US President Donald Trump, bragging about a nuclear weapon that "you haven't even seen or heard about", may have been referring to "a modified W76 warhead", the W76-2, Popular Mechanics suggested.
Although Trump did not elaborate on the unique nuclear weapon, the report said that the likely option was the W76-2, a new nuclear warhead designed to fit on the US Navy’s Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Trump teased the weapon in Woodward's new book, "Rage", and The Washington Post has posting several new excerpts from these interviews on Wednesday.
“I have built a nuclear—a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before. We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before. There’s nobody—what we have is incredible", the president is quoted as saying in the book.
According to Popular Mechanics, the W-76 has an explosive yield of approximately 100 kilotons, about six times the power of the US atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, killing some 200,000. As of now, the report says, the US Navy fields 12 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, each equipped with "approximately 20" Trident D-5 submarine-launched missiles. One D-5 can carry 4-5 warheads.
"The W76-2 was first mentioned by the Trump administration in February 2018, as a weapon to “help counter any mistaken perception of an exploitable ‘gap’ in US regional deterrence capabilities", Popular Mechanics highlighted.
Last week, commenting on the creation of a new nuclear warhead, the Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, noted that the US is deploying low-yield nukes, which destabilizes the global nuclear deterrent, not Russia's actions.
Antonov was responding to US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Robert Soofer, who declared that Russia was initiating an arms race in the sphere of non-strategic weapons.