The US Congress has been urged to invest in research to develop a nuclear warhead to replace those built for the Cold War.

Strategic Command head General Kevin Chilton urged Congress to study the viability of building a post-Cold War warhead through the Reliable Replacement Warhead Design Definition and Cost Study at the US Strategic Posture Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Request for Strategic Programmes hearing.

Chilton says the need for warheads with a high yield-to-weight ratio has passed, and the focus is now on reliability, safety, security and maintainability, DefenceNews reports.

“We assert a modern stockpile designed to provide a reliable, safe and secure nuclear umbrella will serve to dissuade and deter our adversaries – and assure our allies – reducing their perceived need for an indigenous nuclear programme,” he says.

Chilton also requested continued investment in the military’s next generation communications system.

By staff writer