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US navy’s Virginia attack submarines will now be able to fire nuclear weapons

THE Pentagon’s current nuclear weapons deterrence range has received a huge boost following deadly changes to its attack submarines. News.com.au, Matthew Dunn@mattydunn11, 28 Mar 18 

ONCE a conventionally armed attack submarine, the US navy’s Virginia-class underwater vessels will now be capable of firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles.

US navy director of undersea warfare Rear Admiral John Tammen said the enhancement would see the submarine shifting into a nuclear deterrence role, reports The Maven.

“While Virginia-class submarines can use conventional deterrence to keep adversaries in check, a sub-launched cruise missile with a nuclear warhead would be incorporated into Virginias and give national command authority additional escalation control,” he said.

The current administration called for the weapon in the Nuclear Posture Review, with hopes it would benefit the Pentagon’s current nuclear weapons deterrence range. Currently only larger ballistic missile submarines are equipped to fire nuclear weapons.

As it stands, Virginia-class attack submarines are armed with tomahawks, which are long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missiles, and torpedoes, which are self-propelled weapons with explosive warheads.

Admiral Tammen said adding nuclear weapons capability would give combatant commanders new options to access high-risk areas and coastal regions previously unreachable by surface ships……….http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/us-navys-virginia-attack-submarines-will-now-be-able-to-fire-nuclear-weapons/news-story/5a75d91972ac05155aa6d25a1fbcbacc

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March 27, 2018 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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