the Yankees believe ...
      And most importantly, there is no need to ask Congress for new appropriations for R&D MRBM. Which is also important.
      Something like this, however. Yeah
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 25 August 2020 00: 14
        "we need a super missile defense against ICBMs" ///
        Nobody has it.
        The Americans have a battery in Alaska. Maybe with 50% efficiency
        intercept single ICBMs on a high trajectory.
        And a couple of THAAD batteries in California. Interception on the descent.
        The Russians have a missile defense system for Moscow. With the interception of the warhead on the descent by detonation
        tactical nuclear missile missile warhead
  8. KSVK
    KSVK 24 August 2020 22: 02
    Amers have no fresh plutonium for new BB. No. And there is no uranium 235. And there is nowhere to get it. Unless ours sell. There are no enrichment facilities. The grill plant is closed and the super-centrifuges have refused to work. lol And ours are buying the "tails" from the amers and not only are they extracting 235th uranium from them due to the already forgotten generation of centrifuges, and they also produce plutonium from depleted ore, consisting mainly of 238 uranium.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 25 August 2020 00: 07
      There is no fresh plutonium, but 61 tons of old, accumulated
      before the 90s (there were more than 100 tons, some were disposed of).
      Fresh start to produce in Los Alamos this year.