Last week, the US Air Force awarded Raytheon with a $2 billion contract to develop a new air-launched nuclear cruise missile as part of Washington’s plan to modernize its massive nuclear arsenal.
The missiles, known as the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) weapon, would replace a 1980s era air-launched cruise missile. The LRSOs would be used on long-range bombers, like B-52s and B-1s.
Raytheon, the former employer of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, is expected to be finished developing the LRSOs in 2027. The project is just one small part of the nuclear modernization, a plan that calls for replacing equipment in all legs of the nuclear triad.
The plan to modernize the US’s entire nuclear arsenal is expected to cost taxpayers about $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years. Unfortunately, there are no serious conversations in Washington about dismantling the arsenal or even reducing the number of nuclear warheads.