Hoeven Working on Defense Appropriations Committee to Modernize Nuclear Forces

Senator Outlines Cost-Effectiveness of Nuclear Deterrent, Importance to Allies

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee this week, Defense Secretary James Mattis again affirmed his commitment to modernizing the nation’s nuclear forces in an exchange with Senator John Hoeven. The senator stressed the cost-effectiveness of the nuclear triad in maintaining America’s security and its importance to the nation’s allies around the world in deterring threats.

“The effort to modernize our nuclear forces only takes up four percent of the defense budget this year,” said Hoeven. “That is a worthwhile and affordable investment in the security of our nation and that of our allies. Secretary Mattis continues to make clear his commitment to this priority, and we will continue working with him to advance these efforts, including upgrades to the B-52 and replacements for the air-launch cruise missile and our ICBM fleet.”

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven is working to ensure strong support for the dual nuclear missions at the Minot Air Force Base. The senator’s efforts helped result in the administration requesting a new $66 million helicopter complex for the Minot Air Force Base as part of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal. The project will include a new aircraft maintenance building, aircraft shelter facilities, an alert hangar and a helicopter operations facility. The existing facility is configured only to support the UH-N1 helicopter, and the aging buildings are not adequate for the replacement helicopter fleet.

This comes in addition to the funding priorities Hoeven secured in the FY2018 funding bill, which include:

  • $451 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • $399 million to refurbish the W80-4 warhead for use on the nation’s new nuclear cruise missile.
  • $221 million for upgrades to the B-52.
  • $216 million to replace the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
  • $109 million to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.
  • $27 million for a new indoor firing range.