US nuclear forces: state and development prospectsAuthor: manager Published: April 20, 2016
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Today in the US Armed Forces and the planned mode according to the START III is the modernization of their nuclear arsenal.
A feature of this process is to reduce the number of nuclear warheads and at the same time increase the capacity of those who remain armed and continue to develop completely new ones. In most happening warheads and modernization of existing and development of new nuclear weapons carriers.
At the beginning of 2016 the US armed Forces are over 4.5 thousand. Nuclear warheads. Most warhead silo-based is not ready for use, but are in constant readiness to upload media (missiles and aircraft).At the same time, most of them in the future to be written off. It is estimated by US experts, today is ready for use in 1930 warheads, of which about 1750 - and installed at strategic ballistic missiles or bomber air bases are located in the United States. Another 180 tactical bombs are in Europe. The rest, about 2,740 warheads (over 58% of the total) are in storage bases in readiness in case of need, to use. Most of them planned to write off up to 2030.
In addition to the warheads stored in warehouses MO US, about 2,340 are written off and prepared for recycling and supervised by the US Department of Energy.
According to the START-III (hereinafter - Agreement), today is the elimination of previously released mines.Thus, in 2016 to be eliminated ab mine in Warren and in 2017 - four mines in ab Vandenberg.
Also, by early 2017, aircraft of type B-52H to be transferred to the category of "non-nuclear". Earlier in this category were transferred aircraft B-1B and B-52G. In general, under the Treaty, by 2018 the total number of existing bombers, carriers of nuclear weapons should be reduced to no more than 60 units.
In turn, the US Navy began the process of reducing the number of launchers (PU) on each boat underwater nuclear ballistic missiles (hereinafter - PCHARB) from 24 to 20. This process should be completed by the end of 2016 or early 2017 in result of the measures to 2018, the US Navy PCHARB should still have more than 240 ballistic missile submarines (BRPCH).
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Modernization of the US nuclear arsenal AP
Today in the US Armed Forces continues large-scale process of modernization of the nuclear arsenal. To this end, over the next decade is projected to spend nearly $ 350 billion. These funds will be allocated, particularly in applications such as: a new class PCHARB new strategic bomber, a new cruise missile airborne (KRPB), a new ICBM land-based new fighter-bomber able to carry tactical nuclear warheads, production of one type of nuclear warhead (W76-1) and the start of production of two other types (B61-12 and W80-4), modernization of facilities management and control of the nuclear arsenal and construction new facilities production and testing of nuclear weapons.
In addition to the programs also planned a significant redesign warheads for ballistic missiles. As a result of the modification (by mixing components with different types of warheads) will receive interoperable warheads (IWS), which will be installed on existing media. The first, known as IP-1 or W78 / W88-1, can be mounted on ICBMs and Mk21A BRPCH Mk5. Their development should start in 2020 first delivery to the troops - in 2030, and production should continue after 2040 Total project cost is estimated at more than $ 15 billion.
In turn, the development of warheads IW-2, which combines a warhead W87 and W88, will begin in 2023 first delivery to the troops - in 2034 Total project cost is estimated at more than $ 17 billion.
Tipped IW-3 is a modified version of W76-1 and will cost more than $ 18 billion.
At the same time, according to experts, at present it is not known whether Congress agrees to fund these expensive programs rather than to continue life easier and cheaper versions of nuclear warheads.
At present the US Air Force are 440 ICBM silo-based Minuteman III, distributed between the three wings 90 missile wing ab FE Warren (pcs. Wyoming); 91 missile wing ab Minot (pcs. North Dakota); 341 missile wing ab Malmström (pcs. Montana). Each wing has three squadrons, each of which - 50 mines for ICBM Minuteman III, managed by five control centers Start.
Under the provisions of the Treaty the US during 2015 was freed from the IDB 10 mines.Another 40 plans to release in February 2018
Arsenal ICBM Minuteman III consists of two types of nuclear warheads, 335 kilotons W78, which is installed on Mk12A ICBMs and 300-kiloton W87, which is installed on the MBR Mk21. Typically, each missile carrying a single warhead, but the IDB Mk12A can set up to three warheads in individual natsilovanomu version. In turn, the larger and heavier IDB Mk21 can carry only one warhead W87.
