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Biden administration shuts down Trump-era nuclear cruise missile program

Biden administration kills Trump-era nuclear cruise missile program

After conducting the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review, the Biden administration has chosen to end the sea-launched cruise missile program, a senior Pentagon official said. Breaking Defense

By   VALERIE INSINNAon March 28, 2022   WASHINGTON: In a rare political win for non-proliferation advocates, the Biden administration has cancelled the Sea-Launched Cruise Missile-Nuclear program, one of the two new nuclear weapons greenlit by the Trump administration.

The Pentagon’s fiscal year 2023 budget request, released today, zeroes out funding planned for the so-called SLCM-N program, according to a senior defense official who spoke to reporters about the spending proposal.

“Really this decision came out of the Nuclear Posture Review,” the official said. “There was direction from the president to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our defense strategy. That [decision to cancel SLCM-N] was a component.”

The determination is the latest in a back-and-forth spanning multiple administrations about the utility of a nuclear-armed cruise missile that could be launched from destroyers or Virginia-class attack submarines that typically use conventional weapons.

The Obama administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review called on the Navy to sunset the nuclear-version of its Tomahawk cruise missile, which was retired by 2013, according to the Federation of American Scientists.………………………..

Despite the cancellation of SLCM-N, funding for other nuclear programs flourished in the FY23 request.

When asked about the fate of the W76-2, the senior defense official responded that there is “no change there,” hinting that the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review — due to be released in the coming weeks — will continue to support the low-yield warhead.According to a department fact sheet on the budget, the Pentagon requested a total of $34.4 billion across the nuclear enterprise for FY23, including $4.8 billion for nuclear command, control and communications.The Navy requested $6.3 billion for the Columbia-class submarine, its leg of the nuclear triad.

Meanwhile, the Air Force is also modernizing its two components of the triad, asking $5 billion for the B-21 bomber program and $3.6 billion for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program that will replace Minuteman III intercontinental missiles https://breakingdefense.com/2022/03/biden-administration-kills-trump-era-nuclear-cruise-missile-program

March 29, 2022 - Posted by | depleted uranium, politics, USA

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