Stealthy New Nuclear Cruise Missile Aims to Deter the Enemy

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America’s strategic bomber force is comprised of some of the Air Force’s oldest aircraft. The B-52 has served since the 1950s and will remain a valuable aircraft for decades more. However, this is contingent on developing the Long Range Standoff cruise missile to replace the aging Air-Launched Cruise Missile. This new cruise missile will have the range and targeting accuracy to keep the B-52 out of harm’s way in the face of increasingly advanced countermeasures and ensure the B-52 remains a credible piece of the United States nuclear deterrent.

The LRSO will also increase the versatility of more advanced aircraft, such as the B-2, F-35, and the forthcoming B-21. Though the LRSO would add more capabilities, critics warn these capabilities and associated costs are unnecessary, and the LRSO could instead compel adversaries to develop new weapons or countermeasures of their own.

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