Two components of the American nuclear shield at once – sea and air – faced a serious crisis due to the fact that at least a year and a half the deadlines for implementing state programs for the production of atomic warheads would be disrupted.
According to “The Drive”, the reason for such a gloomy situation for the United States was the desire of officials to save on capacitors. The quality of the five-dollar devices forced the Department of Energy to abandon their use in programs for the production of nuclear bombs B61-12 and warheads W88 ALT 370, designed for ballistic missiles “Trident D5”, which are armed with submarines. Thus, the implementation of programs is postponed for 18-20 months, and additional costs will amount to about $850 million.
As explained by the National Nuclear Safety Administration, commercial capacitors should have been used in both programs. Thus, officials hoped to “keep costs under control”.
“Early tests of the capacitors and the subsequent tests of both the individual components and the main assembly, as well as full-scale flight tests of the system, showed that these components meet the requirements”, – the Deputy Head of Defense Programs at the National Assembly assured representatives of the US Congress nuclear safety administration.
At the same time, he stressed, problems arose during the “stress testing”, that is, under abnormal working conditions. With this in mind, experts doubted that the capacitors would be able to function smoothly over the life of the ammunition. It was decided to replace the five-dollar devices with analogues worth $75 each.