B-21: The U.S. air force, the first 21st Century bomber
Tech Take: Allison Barrie on the new stealth bomber in the U.S. air force, the B-21
America’s large nuclear arsenal is firmly in the spotlight. On Tuesday, Sen. Bob Corker, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the chairmanship of a hearing that is examining the authority of the president of the united states to a nuclear weapon strike and the process for the use of nuclear weapons.
Neither this committee, nor the House of the Committee on Foreign Affairs has examined, the nuclear authority problem since 1976, according to the Congressional Research Service.
President Trump has his vision on nuclear weapons to be very clear — before he tweeted that “[the United States] must have a important strengthening and expansion of the nuclear capacity from time to time the world comes to its senses with regard to nuclear weapons.”
So what exactly is the nuclear arsenal that is currently available for President Trump?
Since the Cold War, the country has an appeal to the “triad” and it seems that it will continue to do so under Trump’s presidency. In the simplest terms, this is a three-pronged approach to nuclear weapon strategy: the sea, the air and on the ground.
NORTH KOREA: MINI-NUKES AN OPTION FOR TRUMP?
The United States has a large and formidable nuclear arsenal and the numerous methods for delivering nuclear weapons, from submarines to fighter jets.
But a lot of the nuke program dates from the Cold War and the feeling of her age.
Huge modernization is already well underway – to the tune of $400 billion.
The congress has passed initial funding for the pillars of a new, modern Triad: the new B-21 Raider next generation of stealth bombers, the Ohio-class ballistic missile from a nuclear submarine replacements, and the potential Minuteman III land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles replacement.
President Trump has also ordered a thorough review that can bring new ideas to adapt, to modernise and to innovate so that the United States is even more prepared to address today’s nuclear threats.
Nuclear attack by the air
If a nuclear attack is necessary, than is the air component of the triad can be used. There are two options: the behemoth B-52H Stratofortresses and the stealth B-2A Spirits.
WILL A SINGLE BOMB TO STOP NORTH KOREA?
With a range of almost 9,000 miles, the B-52s can travel great distances to deliver a nuclear weapon.
The iconic B-52s have been in service more than 50 years, and about 44 B-52H Stratofortresses carry nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
Another option is the stealth bomber B-2A, a newer aircraft which became operational about 20 years ago.
With the help of the advanced stealth tech, it could travel unnoticed deep into enemy territory to attack it with nuclear weapons.
It is the most advanced U.s. bomber and there are about 16 of these that can attack with three different types of nuclear bombs. The expectation is that the air force will continue to upgrade the nuclear capable B-2A Spirit and fly until 2040.
FUTURISTIC BIONIC ARMS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE NATION’S BRAVEST
In the future, the president will have the option of the B-21 Raider. Approximately 100 of these brand spanking new stealth bomber are in the works.
It is expected that it is able to achieve the goals absolutely everywhere in the world and penetrate the toughest of enemy air defenses without detection.
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. air force are very vigilant about the protection of this ultra-advanced B-21, so details about the exciting new stealth aircraft are scarce. Confidentiality offers many benefits, including the element of surprise from potential adversaries.
But the picture revealed earlier this year so futuristic it looks like it belongs in Star Wars. And it is the expectation could touch the heavens in the coming years.
PODCAST: MASTER HOW TO FIGHT BACK WITH THIS BRAVE NAVY SEAL
Nuclear attack by sea
Experts estimate that there are more than 200 nuclear missiles to arm creeping American subs hidden in the oceans all over the world. Each of these Trident II submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) could deliver four or five independently targetable warheads, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, of the research.
WILL THE US LET REVOLUTIONARY ‘LIGHTNINGSTRIKE’ DRONE ON FUTURE ENEMIES?
The president has, by its decision of 14 Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarines. And each of the 170-metre-long subs can attack with 24 Trident II SLBMs striking targets thousands of miles away.
The name “boomers” they are incredibly good and can travel unnoticed through the depths of the oceans of the world to attack.
