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former IAEA Director-General

U.S. Nuclear Modernization Programs
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Press Contact: Kingston Reif, Director for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104.

December 2015

Please click here for a chart of current modernization programs.

The United States maintains a modern arsenal of about 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), and Strategic Bombers. The Departments of Defense and Energy requested approximately $23 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 to maintain and upgrade these systems, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO estimates that nuclear forces will cost $348 billion between FY 2015 and FY 2024.[i] Three independent estimates put the expected total cost over the next 30 years at as much as $1 trillion.

The U.S. military is in the process of modernizing all of its existing strategic delivery systems and refurbishing the warheads they carry to last for the next 30-50 years. These systems are in many cases being replaced with new systems or completely rebuilt with essentially all new parts. Though the president and his military advisors have determined that U.S. security can be maintained while reducing the size of its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal by up to one-third below the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) levels, the proposed spending is based on maintaining the New START levels in perpetuity.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work testified to the House Armed Services Committee on June 25 that “modernizing and sustaining” the nuclear arsenal will cost an average of $18 billion per year between 2021 and 2035 in FY 2016 dollars. When combined with the cost to sustain the current arsenal as the new systems are built, this will roughly double spending on nuclear weapons from the current level of approximately 3 percent of the overall defense budget to about 7 percent, Work said.[ii]

Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord stated in November 2015 that the anticipated financial requirement for nuclear modernization “is the biggest acquisition problem that we don’t know how to solve yet.”

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, President Obama has requested $8.8 billion to fund nuclear weapons activities in the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which oversees the U.S. nuclear stockpile and production complex, a 7.5 percent increase over FY 2015.[iii]

This effort includes:

  • Modernized Strategic Delivery Systems: Existing U.S. nuclear delivery systems are undergoing continual modernization, including complete rebuilds of the Minuteman III ICBM and Trident II SLBM. The service lives of the Navy’s 14 Trident Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines are being extended. Additionally, a new submarine, the SSBN(X), which will replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, is undergoing development and is expected to cost about $139 billion to develop, according to the Defense Department. The B-2 strategic bomber, a relatively new system, is being upgraded, as is the B-52H bomber. The Air Force is also planning a new Long-Range Strike Bomber and a new nuclear-capable cruise missile, known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) to replace the existing Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM).
  • Refurbished Nuclear Warheads: The U.S. stockpile of nuclear warheads and bombs is continually refurbished through NNSA’s Life Extension Program (LEP). Existing warheads are certified annually to be safe and reliable. The JASON panel of independent scientists has found “no evidence” that extending the lives of existing U.S. nuclear warheads would lead to reduced confidence that the weapons will work. The panel concluded in its September 2009 report that “Lifetimes of today's nuclear warheads could be extended for decades, with no anticipated loss in confidence.”[iv] The United States does not need to resume nuclear test explosions, nor does it need to build new “replacement” warhead designs to maintain the reliability and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. The NNSA is currently pursuing a controversial and expensive plan to consolidate the existing number of nuclear warhead types from 10 down to 5. Known as the "3+2" strategy, the five LEPs associated with this approach are estimated to cost over $65 billion.
  • Modernized Production Complex: The nuclear weapons production complex is being modernized as well, with new facilities planned and funded. For example, the FY 2016 NNSA budget includes $430 million for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The total construction cost for UPF is estimated at $6.5 – 7.5 billion, according to an independent study conducted by the Corps of Engineers, although some estimates put the price tag at $11 billion. [v]
  • Command and Control Systems: The Defense Department maintains command, control, communications, and early-warning systems that allow operators to communicate with nuclear forces, issue commands that control their use, and detect or rule out incoming attacks. CBO projects that the amounts budgeted for DoD’s nuclear command, control, communications, and early-warning systems between FY 2015 and FY 2024 would be $52 billion.
  • Nuclear Force Improvement Program: In the wake of revelations of professional and ethical lapses and poor morale in the U.S. nuclear force, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in November 2014 steps the department is taking to address the numerous setbacks. These include changing the conduct of inspections to reduce the burden on airmen and sailors, eliminating micromanagement of nuclear personnel seen as overtaxed by excessive bureaucratic and administrative requirements, and elevating the head of Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees the Air Force’s nuclear forces, from a three- to a four-star rank. Hagel also said the Defense Department will request a 10 percent annual increase in funding for nuclear weapons over the next five years. The FY 2016 budget request included $1.1 billion in proposed new funding pursuant to this effort. The proposal would support 1,120 additional military and civilian personnel working on Air Force nuclear issues and accelerate investments in Navy shipyard infrastructure. The Pentagon plans to spend $8 billion for these and other force improvement efforts over the next five years.

