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Biden previously called Submarine-Launched Nuclear Cruise Missile a ”bad idea”, but now it’s in the Budget.

U.S. Navy Funds New Submarine-Launched Nuclear Cruise Missile Biden Called ‘A Bad Idea’ .Forbes, David Hambling, 2 June 21, I’m a South London-based technology journalist, consultant and author   Budget documents reveal the U.S. Navy is developing a new nuclear-armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missile, known as SLCM-N. President Biden described the missile as “a bad idea” when campaigning in 2019. Though an
 obvious candidate for cancelation, the SLCM-N program is going ahead.

…………………Putting nuclear cruise missile on Virginia-class would be a quick and easy way of ramping up strategic capability. Currently, the only nuclear-armed subs are the fourteen Ohio-class ballistic missile subs, so SLCM-N on Virginia-class would more than double that at a stroke.

But there are downsides.

“Putting nuclear-armed missiles back on the conventional surface or attack submarine fleets of the Navy is a real cause for concern,” says Monica Montgomery, a research analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “Doing so would erode the higher-priority conventional missions of the Navy by reducing the number of conventional missiles each boat could carry and increase the possibility of conflict escalation through miscalculation by blurring the line between conventional and nuclear cruise missiles on these vessels.”

“Putting nuclear-armed missiles back on the conventional surface or attack submarine fleets of the Navy is a real cause for concern,” says Monica Montgomery, a research analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “Doing so would erode the higher-priority conventional missions of the Navy by reducing the number of conventional missiles each boat could carry and increase the possibility of conflict escalation through miscalculation by blurring the line between conventional and nuclear cruise missiles on these vessels.”

“Reversing the Trump administration’s plan to pursue a nuclear SLCM should be an easy choice,” Reif says.

Reif describes the SLCM-N as “a costly hedge on a hedge” – an extra backup for an already extensive and growing nuclear arsenal – making it a pointless extravagance.

Reif also notes that the nuclear capability will come at the expense of urgently needed conventional weapons.

“Arming such vessels with nuclear cruise missiles would also reduce the number of conventional missiles each boat could carry, at a time when Pentagon leaders argue that strengthening conventional deterrence is their top priority in the Asia-Pacific,” says Reif.

Biden himself noted that fielding low-yield weapons as alternatives to more powerful ballistic missiles would make the U.S. “more inclined to use them” and increase the risk of a nuclear war.

The SLCM-N project is starting small, just $15.2 million in this year’s budget compared to the billions for other nuclear programs. But if the analysts are right, the U.S. Navy is buying trouble rather than new capability.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2021/06/02/us-navy-funds-new-submarine-launched-nuclear-cruise-missile-biden-called-a-bad-idea/?sh=405441c022b2

June 3, 2021 - Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war

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