November 28, 2022

USA: Fielding of W76-2 warhead

The W76-2 has been fitted atop an undisclosed number of Trident ballistic missiles carried aboard the US Navy’s Ohio-class submarines. File photo: AP
The W76-2 has been fitted atop an undisclosed number of Trident ballistic missiles carried aboard the US Navy’s Ohio-class submarines. File photo: AP

The U.S. Navy has fielded the W76-2 low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead, Mr. John Rood, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“In the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the department identified the requirement to “modify a small number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads” to address the conclusion that potential adversaries, like Russia, believe that employment of low-yield nuclear weapons will give them an advantage over the United States and its allies and partners.

“This supplemental capability strengthens deterrence and provides the United States a prompt, more survivable low-yield strategic weapon; supports our commitment to extended deterrence; and demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario,” Rood said.

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