Military Review

Prospects for US nuclear forces: 1 trillion dollars over 30 years

The strategic nuclear forces (SNF) of the United States of America need modernization and renewal. Nuclear weapon and its delivery vehicles become obsolete with time, both morally and physically. In the foreseeable future, the Pentagon and a number of related organizations intend to create new weapons and equipment designed to preserve the existing combat potential of the strategic nuclear forces. However, the implementation of these programs is associated with a large investment of time and money. Creating a number of new systems will cost the taxpayers extremely large sums.

Prospects for US nuclear forces: 1 trillion dollars over 30 years

In early January, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies them. J. Martin (James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies - CNS) has released a report analyzing promising nuclear weapons and delivery systems, as well as their costs. The authors of the report came to not the most positive conclusions: according to their calculations, over the next 30 years, the US military will have to spend at least one trillion dollars on the development of the strategic nuclear forces. Against the background of constant cuts in the military budget, such figures look at least ambiguous.

The most expensive part of upgrading the nuclear arsenal and means of delivery is the creation of new military equipment capable of carrying nuclear-warhead missiles. Thus, the creation of a promising strategic bomber under the NGB program (Next-Generation Bomber - “Next-Generation Bomber”), according to CNS estimates, will go from 55 to 100 billions of dollars. This money will be spent on the creation of the project and the construction of no more than a hundred aircraft. It is expected that the NGB bombers will begin to enter the troops in the second half of the next decade and will gradually replace the existing equipment. It’s too early to talk about the combat capabilities of these aircraft, but the planned costs make it possible to wait for the appearance of unique equipment.

No less expensive will be the construction of promising strategic submarines. New submarines, which are being built under the Ohio Replacement Submarine program (“Submarine, replacing Ohio project boats”), will cost the treasury no less than 77 billion dollars. The upper cost limit for this project is defined in 102 billion. Currently, it is planned to build 12 submarines of a new project, which over time will replace the currently used Ohio-class missile carriers. According to reports, each of the new submarines will carry Trident D16 5 ballistic missiles.

Other items of expenditure on the renewal and improvement of nuclear arsenals, as well as on the means of delivery of atomic ammunition, imply less expenditure. Nevertheless, in some cases, the amount is much smaller compared with the construction of bomber or submarine amounts also become the object of criticism from experts. So, over the next few years, the Pentagon plans to conduct another modernization of the tactical thermonuclear bomb B61. In the framework of the LEP project (Life Extension Program - “Life Cycle Extension Program”), it is planned to create a set of equipment allowing to convert any B61 family bomb into a B61-12 modification ammunition. Such modernization should significantly improve the accuracy of the bombing, as well as allow you to raise the characteristics of existing bombs to the required level.

CNS experts questioned the feasibility of a LEP program. According to one of the authors of the report, J. Lewis, about 10-12 billions of dollars will be spent on upgrading bombs, but such spending may be useless. The fact is that the command of the air force constantly demonstrates its intentions not to equip the latest F-35 fighter-bomber with nuclear weapons. In addition, there is no consensus about the battle load of the promising long-range bomber NGB. Thus, Lewis sums it up, the Pentagon can get a high-performance bomb for 12 billion, which, however, no Air Force aircraft can carry.

Similar unjustified expenses may result in other projects within the framework of updating the Strategic Nuclear Forces. Such doubtful projects included the creation of universal nuclear warheads for land-based and sea-based ballistic missiles, the development of a long-range cruise missile and a number of other programs. All of them, according to experts, to some extent may be unjustified from an economic point of view.

In the light of current budgetary constraints, upgrading US strategic nuclear forces looks extremely difficult. It is easy to calculate what amounts the Pentagon will have to allocate annually to meet the specified trillion dollars by experts. At least 30-35 billions every year can have a negative impact on other programs of the military. Not too pleasant, but the forecast looks real J. Lewis. He believes that in the present conditions the implementation of all existing plans is simply impossible. If the military attempts to implement all the existing plans for upgrading nuclear weapons and means of delivery, this will hit hard on other promising projects.

