"I strongly agree with a need for a low-yield nuclear weapon," Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee, underscoring that what he called a "deterrence weapon would help "respond to the threat that Russia in particular is portraying.
Hyten also said that United States Strategic Command needs to increase the number of B-21 stealth bombers in its fleet.
US needs low yield nuclear weapons, @US_Stratcom Cmdr @usairforce Gen John Hyten tells #SASC hearing — "That capability's a deterrence weapon to respond the threat that #Russia in particular is portraying" pic.twitter.com/qZoUjDRBZE— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) March 20, 2018
"We only have a small number of B-2s. We need a larger number of penetrating bombers that will be the B-21," Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
At present, the US Air Force operates B-52 Stratofortress strategic nuclear bombers. In 2040, they are expected to be replaced by the B-21, a new $550 million stealth heavy bomber manufactured by Northrop Grumman.