Dinosaur or Phoenix: Nuclear Bombers in the 21st Century
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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On April 9, 2009, President Barack Obama announced his desire to seek a world without nuclear weapons. He committed the United States to negotiate a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia as an incremental step towards reaching this desired objective. He and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to limit both nuclear delivery vehicles and nuclear warheads in July 2009. The agreed to limits are a maximum of 1,100 delivery vehicles and a maximum of 1,675 warheads. This paper recommends the United States maintain a nuclear bomber capability as part of a triad nuclear deterrent force. This force should include 300 ICBMs, 11 ballistic missile submarines and a bomber force of 24 combat coded B-52s and 16 combat coded B-2s. If current START counting rules are applied to Kosiaks recommendation, then this bomber force accounts for 256 warheads leaving 1,399 warheads to be distributed between the 300 ICBMs and 264 SLBMs and still remain under the agreed to follow-on START limits. This option gives the United States a total combat coded bomber fleet of 91 aircraft when coupled with the current 51 combat ready B-1s. This total is less than the 2010 QDR recommended 96 total bombers. The bomber nuclear and conventional capability gives the Secretary of Defense a weapons system capable in counter-insurgency, traditional state-on-state, and nuclear conflicts.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons
- Antimissile Defense Systems