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 March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 




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>