DoD Begins Low-Yield Nuclear Cruise Missile Dev’t

The Department of Defense has begun the development of low-yield submarine-launched nuclear cruise missiles, USNI News reported Wednesday.

John Rood, undersecretary of policy at the Department of Defense, said the U.S. military also requested funding through fiscal year 2020 to perform low-yield alteration to existing ballistic missiles and warheads deployed on submarines. Rood also noted in a Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing that China and Russia started modernization efforts for their nuclear weaponry, including low-yield missiles.

“The sub-launched cruise missile is further behind, and we’re just doing an AoA or analysis of alternatives at this stage,” said Rood.

Representatives Adam Smith and Susan Davis are questioning the need for low-yield missiles, stating the currrent U.S. nuclear weaponry is sufficient.

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