US Air Force to Receive $28Bln Over Five Years for Nuclear Deterrence

© AFP 2023 / EMMANUEL DUNANDAn US Air Force soldier patrol the perimetre around a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet
An US Air Force soldier patrol the perimetre around a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet - Sputnik International
President Barack Obama has pledged to give the Air Force $28 billion over the next five years to modernize its nuclear deterrent, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In the coming three decades, the United States plans to modernize all three legs of its nuclear arsenal. The US Air Force is in charge of land and air systems, the intercontinental ballistic missile program and the strategic bomber program.

"Overall, the president’s budget includes $6.5 billion in fiscal year 2015 and $28 billion over the next five years to sustain and modernize our deterrent force," Weinstein stated at the annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit on Thursday.

In the 2017 budget, released by the Department of Defense last week, the Air Force will dedicate approximately 5 percent of its budget to the nuclear deterrence portfolio, Weinstein said.

The upgrades will include a new long-range Strategic Bomber, and a new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent to replace the Minuteman 3 ballistic missile.

"These modernization efforts do not increase the probability of nuclear war," Weinstein stated, taking up recent public criticism of US modernization efforts.

Overall, Obama’s 2017 budget would commit $19 billion to upgrading the full US nuclear enterprise, if it is approved by the US Congress. The Center for Nonproliferation Studies has estimated the total cost of nuclear modernization will be up to $1 trillion over 30 years.

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