In this regard, in the near future, the Pentagon may face a serious question. The military will have to choose between several important programs. In addition, the reduction of certain classes of weapons or even the rejection of them is not excluded. Thus, there are doubts about the need to maintain a large number of mine-based strategic missiles. Given current threats, CNS experts consider submarines to be a more effective deterrent. However, they understand that reducing or even abandoning "land" missiles will be associated with military and political difficulties.

Thus, the Pentagon and Congress are required to take certain measures that will control the costs of a particular program within the framework of the development of the strategic nuclear forces, as well as evaluate its priority. Such an approach to creating a strategy will keep the necessary funding at an acceptable level without appreciable losses in combat effectiveness. In the meantime, the development of US strategic nuclear forces is associated with a number of characteristic problems that must be overcome.

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  1. bif
    bif 29 January 2014 09: 17
    "Dreams, dreams, where is your sweetness" Considering that the last nuclear warhead was made in the late 80s, and ICBMs more than 20 years ago, it is hard to believe in the reincarnation of the American triad. Attempts for constant modernization in 61 look at least ridiculous, and what else remains.
    1. Sibiryak
      Sibiryak 29 January 2014 09: 51
      Quote: bif
      "Dreams, dreams, where is your sweetness"

      Another division of money by the US defense industry, that's what it's called, but the Pentagon ..... or rather, the generals will stay .... absolution.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 29 January 2014 15: 00
      Quote: bif
      "Dreams, dreams, where is your sweetness" Considering that the last nuclear warhead was made in the late 80s, and ICBMs more than 20 years ago, it is hard to believe in the reincarnation of the American triad. Attempts for constant modernization in 61 look at least ridiculous, and what else remains.

      just the very case when you wish a long summer. in 30 they hope for a new tenological structure, and we rightly count on complete disarmament :-)
  2. rolik2
    rolik2 29 January 2014 09: 30
    Quote: bif
    Given that the last nuclear charge was made in the late 80s

    That's interesting, but in Russia, when was the last time they made warheads?

    Quote: bif
    Attempts at constant modernization in 61 look at least ridiculous, but what remains.

    Well, if you carefully read the article, then the "shell" is being modernized, which allows you to more accurately fit the gift to the target, even the fact that on the basis of one bomb there is a ruler with a different charge, which can be selected depending on the tasks, is quite reasonable.
    And what about the brush of our bombs?
    The atomic bomb, mastered by mass production and adopted by the front and long-range aviation.
    Length 3365 mm, diameter 580 mm, weight 450 kg. Aerodynamic shape with a low drag coefficient. Plumage type “free feather”. Bombing is allowed from a height of 500 to 30 m and at speeds of up to 000 km / h both in horizontal flight and with a complex type of maneuver. Designed and adopted in the 3000s.
    Cheto more modern did not find.
    1. Rus2012
      Rus2012 29 January 2014 11: 15
      Quote: rolik2
      Cheto more modern did not find.

      ... the latest charges for supersonic atomic-thermonuclear bombs - were developed in the middle of 80xx.

      for new ICBMs and let's say Iskander - flesh to this day ...

      Below, the Soviet 152mm is the smallest artillery shell in the world ...
      1. rolik2
        rolik2 29 January 2014 19: 33
        Quote: Rus2012
        bottom Soviet 152mm is the smallest artillery shell in the world ...

        I'm aware, but I'm not talking about this, I'm interested in whether Russia is modernizing its nuclear weapons? It's just that all the Americans are hating for the "old nuclear charges" well, I was interested, but does Russia have something newer than a nuclear bomb of the 60th model? (interested in tactical bombs and missiles)
        1. Boa kaa
          Boa kaa 29 January 2014 20: 09
          Quote: rolik2
          I was interested, but does Russia have something newer than the nuclear bomb of the 60 model of the year? (interested in tactical bombs and missiles)

          You, my friend, aren't you a "spy?"
          Well, who in their right mind and solid memory, who gave you a nondisclosure agreement (under the "French" flag) openly on the site, I hope, will not say anything. This is the first thing.
          Well, and secondly, if new BBs are being developed more easily for Bulava, Yars, and products, then he who has a head not only to wear a hat could have guessed it himself.
          I’ll say it again: you won’t get a direct answer to your question. The guys involved in this case, at the end of the 15 service (!) Years, they remain not to travel abroad. F-1 approved - only 10! Do you catch the difference? You are our naive!
          1. rolik2
            rolik2 29 January 2014 22: 25
            I know the difference between the forms of admission, as well as the restrictions that are imposed on the secret bearer (at 1).
            I tried to publish on this site a selection of photographs of our and American nuclear bombs and warhead missiles, so there were photos and Iskander warheads, but there is no further development of tactical free-fall bombs, even in the museum of nuclear weapons. Although the bomb is amazingly a sample of 60 years.
    2. bif
      bif 29 January 2014 13: 31
      Well, if you carefully read the article, then the "shell" is being modernized, which allows you to more accurately fit the gift to the target, even the fact that on the basis of one bomb there is a ruler with a different charge, which can be selected depending on the tasks

      1. If you read carefully, then the message of the article is the need to create New delivery vehicles, which today are not economically feasible, and attaching "wings" to a bomb is from despair.
      2. The use of nuclear bombs, even if they are very precise and long-term, as a means of delivering nuclear weapons with the current level of air defense development is an archaism that is useless against large powers, and the states will not use them against the Papuans, because there are simpler options and then pump oil from infected areas is not convenient.
    3. Ascetic
      Ascetic 29 January 2014 14: 09
      Quote: rolik2
      That's interesting, but in Russia, when was the last time they made warheads?

      Well, the BB example for the Mace has become twice as light and twice as powerful as its predecessor.
      Mace-30 6 x RGCh IN with a capacity of 150 ct., Mace-47 10 x maneuvering RGCh IN with a capacity of 150kt. A second nuclear center has been set up in Sarov and a laser thermonuclear installation is under construction. The construction cost is estimated at about 1,16 billion euros. For full-scale nuclear tests are prohibited by international treaties, we need a nosebleed installation so that we can test the new generation of warheads without violating the terms of the treaties. Such an installation allows the creation of temperatures and pressures characteristic of nuclear explosions.
      Experiments were carried out - it was possible to "ignite pure deuterium". We have thermonuclear devices whose purity is 99,85%. This is the so-called. "clean charges" which frighten all the interrogators of the Russian man in the street. Although their main purpose is industrial nuclear weapons.
      At all A specific ID is not subject to modernization. After the warranty period (usually 10 years), the ammunition is returned to the serial enterprise, and there they are disassembled. So the serial production and replacement of nuclear weapons is ongoing. We are talking about the fact that in Russia new types of warheads of lower weight are being created. Longer service life. Materials of warheads to reduce the damping effect when entering the atmosphere, work is under way, let's say so, using stealth technology for warheads. This is now being done in Russia. In states besides the program Life extension (LEP) There are no existing modifications of warheads for other YaZ programs.
      1. Ascetic
        Ascetic 29 January 2014 14: 35
        Quote: rolik2
        Cheto more modern did not find.

        For YES, use CDs and not bombs. And about the modern, just follow the launches from Kap-Yar to Sary-Shagan no matter what type of missiles (usually Topol) they all have the purpose of testing new combat equipment warheads and breeding platforms, because there is a missile defense system in Sary-Shagan, and most importantly, Americans cannot follow their radars and record telemetry as they do in Kamchatka.
        Yes, and foreign policy is also a direct consequence, if earlier they swallowed and kept their tongues in the ass, now Putin is talking almost on equal terms and manages to build not only gay rompees, but also obama.
        1. nazgul-ishe
          nazgul-ishe 29 January 2014 15: 01
          Isn't Obama one of them?
        2. The comment was deleted.
        3. rolik2
          rolik2 29 January 2014 19: 35
          Quote: Ascetic
          For YES, use CDs and not bombs.

          The article was about a tactical bomb, was I interested in a similar one with us? The rest of the warhead and the KR do not interest me.
          1. Ascetic
            Ascetic 29 January 2014 22: 30
            Quote: rolik2
            tactical bomb

            Then for what purpose are you interested in? Data on special charges and their numbers at the TNW are classified. You can google them full on media from artillery shells to missiles. In this class of nuclear weapons, Russia retains a great advantage over the United States and NATO

            According to unofficial estimates, the United States has approximately 500 TNW units. This includes 100 Tomahawk SLCMs (TLAM / N) for multipurpose nuclear submarines at the Kings Bay and Bangor naval bases in the United States. Another 190 warheads for SLCMs (W80-0) are stored in warehouses. There are also 400 free fall bombs (B-61-3 and B-61-4), of which about 200 are located at six US Air Force depots in five NATO countries (Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Germany). These bombs are designed to be delivered by the US Air Force F-16 fighter-bomber type, as well as Belgian and British aircraft of the same type and German-Italian Tornado attack tactical aircraft
            According to independent experts, about 2000–3500 warheads are stored in the United States and approximately 4200 are intended for disposal. This amount is significantly increasing due to the reduction of strategic nuclear forces under the new START treaty, according to which a large proportion of the reductions will be carried out by removing part of the warheads from multiply-charged missiles and moving them to storage
            1. Ascetic
              Ascetic 29 January 2014 22: 39
              Currently, most expert assessments boil down to the presence in Russia of approximately 2000 medium-range and tactical nuclear weapons. This figure includes about 500 tactical nuclear missiles and bombs for 120 medium-range Tu-22M bombers and for 400 front-line bombers of the Su-24 type. In addition, there are approximately 300 aircraft missiles, free-fall bombs and depth charges for naval aviation comprising 180 Tu-22M, Su-24, Be-12 and Il-38 aircraft. Over 500 TNW units are anti-ship, anti-submarine, anti-aircraft missiles, as well as depth charges and torpedoes of ships and submarines, including up to 400 long-range nuclear-armed SLCMs of multipurpose submarines. About 100 nuclear warheads are attributed to missile interceptors of the Moscow A-135 ABM system and another 630 to S-300 anti-aircraft missiles and other territory air defense systems.
              During the 90s, all the tactical nuclear weapons of the Ground Forces and Air Defense, as well as the predominant part of the tactical nuclear weapons of the Air Force and Navy, were relocated to the centralized storage facilities of the 12th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (nuclear technical troops), where they are stored as a reserve or are in line for dismantling and disposal. According to statements by representatives of the military-political leadership of the Russian Federation, now all non-strategic nuclear weapons of Russia are in centralized storage facilities.
              Their total number is kept secret, but foreign experts agree on a figure of about 8000 units.
              Operational-tactical systems are updated by deploying Iskander-type tactical missiles, which, apparently, can be equipped with both nuclear and conventional warheads. Perhaps the Su-34 front-line bomber also has a dual purpose.
              Read more:
              1. rolik2
                rolik2 29 January 2014 23: 10
                And here you can read more
                This figure includes about 500 tactical nuclear aircraft missiles and bombs .. 400 for front-line bombers of the Su-24 type

                What kind of missiles and bombs can the Su-24 carry?
            2. rolik2
              rolik2 29 January 2014 22: 44
              In order to improve education, and I am currently interested in the history of the development of free-falling bombs of type B61 and not of the American but the USSR (Russia), were there any other developments after this instance? Or is he still in service?

              I do not think that the data is classified, much later copies are also exhibited in the museum of nuclear weapons.
              Why am I asking? Are you interested in the possibility of our tactical aviation striking with nuclear weapons, if I am not mistaken, the Russian military doctrine stipulates the possibility of delivering tactical nuclear strikes?
              1. Alex 241
                Alex 241 29 January 2014 23: 00
                This topic has already been discussed at VO
              2. Rus2012
                Rus2012 30 January 2014 10: 35
                Quote: rolik2
                Why am I asking? Are you interested in the possibility of our tactical aviation striking with nuclear weapons, if I am not mistaken, the Russian military doctrine stipulates the possibility of delivering tactical nuclear strikes?

                Soviet inheritance

                The standard nuclear bomb of Soviet front-line aviation at the time of the collapse of the USSR was the 30-kiloton RN-40. Its carriers are the MiG-23 and MiG-29 fighters, as well as, apparently, the Su-17 and MiG-27 fighter-bombers. In addition, the RN-28 nuclear bomb was created, which could be delivered to the target by Yak-38 deck-mounted vertical takeoff and landing attack aircraft based on Kiev-class heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers. The stock of such bombs on Soviet ships of this type was 18, which is quite enough to destroy a small country.

                For the use of tactical nuclear bombs at high supersonic speeds, reconnaissance bombers MiG-25RB (maximum speed of 3000 km / h) were intended. The pilots of the fighter-bomber aviation "practiced to automatism the execution of the most important combat mission - a single drop of nuclear bombs from a dive at an angle of 45 degrees immediately after a combat turn on afterburner. Unlike the Americans, who intended to shoot almost every Soviet tank individually with guided missiles," we looked at such things more broadly: two "special bombs" - and the tank regiment was gone. "

                At present, the carriers of thermonuclear bombs in long-range aviation in Russia are Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M bombers (the latter are also available in the aviation of the Navy). Judging by the information published in some foreign sources, the power of domestic strategic hydrogen bombs reaches 5 and even 20 Mt. The main strike complex of front-line aviation remains the Su-24 supersonic tactical bomber capable of carrying TN-1000 and TN-1200 nuclear bombs (these designations are given in his reference book "Modern Military Aviation and the Air Force of the World" by the English expert David Donald).

                The arsenal of Russian aviation weapons also includes nuclear depth charges to destroy submarines. The first such bomb, the 5F48 "Scalp", appeared in the early 60s. It was intended for combat seaplanes Be-10 and Be-12. In addition, the purely "land" anti-submarine aircraft (coastal) Il-38 and Tu-142 received nuclear depth charges. The latter, due to its huge range of action, is capable of using them in almost any area of ​​the World Ocean.

                Depth charges with a nuclear charge can also be carried by carrier-based anti-submarine helicopters - the first of them was the Ka-25PLU, equipped with a "special" bomb 8F59, as they used to say among "secret carriers". This helicopter was developed by decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on May 15, 1965, and, apparently, it is the world's first rotary-wing aircraft equipped with nuclear weapons. Subsequently, carrier-based Ka-27 helicopters and Mi-14 amphibious helicopters became carriers of anti-submarine nuclear weapons.
                Model of the RN-28 bomb
                1. Rus2012
                  Rus2012 30 January 2014 11: 27

