Russia Building Nuclear-Armed Drone Submarine

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‘Kanyon’ unmanned sub to target harbors, cities

Russia is building a drone submarine to deliver large-scale nuclear weapons against U.S. harbors and coastal cities, according to Pentagon officials.

The developmental unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, when deployed, will be equipped with megaton-class warheads capable of blowing up key ports used by U.S. nuclear missile submarines, such as Kings Bay, Ga., and Puget Sound in Washington state.

Details of the secret Russian nuclear UUV program remain closely held within the U.S. government. Continue reading

North Dakota nuclear missile base struggles to recover from scandals

It’s a little difficult to say which is more alarming: The chronic degredation in general of the U.S. strategic nuclear forces or the fact that the ‘latest’ missles at Minot were built and designed in the 1960’s.

 

A bitter wind relentlessly whips across acres of frozen prairie at this remote base, where hundreds of airmen and women stay on alert around the clock to do the unthinkable: launch a nuclear attack.

This is the only installation in the nation that hosts both intercontinental ballistic missiles and B-52 bombers, two legs of the so-called nuclear triad with submarines. Yet it has been besieged by scandals and mishaps that have marred its historic role.

In August 2007, crews at Minot mistakenly loaded six cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads onto a B-52 heavy bomber that flew to another base in Louisiana. The warheads were not properly guarded for 36 hours before anyone realized they were missing. Partly as a result, the secretary of the Air Force was forced to resign.

In the last two years, two commanders have been dismissed at Minot and one reprimanded after Pentagon brass lost confidence in their ability to lead. In addition, 19 officers were stripped of their authority to control and launch the nuclear-tipped missiles that sit in silos, and did not get it back until they completed additional training.

Now the vast base, close to the Canadian border, is struggling to recover. Continue reading

Missile spotted in ‘launch position’, United States and South Korean armed forces placed at ‘vital alert’ Watchcon 2

NORTH Korea state-tv is reporting the country is ready to file a nuclear missile, Sky News reported.

  • US, South Korea declare “Watchcon 2” – the highest level of alert
  • ‘Multiple launches’ expected as more missiles spotted Continue reading

Ready To Launch

China conducts rare flight test of new submarine-launched missile

China’s military conducted a flight test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile last week, a launch that came a month after the test of a new multiple-warhead, ground-mobile missile, the Free Beacon has learned.

The flight test of the new JL-2 missile took place Thursday morning from a new Jin-class ballistic missile submarine on patrol in the Bohai Sea, near the coast of northeastern China west of the Korean peninsula, said U.S. officials.

One official said the new JL-2 represents a “potential first strike” nuclear missile in China’s growing arsenal.

The submarine missile firing followed the July 24 test launch of China’s new DF-41 road-mobile ICBM that is assessed to carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, or MIRVs.

The July 24 DF-41 test was the first of the new long-range ICBM that until the test had been shrouded in secrecy.

In addition to the JL-2, a variant of the DF-31 mobile missile, the new strategic weapons include three types of road-mobile ICBMs—DF-31, DF-31A, and DF-41—along with several intermediate and medium-range missiles and hundreds of short-range missiles that can be armed with both conventional and nuclear warheads. The Chinese also are modernizing their fleet of Russian-design strategic bombers.

By contrast, the Obama administration has been seeking to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. defense strategy.

The administration, according to Republicans in Congress, also appears to be going back on promises made to the Senate in 2010 to spend billions of dollars to upgrade aging U.S. strategic nuclear forces and infrastructure.

The former head of Russia’s strategic rocket forces stated in an article published in May that China’s nuclear arsenal could have as many 3,000 warheads—far more than the 300 to 400 warheads estimated by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Full article: Ready To Launch (Washington Free Beacon)

Russia Wants to Build New Missiles to Hit the U.S.

Get this: The General commanding Russia Strategic Rocket Forces, Lieutenant General Sergei Karakayev, said in December that the new Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) are needed — because the existing ones are vulnerable to US missile defenses.

This is apparently the result of all that nice goodwill generated by the Obama administration’s “reset” of relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the ratification of the New Start Arms Control Treaty. It should come as no surprise: nuclear weapons, along with oil and gas exports, are just about the only thing that still qualifies Russia as a “Great Power.”

If Russia’s leaders still resent their loss of superpower status and feel they have a strategic need to challenge the US wherever possible, then spending the money to build a new type of nuclear missile aimed at the US makes sense.

Ever since Ronald Reagan gave his famous “Star Wars” speech in March1983, which lead to the rebirth of American missile defense efforts, opponents of the idea that it is not only possible but desirable to build defensive systems that can shoot down incoming nuclear missiles and their warheads have claimed that the technology cannot be developed. Yet now, a senior Russian officer has publicly admitted that America has built a system that can shoot down the solid propellent missiles that Reagan and his team thought were the most dangerous ones in the Soviet inventory. This is a major development: it proves that Ronald Reagan was right not to overestimate Soviet technological capacities.

Of course, as the US GMD system has fewer than 30 operational interceptors, the ability of Russia’s missile force with its hundreds of ICBMs and SLBMs to overwhelm the US defense system is obvious. However, if the US were to chose to build a much larger number of interceptors, and to build up a “multilayered” national missile defense system, as has been promised by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Russia would no longer have an unquestioned ability to hit a wide array of US targets with nuclear warheads. The reliability of Russia’s missile strike force would be compromised.

If this is the motivation for Russia’s announced decision to build a new type of nuclear missile, then Russia’s commitment to “reset” its relationship with the US is based on a wildly false premise. After all, if the US does not threaten Russia’s territorial integrity, why should Russia worry about America’s ability to defend itself ? Or do Russia’s leaders still believe that a balance of terror, based on the old doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), is necessary?

Full article: Russia Wants to Build New Missiles to Hit the U.S. (Stonegate Institute)