The Defense Department cannot afford to replace its aging nuclear-missile submarines, ICBMs, and long-range strategic bombers unless it gets a funding boost or radical policy changes are made, according to a top Pentagon official.
Even if Congress approves the White House’s 2016 budget for the Pentagon, the Pentagon will find itself $10 billion to $12 short beginning in 2021.
“We don’t have a solution to that problem right now,” Kendall said, asked by a reporter about the plan for funding a replacement for the Navy’s Ohio-class submarines. All more than 30 years old, these “boomers” slip silently around the world’s oceans, waiting for the command to launch their nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
The entire U.S. nuclear inventory needs to be upgraded by the 2030s. That includes the submarines, land-based Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles and new stealth bomber. Together, the three make up the “nuclear triad,” the cornerstone of America’s deterrent force. The Pentagon also says it needs a new nuclear cruise missile.