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Unbelievable, But True

REFERENCES TO THE F-35 FROM THE 2018 NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW

 

 

“Modernizing our dual-capable fighter-bombers with next-generation F-35 fighter aircraft will maintain the strength of NATO’s deterrence posture and maintain our ability to forward deploy nuclear weapons should the security situation demand it.”        

  —Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis   (Preface, page II)

 

 

“The United States is incorporating nuclear capability onto the forward-deployable, nuclear-capable F-35 as a replacement for the current aging DCA (dual capable aircraft).  In conjunction with the ongoing life extension program for the B61 bomb, it will be a key contributor to continued regional deterrence stability and the assurance of allies.” 

 —(Introduction, page X-XI)

 

 

“Consequently, the United States will maintain and enhance as necessary, the capability to forward deploy nuclear bombers and DCA around the world.  We are committed to upgrading DCA with the nuclear-capable F-35 aircraft.”                                

  —(Introduction, page XII)

 

 

“The United States is also incorporating nuclear capability onto the F-35, to be used by the United States and NATO allies, as a replacement for the current aging DCA.  Improved DCA readiness and the arrival of the F-35, a ‘fifth generation aircraft,’ in conjunction with the ongoing B61-12 gravity bomb LEP, will preserve the DCA contribution to regional deterrence stability and assurance.”

 —(Chapter VII, Current and Future U.S. Nuclear Capabilities, page 50)

 

 

“Consequently, the United States will maintain and enhance as necessary, the capability to forward deploy nuclear bombers and DCA around the world.  We are committed to upgrading DCA with the nuclear-capable F-35 aircraft.”                                 

 —(Chapter VII, Current and Future U.S. Nuclear Capabilities, page 54)

The Department of Defense’s Nuclear Posture Review was published in February 2018 by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  Read the full NPR here.

CITATIONS FROM DEFENSE ARTICLES ON THE F-35’S NUCLEAR ROLE

 

 

“Detailed risk reduction activities have been completed ensuring the F-35A is fully compatible with the B61-12 weapon.  Planning for Block 4 nuclear certification efforts have begun in anticipation of initial B61-12 integration on the F-35A this year.”

            — Maj Emily Grabowski, Air Force Spokeswoman (May 2018)

"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is slated to be armed with the B61 nuclear bomber as early as 2020, but could carry the weapon sooner.  The F-35 is set to be fitted with the B61-12 Mod gravity bomb sometime between 2020 and 2022.  If the weapon is needed sooner, the schedule could be quickened.  Arming the F-35 with the nuclear bomb will require some extra training for pilots, but nothing out of the ordinary from their usual regimen."

            —Brig Gen Scott Pleus, Director Joint Strike Fighter Program Integration (Jan 2017)

 

 

"Nuclear certification planning efforts — part of the F-35 Block 4 modernization program — had been initiated to equip the aircraft (the F-35) with the nuclear bomb."      

Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, Joint Program Office Executive Officer (testimony before Congress, March 2016)

“…Lockheed Martin is receiving $83.1 million from the Air Force for development and testing of equipment for F-35A nuclear capability.  It’s known as making an aircraft “dual-capable’ being able to deliver both conventional and nuclear weapons.”

            —Stephen Carlson, Defense News, November 2018

 

“A combination of accuracy and low-yield make the B61-12 the most usable nuclear bomb in America’s arsenal.  This makes using nuclear weapons thinkable for the first time since the 1940s.”  “Yet the most dangerous nuclear bomb in American’s arsenal may be the new B61-12.” “It is the most expensive nuclear bomb project ever.” “What makes the B61-12 bomb the most dangerous nuclear weapon in American’s arsenal is it usability.  This usability derives from a combination of its accuracy and low-yield.”

            —nationalinterest.org, October 2018

“It is still unknown whether all operational F-35s will be converted to the Block 4 version, but that decision could also affect the cost of the follow-on modernization program.”

            —Valerie Insinna, defensenews.com, October 2018

“It makes sense that the F-35 would increasingly be called upon to function as a key element of US nuclear deterrence strategy.”  “As part of this equation, an F-35 might also be able to respond much more quickly, with low-yield nuclear weapons in the event that new intelligence information locating a new target emerges.”

            —Kris Obsorn, NationalInterest.org, May 2018

“The Pentagon’s accelerated development of a “nuclear-armed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter attack envelope is of critical importance to a new sweeping strategic nuclear weapons modernization and development strategy aimed at countering Russia, China and North Korea — and addressing a much more serious global nuclear weapons threat environment.  Adding a nuclear-capable F-35 to the air portion of the nuclear triad — to supplement the existing B-2, B-52 and emerging B-21 — will bring a new dimension to US nuclear attack options and potentially place a new level of pressure upon potential adversaries.”  “…a nuclear-armed F-35 is slated to emerge in the early 2020s, if not sooner.”

            —Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven, February 8, 2018 (confirmed by senior officials with the Office of the Secretary of Defense)

"The F-35 was designed with a requirement to carry the nuclear payload — and in 2015 flew with the device to measure its vibration in the aircraft’s weapons bay."

            —military.com January 2017