Also, today in the US Air Force continues to develop a new generation ICBM, known as land-based strategic deterrence (SSNB) that during the 2028-2035 biennium. Planned to replace ICBM Minuteman III. According to preliminary plans, must be purchased SSNB 642, of which 400 are to be deployed, and others - used for testing and start-up services. The project cost is estimated at $ 62.3 billion.
In service with the US Navy is 14 PCHARB class "Ohio", 8 of which are on patrol in the Pacific Ocean near the base m.Banhor bass (pcs. Of Washington) and 6 who are on patrol in the Atlantic Ocean with base in Kinhs Bay (pcs. Georgia). Each PCHARB can carry 24 Trident I. BRPCH
Typically, 12 of 14 PCHARB considered ready for use. 13 and 14 are on PCHARB dozapravtsi at any time. However, not all 12 PCHARB is fully equipped with the missile is ready for use. For example, the PU PCHARB BRPCH found only 236, that is 52 less than the full capacity of 12 submarines.
In 2015 the US Navy began the process of reducing the number of PU on each PCHARB from 24 to 20. These measures are carried out in order to bring the number BRPCH in compliance with the Treaty. In particular, in February 2018 on PCHARB must be installed no more than 240 BRPCH. The process of reducing the number BRPCH to be completed in 2017
At present there are three versions BRPCH two main types of warheads, 100 kilotons W76-0, the new W76-1 klitonna 100 and 455-kiloton W88. W76-1 warheads is an upgraded version of W76-0, but with a high level of security. In addition, the IDB Mk4A, which is W76-1 warheads, equipped with a new system of charging, ignition and volley (Arming, Fusing and Firing - (AF & F)), with improved capabilities aiming compared with the old system Mk4 / W76.Seriyne production of about 1600 W76-1 warheads at the factory in m.Panteks (pcs. of Texas) and scheduled for completion in 2019
It should be noted that another operator IDB is Mk4A Navy.
Today also continue to work on the design of a new generation PCHARB SSBNX, which should replace the existing PCHARB by the end of 2020 will be new PCHARB 2,000 tons heavier than PCHARB class "Ohio" and is equipped with 16 PU ICBM, not 24. Overall planned to adopt take 12 PCHARB SSBNX, thereby reducing fleet valid for 2 PCHARB.
The cost of each new PCHARB SSBNX estimated at $ 8.2 - $ 8.6 billion, and the total project cost - at $ 98 - $ 103 billion (of which $ 10 billion to $ 15 billion will be spent on R & D). Purchase of the first ship is scheduled for 2021, and the withdrawal of his patrol in - in 2031 during the first decade of service, the PCHARB SSBNX planned to install upgraded version BRPCH Trident II with a new guidance system.
In addition, since 2017, BRPCH Trident II will be re-set to PCHARB "Ohio" and zahodytymetsya their arms up to the withdrawal of submarines from the ranks in 2042 and will be deployed on PCHARB Navy.
Currently in service with the US Air Force aircrafts are 20 B-2 and B-93 type 52N. Of these, 18 B-2 and B-76 52H are carriers of nuclear warheads.
With 89 bombers, 60 (16 and B-2 44 B-52H), designed to meet the so-called "Nuclear missions." Bombers All nine members of the bomber squadrons (five bomber wings) on three US air base: ab Minot (pcs. North Dakota) ab Barksdale (pcs. Louisiana) and Abe Whitman (pcs. Of Missouri).
Each aircraft type B-2 can carry up to 16 nuclear bombs (the bombs of free fall B61-7, B61-11 and B83-1), and each B-52H can carry up to 20 KRPB (or missiles AGM-86B). In general, according to experts, may be carried bombers about 1,000 nuclear weapons, including 528 KRPB.
Overall, the US Air Force bombers under normal conditions is not more than 200-300 nuclear weapons.Another 700-800 units is based on the central storage Kirtlend Force (pcs. Of New Mexico). At the same time, it should be noted that the aircraft of type B-52N no longer provides for the establishment bombs with nuclear warheads.
Also, today the last 4 program to modernize nuclear arsenal Air Force.