                  PH-28 latest series
                  source -
  3. Stiletto
    Stiletto 29 January 2014 09: 32
    Do not give money to addicts!
  4. Sadikoff
    Sadikoff 29 January 2014 12: 24
    In the prospect of the disappearance of the United States from the political map of the world, there is a logical justification for bringing nuclear weapons into a state of disrepair and even drank money with traditional fun. They ruined the financial system with derivatives, and the defense industry is useless.
  5. ImPerts
    ImPerts 29 January 2014 13: 08
    Yes, if that, then the reflection of the Americans can be expensive for the whole world.
  6. Nitarius
    Nitarius 29 January 2014 13: 30
    and let's WE GIVE THEM GORBACHEV! let them restructure their restructuring
    1. Starover_Z
      Starover_Z 30 January 2014 01: 38
      Could give, but to sense?
      In America, a person who is not born in the United States cannot be the president.
      After all, even Schwarzenegger flew for the same reason, even as a citizen of the United States.
      Give Bakatin them to head the CIA or the NSA - will it also boast of secrets?
  7. Serega Valentinovich
    Serega Valentinovich 29 January 2014 14: 36
    There is no money, from II that the machine has broken, the paper has run out or there is no one to print green threshing floor for.
  8. nazgul-ishe
    nazgul-ishe 29 January 2014 15: 16
    Let's leave their problems for them to "look" for their own.
  9. AVV
    AVV 29 January 2014 15: 49
    The nuclear complex has always been a problem for the states, a lot of money is eating an infection, and many specialists have retired, you need to prepare new ones, and this is additional money, and the US Department of Energy has sucked off the decommissioned nuclear power plants, it needs them as potential fuel for nuclear power plants, which there are many in the states, and there isn’t enough fuel !!! Now Obama is betting on precision weapons and other programs! Therefore, he recently began to propose to Russia so often to reduce the potential of nuclear warheads and keep it at a lower level, which for Russia at this stage times Itijah not profitable !!! Therefore, Obama has to think what to do with nuclear weapons, and what to do !!!
  10. Blackmokona
    Blackmokona 29 January 2014 16: 40
    A trillion dollars in 30 years, with a military budget of 600 billion annually. Heh
  11. Boa kaa
    Boa kaa 29 January 2014 21: 13
    The United States Strategic Nuclear Forces (SNF) need modernization and updating ... Creating a number of new systems will cost taxpayers extremely large amounts.

    USERS, after the collapse of the Union, massed their efforts to develop the WTO. The calculation was that Russia, like during the Cold War, but with a destroyed industrial base, destroyed by science and technology of the 80's, would rush to catch up with them, agreeing to abandon nuclear weapons. Miscalculated. Our position: yes, we are talking about ... whether the WTO race, but we have nuclear weapons on the battlefield. And until we find an adequate response to the American challenge, it will cool the ardor of impatient Yankees.
    Now the strip steel is facing a dilemma: what to do? How to respond to the Russian choice of weapons? In the first strike of the 100% of the arsenal of nuclear weapons, you will not disable, even using the WTO. So, in response to the battlefield will fly from 0,5 to 20 CT in TNT equivalent. There is only one solution: you need to reconstruct your nuclear arsenal.
    The laws of physics have not been canceled. And if light materials can be bound into stable solid compounds, then the nuclear fuse is not eternal. Again, questions about the N moderator, reflectors, multipliers, automation, and device electronics. And all this is not very cheap! So, apparently, USeram will have to squander. We need to catch up with them in the WTO, UAV, robotics, etc. This is also not cheap, but still cheaper than updating the nuclear arsenal of strategic nuclear forces: both products and their delivery vehicles. To knock out such money in Congress, you need to introduce us as bloodthirsty (apparently it will not work if they do not provoke it), or blame China for imperial ambitions and a threat to the interests of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region! The economy can be torn. To avoid this, you will have to abandon the unipolar world order, help some satellites, etc. Hard times ahead ...
  12. project sity
    project sity 30 January 2014 08: 11
    Nuclear rockets, etc. always needed to maintain peace in the world) Yes, and who does not know it)) I wonder where America will take the money to build such a scale. Stamp or something))) and that dol and grow ...
  13. Zomanus
    Zomanus 2 February 2014 09: 10
    Yes, let the Americans worry about their bombs themselves. We, as I understand from the comments, have a complete order with this. And then, the USSR was able to collapse and destroy without bombs and shells. This is what we should fear first of all.