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NNSA Starts Producing W76-2 Submarine-Launched Nuclear Weapons

1 min read

The National Nuclear Security Administration has confirmed that the Department of Energy commenced production of the W76-2 nuclear weapon at NNSA’s Pantex Plant in the Texas Panhandle, NPR reported Monday.

Hans Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, said the W76-2 is a variant of the U.S. Navy’s submarine launched W76-1 weapon which has a yield of nearly 100 kilotons. Kristensen said the W76-2 will be smaller than its predecessor and have a potential yield of five to seven kilotons.

The Trump administration released the Nuclear Posture Review detailing plans to develop smaller nuclear weapons launched from a submarine. The report claims Russia has developed its own small nuclear weapons that could give the nation a warfighting advantage. The NNSA noted that the first W76-2 production unit is underway ahead of a limited delivery to the Navy in October.

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