Proliferation News
» June 2, 2011

Pentagon Details Plan for New Nuclear Bomber

Global Security Newswire

US B52

The U.S. Defense Department in a new acquisition document laid out preliminary plans to develop a fleet of next-generation nuclear bombers capable of carrying out long-range missions with or without onboard pilots.

A "new penetrating, nuclear-capable bomber program" would form the "centerpiece" of a broader suite of U.S. long-range strike aircraft intended to eliminate and discourage the development of barriers to military operations, the Pentagon said in a legally required aircraft procurement plan spanning the next three decades. Meanwhile, the nation's existing B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers would continue undergoing updates to ensure their readiness to carry out long-range missions until 2040, the document states.

The department envisions preparing a fleet of between 80 and 100 of the new bombers at a cost of $550 million for each aircraft. The proposed quantity, the report says, would allow for Air Force "capabilities required to operate in an anti-access, area denial environment and ensure a sustainable inventory over the long term." Full Article   

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