Pentagon planning two new nuclear weapons: report

Pentagon planning two new nuclear weapons: report
© Getty Images

The U.S. is planning to develop two new nuclear weapons, including a "low yield" warhead, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

That low-yield warhead would be used with the Trident missile, a rocket deployed on U.S. Navy submarines, according to the Journal. 

The Pentagon is also planning to develop a new nuclear-armed cruise missile that would also be deployed at sea. That plan would reintroduce a system to the U.S. nuclear arsenal that was retired in 2010. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The recommendations for the new weapons are laid out in the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review, which was commissioned last year by President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE

HuffPost published an unclassified draft copy of the review last week, though the Pentagon has said that the draft is "pre-decisional."

Still, the plans to develop the new nuclear weapons come in response to growing military threats from Russia and China, which the Pentagon says are moving toward an embrace of nuclear weapons in their strategies.

“While the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction,” a draft of the plan said, according to the Journal.

“The United States must be capable of developing and deploying new capabilities, if necessary, to deter, assure, achieve U.S. objectives if deterrence fails, and hedge against uncertainty,” it added.

At the same time, the U.S. has sought to push back against North Korea's development of its nuclear arsenal and ballistic missiles, leading an international pressure campaign in an effort to force Pyongyang to abandon its plans.

The review pins the cost of the plan to modernize and operate the U.S. nuclear arsenal at 6.4 percent of the Pentagon's budget, at most, according to the Journal. It currently requires 2 to 3 percent.