General John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, has stressed the need for military modernization to help prevent nuclear threats in the future, Redstone Alabama reported Sunday.
Jeff Martin writes that to make General Hyten’s point he pointed out that the Defense Department’s latest ballistic missile submarine was commissioned in 1997, the newest land based intercontinental ballistic missiles were created in the 1970s and the U.S. Air Force still flies the legacy 1950s and 1960s era B-52 bombers.
The DoD could begin construction for the Columbia-class submarines intended to replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines in 2021 after the Columbia-class submarines entered Milestone B, the report says. However General Hyten warned that the results could be tough if the program is delayed.
“If the Ohio Class Replacement program gets delayed a year, every year that it gets delayed, I lose as the commander, or my successor, I’ll lose one submarine from the strategic force. Hyten Two years go by, two submarines drop out. At some point, you lose the sea element of that triad” Hyten told Redstone Alabama.
The “triad” he’s referring to is the strategic deterrent triad. Sea-based nuclear ballistic submarines provide one, nuclear-armed bombers provide a second, and nuclear-tipped ICBMs provide a third.
General Hyten added that modernization work for those programs is underway, Martin reports.