The Obama administration has requested huge increases for nuclear weapons programs at the Defense and Energy Departments to sustain and modernize the arsenal. Indeed, current and proposed spending levels for many key efforts currently exceed what the administration originally advertised early in its first term.

For example, the administration’s FY 2016 request for nuclear weapons programs at the Energy Department is roughly $3.5 billion more (or 55%) than the Bush administration’s final budget request. The GOP-led Congress has provided less funding for this program than requested by the President.

The following is a status update of existing programs to enhance the nuclear stockpile and modernize the delivery systems that make up each element of the U.S. nuclear triad:

1. Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)

The United States Air Force currently deploys about 450 Minuteman III ICBMs located at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Under the New START treaty, the United States will reduce to 400 the number of deployed missiles and maintain 50 extra missile silos in a “warm” reserve status.

Today's Minuteman weapon system is the product of almost 40 years of continuous enhancement. The Pentagon has spent roughly $7 billion to date on life extension efforts to keep the ICBMs safe, secure and reliable through 2030.[vi] This modernization program has included the following enhancements to the Minuteman III missiles:

  • Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) Service Life Extension Program: The first REACT system was installed in the Minuteman III in the 1990s. REACT reduces the time required to re-target the missiles. In 2006 the Air Force began modernizing REACT to extend its service life. The Air Force completed the effort in 2006.
  • Safety Enhanced Reentry System Vehicle (SERV): SERV modifies the reentry vehicles for the W-87 warheads that were removed from the Peacekeeper missiles and redeployed on the Minuteman III.
  • Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP): The PRP replaces the propellant in the Minuteman III.
  • Guidance Replacement Program (GRP): The GRP extends and improves the reliability of the Minuteman III guidance sets.
  • Propulsion System Rocket Engine Program (PSRE): PSRE is designed to replace the post-boost propulsion system components on the Minuteman III missiles.
  • Solid Rocket Motor Warm Line Program: In FY 2009 Congress approved an Air Force program to continue producing the solid rocket motors for the Minuteman III in order to preserve the manufacturing capabilities.

This modernization program has resulted in an essentially “new” missile, expanded targeting options, and improved accuracy and survivability. The Air Force is currently assessing how to replace the Minuteman III missile and its supporting launch control and command and control infrastructure. In June 2015 Arms Control Today reported that the Air Force has proposed procurement of 642 follow-on missiles, 400 of which would be operationally deployed through 2070. The Air Force currently estimates the development cost of the replacement program at approximately $62 billion over the next 30 years. [vii]

The Air Force is also upgrading the Minuteman’s nuclear warheads by partially replacing older W78 warheads with newer and more powerful W87 warheads, formerly deployed on the now-retired MX Peacekeeper ICBMs. The W87 entered the U.S. stockpile in 1986, making it one of the newest warheads in the arsenal with the most modern safety and security features, including insensitive high explosive and a fire-resistant pit design, which can help to minimize the possibility of plutonium dispersal in the event of an accident. Under a 2004 LEP, the W87 warhead was refurbished to extend its service life past 2025.

There is no evidence to suggest that the W87—or any current U.S. nuclear warhead, for that matter—cannot be refurbished indefinitely. NNSA has proposed a joint LEP to field a common, refurbished warhead to replace the W78 and W88 (see SLBMs, below). However, Congress approved NNSA's 2014 proposal to delay production of this warhead by five years from 2025 to 2030. [viii]

2. Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and Submarines

The United States Navy currently has the ability to deploy 288 Trident II D5 SLBMs on 12 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) based out of Bangor, Washington (7 boats) and Kings Bay, Georgia (5 boats). The Ohio-class submarines have a service life of 42 years; two twenty year cycles with a two year mid-life nuclear refueling. The total fleet includes 14 boats; due to the refueling process, only 12 SSBNs are available for deployment at any given time.

