A year in advance, the US Air Force selects Raytheon for the future nuclear missile of its heavy bombers

In 2012, due to the disarmament agreements signed between the USA and Russia, the USAF withdrew from service its most modern nuclear missile but also the most complex and costly to maintain: the AGM-129 ACM. Even today, with the exception of the unguided nuclear bombs carried by the American fighters and the B-2A stealth bomber, the only USAF nuclear cruise missiles are the AGM-86 ALCM exclusively carried by the venerable B-52H.

However, the situation of the US strategic air force is expected to change rapidly in the coming years. On the one hand, the US Air Force should start to perceive its new B-21 Raider stealth bombers from 2025 , thus allowing to gradually replace the exhausted B-1B Lancer but also the B-2A Spirit, still valiant but too much expensive to use. On the other hand, and even before the Raider is fully operational, the US Air Force should put into service a brand new nuclear cruise missile, expected in the second half of the present decade.

Far ahead of its time, the Raytheon AGM-129 was a very long endurance stealth missile. Raytheon now has undeniable expertise in the design of cruise missiles.

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