Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Key Navy Official Calls for Joint Strategic-Missile Work with Air Force
A key Navy leader said his service should cooperate with the Air Force on modernizing strategic missiles to cut costs.
Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, director of the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, in a breakfast speech last week said, "In the past, it's been, 'the Navy designs [submarine-launched ballistic missiles], the Air Force designs [intercontinental ballistic missiles], and never shall they talk,'" Breaking Defense reported. "I'm trying to break down those walls. ... We should be required to talk at the design and development phase."
Benedict said NASA's decision to end its Space Shuttle program has had a huge impact on the domestic rocket-engine industry because the space agency was the biggest purchaser of solid-fuel rocket boosters, which are also used in the Navy's Trident nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. As a result, industry prices have risen.
The vice admiral said if the Navy is unable to persuade NASA to keep purchasing solid-fuel boosters for other space programs it could try to convince the Air Force to continue using such boosters in its updated land-based missile force. The Navy cannot switch to a liquid-fuel model for its missiles because the propellant is not safe within the narrow confines of a submarine, according to the online defense magazine.
The Air Force is expected by the end of the month to wrap up an "analysis of alternatives" for maintaining a future ICBM capability. The service has said it will look to "buy the most economical and enduring option" for each component of its updated land-based strategic missile.
Benedict said he would like to see the development of a rocket "propellant mix that uses common constituents, so that we can get the cost advantage of bulk buys, and then mix them potentially in slightly different formulations [for each user]."
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
Dec. 3, 2014
This page contains interactive 3D missile models for China. Users can drag the model by pressing and holding their mouse’s scroll wheel. They can zoom in and out on the model by rolling their scroll wheel up and down, and can orbit the model by clicking and dragging their left mouse button.
Dec. 3, 2014
The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies has created a series of 3D models of ballistic and cruise missiles for the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.