Congress failed to pass any new appropriations bills for fiscal year 2016, raising questions about whether the United States can carry out the nuclear weapons activities planned for the year.
The Defense Department’s plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal will “roughly double” the percentage of the budget allocated to nuclear weapons, according to a senior department official.
An initial Air Force proposal for replacing the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile calls for procuring 642 missiles.
The Air Force says that only a portion of the 1,000 new nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missiles it is proposing to build will be deployed with nuclear warheads.
U.S. Strategic Command appears to be backing away from a September 2014 estimate that maintaining and modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal “will require close to 10 percent” of the Defense Department budget.
The Obama administration is proposing to increase spending to accelerate by two years the development of a new nuclear-armed cruise missile.