Pentagon starts modernization of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) including those stationed in Europe.
The new budget allocated for this purpose under the 11 billion dollars implies that this way the Obama administration is trying to put pressure on Moscow, which for a long time did not agree to negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons, demanding provisionally withdraw U.S. nuclear forces from Europe.
Washington makes it clear that will not do it.
The Pentagon plans to modernize its tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in order to extend the period of its operation, as well as to improve the accuracy and reliability. Referring to Hans Kristensen, an expert Federation of American Scientists, the British newspaper The Guardian reports that it is primarily about 200 tactical nuclear bombs, B-61, located in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey.
These will be applied to the program “Life Extension”, which according to the new budget (based on the few years) will cost $ 10 billion Also, the bombs will be adapted for the bomber-fighter F-35, built on the technology of “stealth” ( almost invisible to radar).
This is highlighted even $ 1 billion upgrade weapons will be sent to Europe in 2019 or 2020.
Experts have called Barack Obama’s decision “nuclear 180-degrees.” “This is a significant upgrade of U.S. nuclear capacity in Europe – said Christensen. – This is in direct contradiction to the promises Obama made in 2010, that he would not deploy a new weapon. ”
The expert continued: “That what would return to Europe after modernization will be a guided nuclear bomb.
In combination with the F-35 fighter jet, which has the characteristics of “stealth”, it will expand the number of targets that can be threatened from Europe, as a more accurate hit, you can use a smaller charge capacity. This is very important because there are less fallout. Many people are very concerned about this, since it makes nuclear weapons more usable. ”
According to the military expert, Colonel-General Viktor Esin retired, “modernization of nuclear bombs B-61 for renewal of their useful life is not a surprise. This is not about the creation of a new nuclear weapon, just a completely abundance of tactical nuclear weapons are not going to happen by the U.S.”
This idea elaborated the head of the Center for International Security IWEIR, academician Alexei Arbatov.
He confirmed that the nuclear bomb B-61 – is the only tactical nuclear weapons possessed by the United States.
There are approximately 200 in Europe and about 300 warehouses in the United States. Everything else is liquidated or is in the process of liquidation – the shells and rocket fleet, and sea-launched cruise missiles “Tomahawk”. “Thus, according to all accounts, Russia has at least 10 times more tactical nuclear weapons, and maybe even 15 times.”- said the expert.
In this matter, there is the military-technical and political aspects. U.S. offers Russia to begin negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons and exchange information without any preconditions.
In general, Russia does not want to reduce tactical nuclear weapons, which compensates for the superiority of NATO (and behind the scenes – China) in conventional forces, and the third is a response to the nuclear powers, which, in contrast to the United States, are located within reach of Russia.
But first, Moscow asks U.S. to at least withdraw tactical nuclear weapons from Europe into its territory.
Washington says it is on that tactical nuclear weapons that remain in Europe – a symbol of American security guarantees, even, for example, the fact that Germany has a very strong movement for withdrawal of these weapons from the territory of the country.
“When it became clear that it was not to break the deadlock, the Americans have adopted a program of modernization and re-equipment of tactical nuclear weapons – drew attention to the” NG “Arbatov.
– Apparently, at the same time will be upgraded and storage.
Americans thus make it clear that the conditions precedent are not accepted, though htey do not intend to attain same number of tactical nuclear weapons, otherwise they would not have eliminated sea-launched cruise missiles, of which they had several hundred.
But, even 200 tactical nuclear bombs will destroy any superpower.
The fact is that our tactical nuclear weapons will not reach to the United States, but the U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe, are reaching us and are therefore in fact, strategic.
America makes it clear that it intends for long time to leave nuclear weapons in Europe if Russia would continue to refuse negotiations.
The message from the U.S. is that neither savings nor the idea of a nuclear-free world, nor the pressure of the left and the green will not force them to withdraw tactical nuclear weapons from Europe unilaterally. ”
As for the adaptation of B-61 bombs under the F-35 aircraft, according to the expert, it is associated with what is available now in Europe, the U.S. F-16 aircraft, which are the carriers of tactical nuclear weapons and becoming obsolete and are being therefore replaced.
Previously, they were intended to be replaced by the plane of the fifth generation F-22, but then it was decided to proceed with the procurement of more simple models of the F-35.
Senior Fellow, Institute of International Security Problems Alex Fenenko noted that the idea of modernization of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons is not new. “This plan was first attached document in 1996 under Bill Clinton – he said. – Then the administration announced that part of the tactical nuclear weapons to be converted into a fundamentally new warheads – with enhanced penetration effect or to destroy buried targets.
When Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was, the program was stopped. I think Americans are returning to it. During the ten years of the study progressed, and the United States are ready for the implementation of certain projects for which has not been previously technological reserve. ”
The political aspect of the matter is closely connected with the German question, said Fenenko.
Since the end of 2009, the situation around tactical nuclear weapons in Germany has deteriorated, the Germans began to demand its withdrawal.
In 2010, at the NATO summit in Tallinn, the Americans forced the Germans, “the Tallinn formula”, under which no country in NATO alone can not solve the issue of the withdrawal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons.
The current initiative – a possible continuation of the “Tallinn formula” of NATO.
Nuclear weapons remain in place and the defense can only be a shared one.
No separatism on German side on the nuclear issue should be. U.S. nuclear presence in Germany persists.
It may be that Americans are not only involved us in a new arms race in Europe, but also show us what they are doing so in response to the rejection of negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons, an expert has suggested.
Like, once such a failure occurred, then we (USA) begin to modernize tactical nuclear weapons, and see who from this will be worse.
On the other hand, the Americans provoke us to reciprocate on tactical nuclear weapons, and this will exacerbate the conflict between Russia and the EU.
If Russia will take such steps as it touches not primarily the United States and Europe, and Washington will present the events as an argument for the preservation of the American presence.
We will be present in the eyes of Europe as the main enemy, which creates a problem.
“It fell through several initiatives relating to the negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons, including the fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry refused to negotiate on tactical nuclear weapons without reference to missile defense.
You can compare this with the total collapse of talks on European security. That’s a trend of the last five years: negotiations on a treaty on European security failed even in 2010, the negotiations on the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, too, in general, failed.
Russia has growing irritation with regard to the OSCE. An unpleasant pause, indicating that we do not have any basic agreements, there are no rules of the game in the Euro-Atlantic region. And it’s disturbing, “- concluded Fenenko.
Translated from Russian.