Around the clock there are always 12 of these submarines at sea, five of which are on hard alert. This means that the submarines are constantly patrolling in the Pacific ocean and the Atlantic ocean.
And if the president gives the order, then they are ready to launch their nuclear weapons within a few minutes after receipt of the order.
The Ohio-class submarines were first deployed almost 40 years ago and will continue to undergo upgrades.
They will be replaced in the beginning of the 2030s, with about 12 Columbia-class submarines.
POWERFUL SMALL TANKS WITH VR AND FUTURISTIC COCKPIT CAN BE A REVOLUTION ON THE BATTLEFIELD
The congress already passed $60 billion in the financing of the development of the new submarines although there has been speculation that the price tag will be much larger than this number.
PODCAST: DISCOVER THE SECRET HOW THIS SPECIAL FORCES VET TURNED OUT TO BE A IDEA IN THE TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Nuclear attack by the country
There are up to 400 Minuteman III intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (icbms) – making it the largest of the trinity in terms of enhanced nuclear missiles to deliver a strike. Although the land-based, it is managed by the Air Force.
This part of the nuclear arsenal is hidden under the ground. Among the natural beauty of the countryside of Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Montana and North Dakota – there are many heavily fortified silos.
The president has the option for the start of a strike of these silos with the help of 400 Minuteman III intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (icbms).
This Minuteman III ICMBMs can deliver nuclear warheads and precisely strike targets at a very long range. Some estimates indicate that at 8,000 km away. They are three-stage, solid-fuel missiles.
Each Minuteman could be one or multiple nuclear warheads. Hiroshima was 15 kilotons. Many experts estimate the explosive yield to be in the range of 300 to 500 kilotons.
MUCUS OF 300-MILLION-YEAR-OLD CREATURE CAN BE USED FOR BULLET-PROOF VESTS
The icbm’s are now around 50 years old, but the air force regularly upgrades.
In the future, triad, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrence (GBSD) is expected to replace these icbms. In August, the Pentagon narrowed the competition to develop the next generation of missiles down to two companies: Boeing and Northrop Grumman.
IF GBSD moves forward, production and implementation will be done in about 10 years.
New nuclear weapons
The LRSO Long-Range stand-off weapon, is a new type of nuclear cruise missiles and the subject of one of the most intense, heated discussions about nuclear modernization. This year, a number of Democratic senators have regarding the program and were against on the grounds of cost and strategy.
The military’s nuclear bomber force would provide these new missiles. If the light is green, then the LRSO is expected to be around 2030.
What other nuclear weapon options are available?
In 2010, the Obama administration has unveiled more details of the U.s. nuclear arsenal: a total of 5,113 nuclear warheads that are operationally deployed.
However, this is not the few thousands of nuclear warheads that are retired and not yet dismantled.
SELF-HEALING TECH COULD TACKLE INVISIBLE WAR WOUNDS
There are also believed to have been hundreds of “tactical” nuclear bombs are available that can, for example, be used to arm fighter jets to attack.
The military may also be the development of new weapons that are referred to as “mini-nukes.” These are, in order to give the president, with the possibility of a nuclear attack, without that huge random victims, or “end of the world.”
Review of the arsenal and the willingness
While countries like Russia and North Korea have persistently worked away on the promotion of their military capabilities, such as the nuclear strikes, under President Obama, the retention of the parity, and the nuclear force to deter nuclear threats was not a priority.
President Trump started with an NPR (Nuclear Posture Review) to thoroughly review everything about the AMERICAN military’s nuclear weapons establishment: the willingness, the strong points, the weak points, the methods to launch the nuclear weapons, and more.
The expectation is that the NPR can provide revolutionary ways to work and continue to “modernize” the nuclear arsenal with the results early next year.
Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries, who recommends the highest level of defence and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, to purchase, in 30 countries. Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”, where she gives listeners a direct access to the most fascinating of the Special Operations warriors each week and to learn more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist, click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.