President Obama wants to drastically cut funding to both the Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs and eventually kill them completely, The Washington Free Beacon reports, citing new budget documents.
The Tomahawk missile is known as the most advanced cruise missile in the world. The Hellfire missile is also highly regarded as being particularly effective.
Purchase of the two missiles is also set to be eliminated, with stores of the Tomahawk missile expected to run out by 2018.
The Tomahawk missile has long played a decisive role in U.S. military operations. The missiles have been used to great success since the first Gulf War. Tomahawk missiles also played a huge role in coalition attacks against Libya, when they were used to enforce a no-fly zone.
“We run a huge risk [by cutting the Tomahawk] because so much of our national policy for immediate response is contingent on our national security team threatening with Tomahawk missiles,” retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell told The Washington Free Beacon.
The most likely replacement for the two missile programs is Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), which will receive a lion’s share of the funding from the Tomahawk program, the Free Beacon reports.
However, the LRASM is not expected to be combat-ready for another 10 years, experts told the Free Beacon. That leaves a massive hole in America’s deterrence capabilities.
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