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CBRN Assessment

USAF, USN still considering nuclear weapons commonality, but cautiously

27 July 2017

The US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy (USN) are still mulling ways to make their nuclear-armed missiles more common, but are wary of creating single points of failure, according to Pentagon’s top nuclear officer.

USAF-USN nuclear weapons commonality is “certainly not probably as visible as it was in 2015, but it hasn’t fallen by the wayside,” General John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told reporters on 26 July.

“I have some desire for commonality and some concerns for commonality,” he said.

Gen Hyten said he desires efficiencies in development, maintenance, and other possible cost-savings, but he worries there could be “single point failures in two elements of the triad”.

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