Extensive Investment in USAF’s Nuclear Enterprise Ahead

The Air Force will see a significant amount of investment in its nuclear-capable platforms and infrastructure in the coming years, said Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, Air Force Global Strike Command boss. The White House has indicated that the US will invest more than $100 billion over the next decade to modernize and sustain the nuclear deterrent. About $40.5 billion of that total is destined for the Air Force’s nuclear-capable bombers and ICBMs, Klotz said at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles. Looking ahead, the Air Force wants to install the 1760 data bus in the bomb bays of its B-52s so that the bombers can carry satellite-guided weapons internally. Other B-52 investments include a modernized radar and a replacement for the ALCM standoff nuclear cruise missile. The B-2A bombers are currently receiving a modern active electronically scanned array radar. Future B-2 upgrades include defensive management systems and weapons system software integration resources, he said. As for the Minuteman III fleet, the planned $7 billion tip-to-tail modernization is well underway, including new guidance electronics, adapted Peacekeeper re-entry vehicles, new secure communication links, and new propellant.