Tuesday, February 27, 2018

U.S. Navy May Arm Their Zumwalt Destroyers With Nuclear Cruise Missiles

The USS Zumwalt. US Navy

The Warzone/The Drive: US Eyes Adding Nuclear Cruise Missiles to Zumwalt Stealth Destroyers As Well As Submarines

More vessels carrying these weapons could make it especially hard for opponents to quickly tell the difference between conventional and nuclear strikes.

U.S. Air Force General John Hyten, head of U.S. Strategic Command, has suggested he’s interested in arming a variety of ships with a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile, including the stealthy Zumwalt-class destroyers, as well as guided missile submarines, or SSGNs, and attack subs. This only renews concerns about whether or not a potential opponent might then dangerously mistake a conventional missile barrage for the start of a nuclear exchange and the possibility that the weapons could make it more likely that the United States would launch a nuclear strike in general.

According to a recent report by Military.com, Hyten made his comments in a speech and while taking subsequent questions during a gathering at the National Defense University's Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 16, 2018. Earlier in February 2018, President Donald Trump’s Administration released a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that called for development of nuclear sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM), as well as modifying some existing Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with lower yield nuclear warheads, both ostensibly to offer a “flexible” response to an adversaries own “limited” nuclear strikes.

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Update 1: New Nuke Cruise Missile Could Go on Zumwalt-Class Destroyers: StratCom (DoD Buzz)
Update #2: The US Navy's newest stealth destroyer could get nuclear cruise missiles (Business Insider)

WNU Editor: Ships carried nuclear weapons before .... this is unfortunately nothing new.

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