The Ohio-class SSBNs were first deployed in 1981, and will reach the end of their services at a rate of approximately one boat per year between 2027 and 2040. The Navy plans to replace each retiring boat, starting in 2031, with a new class of ballistic missile submarine, referred to as the SSBN(X) or the Ohio-class replacement.[ix] The Navy originally planned to begin using the replacement boats in 2029, but in 2012 the Pentagon announced a two year delay to the SSBNX program. This would push back completion of the first SSBN(X) to 2031. In its FY 2016 request, the Navy asked for $1.4 billion for the Ohio replacement under its research and development budget line.[x] In its FY 2016 request, the Navy asked for $1.4 billion for the Ohio replacement under its research and development budget line. [x] The Navy ultimately wants 12 boats, and estimates the cost to develop and buy the submarines to be $139 billion in then-year dollars. The total lifecycle cost of the SSBNX program is estimated at $347 billion.[xi]

Taking into account the delay, the Navy now plans to purchase the first SSBNX in 2021, the second in 2024, and one per year between 2026 and 2035. The first boat is scheduled to become operational in 2031. As a result, the Navy will field 10 ballistic missile submarines between 2030 and 2040.

Each Ohio-class submarine serves as a launch platform for up to 24 SLBMs loaded with up to eight warheads each. Under the New START treaty, by 2018 the Navy plans to deploy 20 SLBMs on each Ohio class submarine rather than the full 24. This will result in a total of 240 deployed SLBMs. The SSBN(X) will carry up to 16 SLBMs, for a maximum of 192 deployed SLBMs when the fleet is fully converted to the SSBN(X) in 2040.

First deployed in 1990, the force of Trident II D5 missiles has been routinely tested and evaluated. It is currently being modernized to last until 2042.[xii] The Trident II D5 LEP is underway to modernize key components, notably the electronics. In 2008, 12 life-extended variants of the D5 were purchased; 24 D5s were produced each year through 2012 for a total of 108 missiles at a total cost of $15 billion. The first modified D5s were deployed in 2013. The Navy’s FY 2016 budget request included a proposed $1.1 billion to fund the Trident II LEP.

The D5 SLBMs are armed with approximately 768 W76 and 384 W88 warheads. In 2009, NNSA began delivery of the W76-1, a refurbished version of the W76 that extends its service life for an additional 30 years. According to NNSA, the W76 LEP is refurbishing the nuclear explosive package, the arming, firing, and fusing system, the gas transfer system, and associated cables, elastomers, valves, pads, cushions, foam supports, telemetries, and other miscellaneous parts.[xiii] NNSA plans to complete the $4 billion production of up to 2,000 W76-1 warheads by 2019. NNSA requested $244 million for the W76 life extension program for FY 2016.[xiv]

The W88 entered the stockpile in 1989, making it the newest warhead in the arsenal. The W88 was the last U.S. warhead produced before the Rocky Flats Plants - which made plutonium “pits” - was shut down in 1989. NNSA re-established pit production capacity at Los Alamos National Laboratory with the first “certifiable” pit in 2003, and new production resumed in 2007.[xv] A new plutonium research and pit production facility, the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR), was planned for Los Alamos, but was put on hold for budget reasons in 2012. NNSA requested $430 million in FY 2016 for construction of the UPF at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

With the rebuilt Trident D5 missile in service to 2042, the W76-1's life extended to 2040-50, the relatively new W88 in service, and a new class of SSBNs lasting into the 2070s, the U.S. Navy’s Trident Fleet will be kept robust and modern well into the 21st century.

