Defense

September 19, 2012

Air Force officials describe ICBM way-ahead

As intercontinental ballistic missiles gain prominence in the Air Force’s nuclear enterprise, service officials related the importance of maintaining the system during the 2012 Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C., Sept. 18.

Panelists included Maj. Gen. William Chambers, assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration; retired Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, senior fellow for strategic studies and arms control council on foreign relations; and Elbridge Colby, global strategic affairs principal analyst, CNA.

“The ICBM is stabilizing, lethal, responsive, survivable and highly credible,” Chambers said, adding that he sees ICBM as a homeland-based force that maintains strategic stability and supports conflict resolution below the nuclear threshold.

“It does this by imposing great costs on any would-be aggressor and denying any adversary a nuclear coercion option,” he explained.

Chambers also noted that ICBMs are among the most reliable and inexpensive strategic systems to operate and maintain.

“In fiscal year 2011, the Air Force provided an ICBM capability to the nation for one percent of the overall Air Force budget,” Chambers said. “That’s not a lot of money for the overall global stability that this force provides America.”

While some advocates of deep reductions have called for total elimination of ICBM, the panel assured that the ICBM is essential to deterrence and strategic stability.

“If the ICBM were eliminated, the number of strategic targets an adversary would have to attack to seriously undermine or even destroy the U.S. nuclear deterrent force would be reduced from more than 500 to perhaps a dozen,” Klotz said.

The panel underscored the importance of maintaining the ICBM in the 21st century.

“It’s very important to think about new capabilities and maintaining the same fundamental approach to deterrence – putting the fear into your opponent so you don’t ever have to go to war,” Colby said.

The panelists acknowledged that though opinions may vary about ICBM’s future,

the system must continue to progress.

“The most pressing task is to work toward a broad, national consensus on the steps that need to be taken to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear arsenal in the years ahead and to demonstrate real … purpose in achieving them,” Klotz said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>