Lately, the United States’ nuclear arsenal has been constantly under the spotlight, especially after Donald Trump threatened North Korea.
This Tuesday, Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker started a hearing, with the purpose of examining the President’s authority to order a nuclear strike, according to Fox News.
It is the first time since 1976 when the nuclear authority is scrutinized, says the same source, but this doesn’t come as a surprise.
Donald Trump made his views on this issue clear, even before stepping into the Oval Office, claiming that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
Of course, this leads to a big question: what’s the nuclear arsenal he can actually use?
Trump relies on the Triad
Since the Cold War, the country trusted the three-ponged nuclear weapon strategy: sea, air and ground. And, under Trump, this is expected to continue. Even more, despite the vast nuclear arsenal and the multiple methods to deliver it, a big modernization is already under way, with a total cost of $400 billion.
Specifically, the Congress approved to fund new B-21 Raider next-generation stealth bombers, Ohio-class ballistic missile nuclear submarine replacements, as well as Minuteman III ground-based intercontinental missiles replacement.
Donald Trump has also ordered a review that might lead to discovering new ideas to adapt, modernize and innovate, in order to be prepared for an eventual threat.
Strikes by air, the method of choice
In the eventuality of an attack, the air component can be deployed, as the behemoth B-52H Stratofortresses and the stealth B-2A Spirits are prepared. Specifically, the B-52H have a range of almost 9000 miles, not to mention that they are in service for more than 50 years.
Finally, an additional option is the B-2A stealth bomber, a newer aircraft, which started being used 20 years ago and able to travel undetected. 16 units are ready for attack, with three different types of nuclear bombs.
As for the future plans, Donald Trump will be able to use 100 brand new B-21 Raider bombs, currently in the works.