3. Strategic Bombers

The United States Air Force currently maintains 18 B-2 Spirit bombers at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and 76 B-52H bombers at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, that can be equipped for nuclear missions. The Pentagon announced in 2014 that in order to meet the New START limits it would retain 42 deployed and 4 nondeployed nuclear capable B-52 bombers. The remainder of the B-52 bombers would be converted to carry only conventional weapons. In 2008 the Air Force created a designated bomber squadron at Minot Air Force Base to focus on the nuclear mission.[xvi] The squadron began its operations in 2010 and is comprised of 22 B-52Hs. The B-52H is expected to remain in service until 2040.

The Air Force is planning to purchase 80-100 new, dual-capable long-range penetrating bombers that will replace the B-1 and B-52 bombers. Known as the LRS-B, the Pentagon estimates the average procurement unit cost per aircraft will be $511 million in 2010 dollars when procuring a 100 aircraft. The Obama administration asked for $1.2 billion for the program in FY 2016. The Air Force plans to spend $41.7 billion over the next ten years on research and development for the new bomber (in then-year dollars).

The Air Force continually modernizes the B-2 fleet, which first became operational in 1997 and is expected to last through 2058. In testimony before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Major General William Chambers stated that the B-2 is “capable of long-range delivery of direct attack munitions in an anti-access environment.” To enable the B-2 to continue operating in high threat environments, Chambers testified that, “we have programs to modernize communication, offensive, and defensive systems.”[xvii]

Ongoing B-2 modifications include an incremental three-part program to update the Extremely High Frequency Satellite Communications and Computer Upgrade program (EHF SATCOM). Increment 1 will upgrade the B-2’s flight management computers. Increment 2 provides more secure and survivable strategic communications by integrating the Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight Terminals with the low observable antenna. Increment 3 connects the B-2 with the Global Information Grid. The Air Force also began procuring components for a Radar Modernization Program (RMP) in FY 2009. The RMP includes replacing the original radar antenna and upgrading radar avionics.[xviii]

The B-2 carries the B61 and B83 strategic gravity bombs. The B61 has several mods, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 11. B61-3 and B61-4 are non-strategic weapons deployed in Europe for NATO aircraft as part of the U.S.’s extended nuclear commitment. The B61-7 and B61-11 are strategic weapons deployed on the B-2. An LEP recently extended the life of the B61-7 for an additional 20 years by refurbishing the bomb’s secondary stage (canned subassembly) and replacing the associated seals, foam supports, cables and connectors, washers, o-rings, and limited life components. NNSA intends to combine these mods into a single bomb, the B61 mod 12. The LEP will refurbish the warheads with new firing, arming, and safety components, updated radar components, permissive action link components and equipment, modified power supplies, thermal batteries, join test assemblies, weapon trainers, and test and handling gear. [xix] The LEP will also modify the B61 for compatibility with the new Joint Strike Fighter. The LEP will extend the life of the B61s for 30 years. According to the NNSA, the First Production Unit will be completed in FY 2020. Completion of the LEP is scheduled for FY FY 2025, and will cost an estimated $10 billion dollars.[xx] NNSA requested $643 million for the LEP in FY 2016.

The B83 was first produced in 1983, making it one of the newer weapons in the stockpile and the only remaining megaton-class weapon in the stockpile. The B83 has the most modern safety and security features, including insensitive high explosive and a fire-resistant pit.

The B-52H fleet, first deployed in 1961, has an on-going modification program, beginning in 1989, incorporating updates to the global positioning system, updating the weapons capabilities to accommodate a full array of advanced weapons developed after the procurement of the B-52H, and modifying the heavy stores adapter beams to allow the B-52H to carry up to 2,000 pound munitions and a total of 70,000 pounds of mixed ordnance armaments. In FY 2011 the Air Force added to its modernization efforts for the B-52H, receiving funding for the Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) program, which updates the B-52 computer infrastructure.

The B-52H carries the air-launched cruise missile (ALCM), first deployed in 1981. Each ALCM carries a W80-1 warhead, first produced in 1982. The Air Force currently retains 572 nuclear-capable ALCMs, down from the original production run of 1,715 missiles, which concluded in 1986. Roughly 200 of these missiles are believed to be deployed at Minot Air Fore Base in North Dakota with the W80-1 nuclear warhead. New START does not cap the number of bombs or cruise missiles that can be carried on treaty limited strategic bombers.

