$19.6M from the US defense budget will be spend for W76-2 nuclear warheads

WASHINGTON, (BM) – The American media is continuing to discuss the decision to equip the country’s submarines with W76-2 tactical nuclear warheads. The National Interest magazine drew attention to the item of expenditures in the US military budget for 2020, which involves spending 19.6 million dollars on the purchase of W76-2, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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NI experts noted that for this amount you can only purchase a quarter of the F-35A fighter. In this regard, there is no reason for the holiday, due to the receipt by the American submarines of nuclear warheads, the authors of the publication consider. According to experts, this weapon will improve security only psychologically and is an attempt to complacency in the naval forces of the country.

According to former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the W76-2 warheads will provide additional funds that can quickly and proportionally repel a tactical nuclear weapon strike, the newspaper writes.

At the same time, opponents of this opinion believe that equipping submarines with tactical nuclear warheads may increase the risk of a nuclear conflict, American experts noted.

The first submarine to adopt the W76-2 was the SSBN 734 Tennessee, which is of the Ohio type.

It is planned to re-equip almost all similar SSBNs – 14 pieces. Previously, 24 Trident II missiles were deployed on each of the submarines. Now a small portion of these missiles will carry “low-power” W76-2 warheads. The level of destruction from the explosion of one such warhead is about three times less than from a bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Political Affairs John Rood said the agency back in 2018 proposed modifying a number of ballistic missile warheads for submarines. This decision was then explained by the need to counter a potential adversary – Russia.

So far, the only “little nuclear” weapons the US has had are the B61 hydrogen bombs and ALCM variable-power cruise missiles.

At first glance, the W76-2 missiles were designed at an accelerated pace. In the spring of 2018, Donald Trump set the task for the military-industrial complex to create a new weapon, and a year and a half later it had already entered the troops, and without tests. However, this is not surprising, given that the W76-2 is just a smaller version of the long-known W76 warhead, which had a capacity of 100 kilotons.

The W76-2 is manufactured by Pantex in Texas. Most likely, we are talking about the alteration of the W76 warheads lying in warehouses since the Cold War.

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