Gen. Kevin Chilton, head of US Strategic Command, does not believe that a conventional ICBM or SLBM could substitute for a nuclear deterrent. James Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, had just told Senators during an April 22 hearing that the nuclear posture review considered the possibility of fielding “a small number of conventional ICBMs” for the prompt global strike mission, noting that if the ICBM still maintained a “traditional ballistic missile trajectory,” it would be counted against the new START limits. He said the Pentagon is doing more analysis on this as part of the on-going long-range strike study. Chilton added that he considers a conventional PGS “a niche capability, another weapon in the quiver.” However, he emphasized, “You don’t replace the nuclear deterrent with that one-for-one or not even ten-for-one.”
Lessons from the KC-46 and F-35 will prove useful to the testing community in the years to come, the nominee to take over the role of director of operational test and evaluation for the Pentagon told lawmakers Oct. 19.