The United States is not currently producing and deploying any new strategic nuclear delivery systems. There are programs in development for a new bomber, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) to replace the Minuteman ICBM and a new ballistic missile submarine. The reality is that for the next two decades at least, the United States will have to rely on an aging, even obsolescing strategic nuclear force posture to deter an increasing number of hostile nations with modern and growing nuclear arsenals of their own. The industrial base that supports U.S. strategic forces and will build the next generation of weapons and platforms is in an equally parlous state. The Air Force’s acquisition strategy for the GBSD could do further harm to this Nation’s critical nuclear forces industrial base. Once there were five companies capable of producing large solid rocket motors; today there are only two: Aerojet/Rocketdyne and Orbital/ATK. The approach being taken by the Air Force could result in there being only one producer in a few years. I discuss this issue in detail for RealClearDefense here.
Find Archived Articles: