B61 Life Extension Program: Costs and Policy Considerations

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B61 Life Extension Program: Costs and Policy Considerations

While the United States plans to make minor reductions in the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), it also plans to develop a wide range of new delivery systems, nuclear weapons, and nuclear production facilities. This unprecedented modernization program, which will recapitalize all three legs of the nuclear triad as well as the underlying infrastructure, is estimated to raise the cost of the nuclear triad to as much as $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

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