The Air Force is developing the long-range standoff cruise missile (or LRSO) to replace the existing ALCM. The new missile will be compatible with the B-2 and B-52 bombers, as well as the planned Long-Range Strike bomber. The first missile is slated to be produced in 2026.

The current Air Force procurement plan for the LRSO calls for about 1,000 new nuclear-capable missiles, roughly double the size of the existing fleet of ALCMs. According to the service, the planned purchase of 1,000 missiles includes far more missiles than it plans to arm and deploy with nuclear warheads. The Obama administration’s fiscal year 2016 budget request proposed to increase spending to accelerate by two years the development of the LRSO and the modified W80-4 warhead that it would carry, partially reversing the fiscal year 2015 proposal to delay development of both by three years.

The total cost to build the LRSO and refurbish the associated warhead could reach $25 billion (in then-year dollars). CSBA estimates the development cost of the LRSO at nearly $15 billion. The Energy Department projects the cost of the life extension program for the ALCM warhead to be between $7 billion and $9.5 billion.

US NUCLEAR MODERNIZATION PROGRAMS

Department of Defense Programs

System

Modernization Plan

Costs

Length of Deployment

Additional Information

Minuteman III ICBM

Modernization and Replacement Program

$7 billion

through 2030 and possibly longer

Modernizes the propellant, guidance systems, propulsion system, targeting system, reentry vehicles and continues work on the rocket motors

New ICBM (GBSD)

Replace the Minuteman III missile and associated launch control and command and control facilities

$62 billion (FY 2015-2044)

2080s

The cost estimate includes $48.5 billion for the missiles, $6.9 billion for command and control systems, and $6.9 billion to renovate the launch control centers and launch facilities

B-2 Bomber

Modernization Program

$9.5 billion (FY 2000-2014)

2050s

Improves radar and high frequency satellite communications capabilities for nuclear command and control

B-52H Bomber

On-going modifications

 

2040s

Incorporates global positioning systems, updates computers and modernizes heavy stores adapter beams, and a full array of advance weapons

Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B)

Research and development phase

$41.7 billion (FY 2015-2024)

2080s

The exact specifications of the new bomber are classified

Long Range Standoff Cruise Missile (LRSO)

Replacement for the ALCM

$25 billion (estimated)

2060s

Air Force plans to procure 1,000-1,100 LRSOs

SSBN(X)

New ballistic missile submarine

$139 billion (DoD estimate)

2031 - 2080s

Replacement submarine for the existing Ohio-class SSBN

Trident II D5 SLBM LEP

Modernization and life extension

 

2042

 


[i] Congressional Budget Office, Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2015 to 2024, Jan. 2015, https://www.cbo.gov/publication/49870.

[ii] Robert Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Statement before the House Committee on Armed Services, June 25, 2015, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AS/AS00/20150625/103669/HHRG-114-AS00-Wstate-WorkR-20150625.pdf.

[iii] National Nuclear Security Administration, FY2016 Budget Request: Positioned for the 21st Century Mission Delivery, http://nnsa.energy.gov/aboutus/budget, February 2, 2015.

[iv] Lifetime Extension Program (LEP) Executive Summary, JSR-09-334E, The MITRE Corp., JASON Program Office, September 9, 2009, p. 2.

[v] Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Water and Energy Development, Senate Report 114-54, May 21, 2015, https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/114th-congress/senate-report/54/1.

[vi] Jason Simpson, “Kehler: Air Force Investigating Minuteman III Follow-On System,” Inside the Air Force, October 8, 2009.

[vii] Kingston Reif, “Air Force Drafts Plan for Follow-on ICBM,” Arms Control Today, July/August 2015, http://www.armscontrol.org/ACT/2015_0708/News/Air-Force-Drafts-Plan-for-Follow-on-ICBM.

[vii] Congressional Budget Office, Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2014 to 2023, Dec. 2013.

[viii] http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2013_09/Pentagon-Defends-3%202-Plan-for-Warheads

[ix] Ronald O’Rourke, “Navy SSBN (X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress”, Congressional Research Service, April 22 2011.

