The U.S. should maintain a nuclear deterrent capability and upgrade the triad in the face of Russia’s newest weapons, such as the Vanguard hypersonic missiles, Pentagon deputy chief for procurement and maintenance Alan Schaffer said.
“This (new weapon) is a pressing threat to our defense. It’s a pressing threat to our triad. And that’s why upgrading the triad is so important. And that’s why the MOD is prioritizing hypersonic weapons and defense against hypersonic weapons. This is a specific challenge”, – he said at the conference on nuclear deterrence.
According to Schaffer, China and Russia are engaged in such developments, despite the fact that they have an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles sufficient for deterrence tasks.
“China and Russia are deploying new weapon systems in the nuclear deterrent space, in the strategic space. They will challenge us. We have to be ready to defend ourselves against these weapons and we have to be ready to offer retaliatory strike systems”, – the Pentagon deputy head added.
According to him, in the absence of effective ways to protect against hypersonic weapons, the presence of nuclear arsenal plays a major role.
“Nuclear deterrence has proven very effective in keeping us from starting a large-scale conflict. And I insist that we must retain a nuclear deterrent in the future”, – Schaffer concluded.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump said that in the absence of arms control treaties with Russia and China, Washington will build the “most powerful” nuclear forces in the world.
Last June, the U.S. leader announced his intention to modernize nuclear weapons and create new ones. The United States plans to implement this intention over the next ten years.