One year from today, on February 5, 2021, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is scheduled to expire, leaving the United States and Russia without a single bilateral nuclear arms control agreement for the first time in nearly 50 years. This would mean the end of constraints on either country’s nuclear arsenal which, especially when combined with worsening relations between the two, could be a recipe for a new nuclear arms race. It will also end the intrusive verification measures that have provided both countries with substantial confidence in their assessments of each other’s arsenals over the past several decades.
Latest Missiles and Missile Defense Posts
The Last Remaining Nuclear Arms Control Treaty Between the U.S. and Russia Could Expire in One Year, Here’s Why That’s Dangerous
February 5, 2020 8:39 AM EDT
February 3, 2020 11:56 AM EDT
Recent reports would have you believe that hypersonic weapons—an emerging class of low-altitude, high-speed missiles—are poised to revolutionize modern military strategy. A recent op-ed in the New York Times characterized these “game-changing” missiles as the “apotheosis” of airborne weaponry, capable of feats that “no missile can currently achieve.” This fantastical depiction, which underpins a race among the major military powers to develop these weapons, is part of a long pattern of media hype.
But are these weapons really so revolutionary? Will they upend the global security environment? And does their arrival make conflict between United States, Russia, and China inevitable?
October 28, 2019 5:46 AM EDT
Fu Cong, the director general of the Arms Control Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently called on all nuclear weapons states to abandon the policy of preparing to launch nuclear weapons on warning of an incoming nuclear attack. He issued the unprecedented official statement in his keynote address to a major international arms control conference held in Shenzhen in mid-October.
Cong also asked nuclear weapons states to take additional steps to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their national security doctrines, including joining China in publicly committing to never use nuclear weapons first. Read more >
October 1, 2019 10:19 PM EDT
Various sources are reporting that North Korea test-launched two ballistic missiles tonight on lofted trajectories.
One of the missiles is reported to have reached a maximum altitude of 910 km (570 miles) and splashed down at a range of 450 km (280 miles) from the launch point. This missile would have had a burnout speed of about 3.74 km/s with a loft angle of 81.5 degrees, and a flight time of about 17 minutes.
If flown on a standard trajectory with the same payload, that missile would have a maximum range of about 1,900 km (1,200 miles).
This would classify the missile as medium range (1,000 to 3,500 km).
September 18, 2019 12:30 PM EDT
The Congressional defense budget process is entering its conclusion, though battles remain. Despite little to show for it, the overall budget for missile defense continues to be robust. For example, the Senate appropriators met last week and added $1.2 billion above the Trump administration’s budget request for missile defense, including an additional $532 million for upgrades and six more boosters for the beleaguered Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, and added $222 million to fund program to replace the recently canceled Redesigned Kill Vehicle program. That is an unfortunate waste of tax dollars.
However, in other areas Congress—in particular the House—made a number of useful and positive corrections to the administration’s $9.4 billion missile defense budget request. The House also put several sensible new missile defense policies in place that deserve support. Read more >