[x] Sam LaGrone, “Navy Budgeting $10 Billion for Ohio Replacement Program Over Next Five Years,” USNI News, February 3, 2015, http://news.usni.org/2015/02/03/%EF%BB%BFnavy-budgeting-10-billion-ohio-replacement-program-next-five-years. 

[xi] Christopher Castelli, “New Nuclear Subs Will Cost $347 Billion to Acquire, Operate” Defense News, February 16, 2011, http://defensenewsstand.com/NewsStand-General/The-INSIDER-Free-Article/dod-new-nuclear-subs-will-cost-347-billion-to-acquire-operate/menu-id-720.html.

[xii] Dana J. Johnson, Christopher J. Bowie, and Robert P. Haffa, “Triad, Dyad, Monad? Shaping the US Nuclear Force for the Future,” Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies, December 2009.

[xiii] National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), “Life Extension Programs,” http://nnsa.energy.gov/defense_programs/life_extension_programs.htm.

[xiv] Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration “FY 2016 Congressional Budget Request,” Vol. 1, February 2015, http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/02/f19/FY2016BudgetVolume1_1.pdf

[xv] Los Alamos Study Group, “Plutonium Pit Production — LANL's Pivotal New Mission”, http://www.lasg.org/campaigns/PUPitProd.htm.

[xvi] Amy F. Woolf, “U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues,” Congressional Research Service, March 10, 2011.

[xvii] Major General William A. Chambers, Assistant Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, “Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Budget Request for Department of Energy Atomic Energy Defense Activities and Department of Defense Nuclear Forces Programs”, Statement before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, April 5th, 2011.

[xviii] Department of the Air Force Presentation to the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, United States House of Representatives, Subject: Air Force Programs, Combined Statement of: Lieutenant General Daniel J. Darnell, Air Force Deputy Chief Of Staff For Air, Space and Information Operations, Plans And Requirements, Lieutenant General Mark D. Shackelford, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition , Lieutenant General Raymond E. Johns, Jr., Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans And Programs, May 20, 2009, pp. 14-15.

[xix] Department of Energy Fiscal Year 2012 Congressional Budget Request, National Nuclear Security Administration, February 2011.

[xx] Hearing transcript, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Water and Energy Development, July 25, 2012.

US NUCLEAR MODERNIZATION PROGRAMS

Department of Defense Programs

System

Modernization Plan

Costs

Length of Deployment

Additional Information

Minuteman III ICBM

Modernization and Replacement Program

$7 billion

through 2020 and possibly 2050

Modernizes the propellant, guidance systems, propulsion system, targeting system, reentry vehicles and continues work on the rocket motors

Next ICBM

ICBM follow on study

$26 million for FY 2012-2014

Analysis of Alternatives will be completed in 2014, at which point the Air Force will determine if it will go forward with the program

B-2 Bomber

Modernization Program

$9.5 billion (FY 2000-2014)

2050s

Improves radar and high frequency satellite communications capabilities for nuclear command and control

B-52H Bomber

On-going modifications

2040s

Incorporates global positioning systems, updates computers and modernizes heavy stores adapter beams, and a full array of advance weapons

Long Range Penetrating Bomber

Research and development phase

$40-60 billion (estimated)

The exact specifications of the LRPB are yet to be determined

Long Range Standoff Cruise Missile

Replacement for the ALCM

1.3 billion (estimated)

Air Force is completing the Analysis of Alternatives. If they choose to go forward production is estimated to begin in 2025

SSBNX

New ballistic missile submarine

$96-101 billion

2029 - 2080s

Replacement submarine for the existing Ohio-class SSBN

Trident II D5 SLBM LEP

Modernization and life extension

2042

Department of Energy - NNSA Weapons Activities

System

Modernization Plan

Costs

Length of Deployment

Additional Information

W76

Life Extension Program

$4 billion

2040-2050

Scheduled for completion in 2018

B61 - 3/4/7

Life Extension Program

$4 billion

2040s

Scheduled for completion in 2022/2023

W78

Life Extension Program

$5 billion

2050s

Scheduled for completion in 2025

W88

Life Extension Program

Scheduled to begin in FY 2016 and end in FY 2031

Posted: January 16, 2014