National Security

‘Fire And Fury’: The Most Powerful Military Weapons Trump Has At His Disposal

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Ryan Saavedra Contributor
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President Trump gave a stern warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on Tuesday when he said, “they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

The United States boasts one of the largest militaries in the world – a military that is also widely considered to be the most powerful without any close competitors.

From nuclear weapons to stealth bombers, below are the top five military assets and top five military ordnance currently used by the U.S. military.

The top five military assets:

5. F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor is the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, and no other nation has a fighter aircraft that can match its capabilities. The Air Force states, “Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities.”

Manufactured by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the Air Force says there is a total inventory of 183 F-22 aircraft with the cost listed at $143 million each.

4. Arleigh Burkeclass (DDG 51) destroyers

The Arleigh Burke class of naval destroyers are among the most sophisticated in the world and serve in a variety of roles for the U.S. military. The Navy states, “are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.”

The destroyers come armed with a variety of weapons ranging from surface-to-air missiles, surface-to-surface missiles, anti-submarine rockets, torpedoes, 5-inch deck guns, 25-mm Gatling gun, helicopters, and several other self-defense weapons.

There are currently 62 Arleigh Burke class destroyers in service with an additional 14 under contract with different ship builders. The Navy states there are currently eight under construction.

The cost for an Arleigh Burke class destroyer varies given different years of construction and variations between each destroyer, but recent contracts with General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works indicate a $700+ million price tag each.

3. B-2 Spirit Bomber

The United States Air Force boasts the world’s most sophisticated multi-role heavy bomber in the B-2 Spirit.

The B-2 is a stealth bomber that is capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions anywhere on in the world as it is virtually undetectable by radar.

With at the ability to cruise at 50,000 feet, the B-2 is an intercontinental bomber with a range of nearly 7,000 miles.

Several companies collaborated on the manufacturing of the B-2 including Northrop Grumman Corp. and Contractor Team: Boeing Military Airplanes Co., Hughes Radar Systems Group, General Electric Aircraft Engine Group and Vought Aircraft Industries, Inc.

The Air Force states that there are currently 20 active B-2 bombers which cost well over $1.1 billion each.

2. Ohio Class Nuclear Submarines (SSBN only)

There are two-types of submarines that comprise the 18 different Ohio Class, the Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBN – 14 total) and Guided Missile Submarines (SSGN – 4 total), both nuclear powered.

The SSBNs, often referred to as “boomers,” provide the U.S. with its most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability if its other nuclear abilities are not available.

The submarines were specifically designed for stealth and the precise delivery of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world. The Navy states that the submarines, “can carry up to 24 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with multiple, independently-targeted warheads… The SSBN’s strategic weapon is the Trident II D5 missile.”

Manufactured by General Dynamics, these ultra-quiet submarines are nuclear powered and can run non-stop for 20 years without refueling. The total cost for the Ohio Class SSBNs approximately $100 billion.

1. Nimitz Class Nuclear Aircraft Carriers

The 10 Nimitz Class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are the largest warships in the world. With the ability to carry 60+ aircraft, a single Nimitz Class aircraft carrier contains more firepower than many entire nations.

The Navy states, “Aircraft carriers support and operate aircraft that engage in attacks on airborne, afloat, and ashore targets that threaten free use of the sea and engage in sustained power projection operations in support of U.S. and coalition forces.”

Manufactured by Newport News Shipbuilding (now Northrop Grumman Ship Systems), the carriers are powered by two nuclear reactors. There is no limit to the range a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier can travel as they only need to be refueled once every few decades.

At nearly 1,100 feet long and costing $8.5 billion each, these carriers are able to cruise through the world’s oceans at an astonishing 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour).

For comparison, it is worth noting that Russia and China each have only one aircraft carrier, neither of which is anywhere near the Nimitz Class.

The top five military ordnance:

5. GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator

The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a 30,000-pound bunker buster, designed to penetrate the deepest and most fortified bunkers in the world as well as reach nuclear weapons that are stored deep beneath the earth’s surface.

The bomb is 31.5 inches in diameter, is 20.5 feet long, and weighs 9,000 pounds heavier than the MOAB which was used early in Trump’s presidency against ISIS in Afghanistan.

Manufactured by Boeing, the exact cost of this weapon is unknown although it is easily well into the millions of dollars. The U.S. Air Force states that a total of 20 were contracted for delivery.

4. Tomahawk Cruise Missile

The Navy states, “The Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) is an all-weather, long range, subsonic cruise missile used for deep land attack warfare, launched from U. S. Navy surface ships and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom Royal Navy submarines.”

There are different variations of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile which can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads. Depending on the specific variation of the missile, a Tomahawk Cruise Missile can travel 800-1,500 miles at 550 mph.

Used “for striking high value or heavily defended land targets,” the Tomahawk Cruise Missile is manufactured by Raytheon for a cost of $1.59 million each with thousands stockpiled in the U.S. arsenal.

3. Trident II (D5) Missile

Manufactured by Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc., “The Trident II Strategic Weapon System (SWS) is deployed aboard Ohio-class (Trident) submarines and consists of: the Trident II (D5) Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM); Reentry System; and supporting Shipboard Systems,” the Navy reports.

The missile carries a Nuclear MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles) warhead, which allows the U.S. the ability to bring fire and fury anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the missile is 44 feet long, 83 inches in diameter, weighs 130,000 pounds, has a range of 4,000 nautical miles (4,600 statute miles), and costs $30.9 million each.

2. LGM-30 Minuteman Missile

The LGM-30G Minuteman is an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, designed as a part of the U.S. “strategic deterrent forces under the control of the Air Force Global Strike Command. The ‘L’ in LGM is the Department of Defense designation for silo-launched; ‘G’ means surface attack; ‘M’ stands for guided missile; the 30 stands for the Minuteman series of missile; and the G after “30” is the current Minuteman III,” Military Advantage reports.

Stored in missile silos that protect against attack, the LGM-30G Minuteman is the most responsive element of the U.S. nuclear deterrence triad, capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to a target 6,000 miles away.

Manufactured by Boeing, there are an estimated 450 LGM-30G Minuteman missiles currently in the U.S. arsenal and with no official cost per missile available.

B83 Nuclear Bomb

The single most powerful weapon in the U.S. arsenal is the B83 nuclear bomb which delivers an explosion equivalent to 1.2 megatons – or 1,200,000 tons of TNT – which is 80 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Popular Mechanics reports.

The radius of the affected area of the blast site of a B83 nuclear bomb is said to be approximately seven miles.

There are not a lot of available documents providing specs on the B83. However, the Air Force lists the bomb as 12 feet long, 18 inches in diameter, and weighing 2,400. At one point, there were a reported 650 B83s in the U.S. arsenal.

The B83 was designed and developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). It is unclear how many B83s remain in use for the U.S. military although the number is well into the hundreds. The exact cost per bomb is unknown, although it is well into the millions of dollars.

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Ryan Saavedra