So, October 27, 2015 the US Air Force announced an agreement with Northrop-Grumman Corporation on developing and manufacturing the next generation of strategic nuclear bomber LRS-B, which is to be introduced to the system the US Air Force since the late 2020's. According to the plans should be procured 100 aircraft type LRS-B at a price of at least $ 550 million per unit. Overall, during the 2030-2040 biennium. LRS-B aircraft in the US Air Force plans to replace aircraft such as B-52H and B-1B. At the same time, aircraft of type B-2 will be saved by 2050's.
The second program of modernization associated with the adoption of managed B61-12 bombs, which, since the mid 2020's., Should replace all existing nuclear bombs of free fall. In this bombs will be set warheads modified version used in the present bombs B61-4.
The third program is related to the replacement of cruise missiles ALCM (AGM-86B) on new missiles with a greater range of LRSO. In LRSO missile warhead is installed W80-4 (a modified version of W80-1, which is currently used in the existing cruise missiles).
Unlike ALCM missiles, which can be carried forward only aircraft of type B-52H, LRSO can be installed on aircraft B-52H, B-2, as well as the LRS-B. The first missiles planned for installation in aircraft in late 2020 LRSO cost of the program is estimated at about $ 30 billion. Overall, the US Air Force plans to buy missiles in 1000, but according to experts, will be enough to half of them.
The fourth program is the modernization of management and control activities of strategic bombers, which is that instead Milstar constellation, using grouping satellite broadband terminals FAB-T (Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals). New control points of the FAB-T terminals designed for connection with multiple satellite constellation, including military satellites national protected satellite communications system AEHF. The communication system based on terminals FAB-T, should provide high-speed data exchange for nuclear and conventional forces, including the relationship with US President (Presidential National Voice Conferencing).
In service with the US Armed Forces is about 500 tactical B61 nuclear bombs in three versions: B61-3, B61-4, and B61-10 (the other two modifications - B61-7 and B61-11 strategic importance). More than 180 of them (versions 3 and 4) are located on six bases in five European countries: Aviano (Italy) Byuhel (Germany) Ghedi (Italy) Indzhyrlik (Turkey), Kleine Brohel (Belgium) and Folkel (Netherlands ). These bombs can be installed on planes Belgium, Holland, it is possible - Turkey (aircraft such as F-16), and Germany and Italy (aircraft PA-200 Tornado). In normal circumstances, these bombs until their use is not authorized by the US President and approved NATO remain under the control of the US Air Force. In addition, a small number of non-strategic nuclear weapons stored in the United States for potential use on US fighter-bomber with the support of allies outside Europe, including the Middle East and Northeast Asia.
Today European members of NATO are taking steps to modernize nuclear doctrine within the Alliance including upgrading defined planes of the Air Force under controlled B61-12 bombs, which will last until 2018 also should be noted that B61-12 bombs warheads are installed with bombs B61 -4, with a capacity of about 50 kilotons, which additionally equipped with controllable tail kit that will increase the accuracy of bombing. According to experts, led B61-12 bomb, which also has the ability of penetration into the ground and destroy reinforced targets, will be more effective weapon, compared with bombs B61-3 or B61-4. In addition, their use will allow planning authorities choose to challenge existing goals less power, reducing associated losses.
In addition, 2024 should take place aircraft type certification F-35A, as carriers of nuclear weapons. At the same time, some NATO countries are planning this type of aircraft to modernize its fighter-bombers. In particular, the Netherlands has already received the first training aircraft F-35A, and the first F-35A Italian Air Force made its first flight in September 2015, Turkey also plans to purchase this type of aircraft, and Belgium decides whether to buy F-35A, or French aircraft Rafale . Germany, in turn, has no plans to replace the aircraft type PA-200 Tornado, but is expected to prolong their service after 2020
In general, summing up, we note that today in the US Armed Forces modernization of the nuclear arsenal is in the planning mode and in accordance with the START III.
The feature of the modernization is to reduce the number of nuclear warheads and at the same time increase the capacity of those who remain in service, and the development of new wider possibilities. In most of warheads is modernization of existing and development of new nuclear weapons carriers. In addition is the unification of nuclear weapons for the Air Force, in order to be able to transport it by different carriers.
Also carried out modernization of management and control activities of strategic bombers, which should increase the flexibility and sustainability management.
The only obstacle that can currently make adjustments to the plans to modernize nuclear arsenal of the US Armed Forces, is the high cost programs, especially concerning the establishment of interoperable nuclear warheads (IWS).