(Corrects typographical error in name of plane to 747-8s)
PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON Dec 22 U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump called on Thursday for the country
to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world
"comes to its senses" - a signal he may support costly efforts
to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal.
During the next decade, U.S. ballistic missile submarines,
bombers, and land-based missiles - the three legs of the nuclear
triad - are expected to reach the end of their useful lives.
Maintaining and modernizing the arsenal is expected to cost
at about $1 trillion dollars over 30 years, according to
"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its
nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its
senses regarding nukes," Trump said in a post on Twitter.
Trump, who is at his Florida resort for the Christmas
holiday, gave no details about what prompted his tweet.
Representatives for his transition team did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who won election on Nov. 8 and takes office on Jan.
20, campaigned on a platform of building up the U.S. military,
but also pledged to cut taxes and control federal spending.
Trump met on Wednesday with a dozen Pentagon officials
involved with defense acquisition programs, as well as the chief
executives of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co,
the country's two largest defense contractors.
Trump said he talked with the CEOs about lowering costs for
two high-profile programs: Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets
and Boeing's replacement 747-8s for the presidential Air Force
Defense stocks were little changed after Trump's tweet, but
shares of small uranium miners including Uranium Resources Inc
and Uranium Energy Corp rose sharply.
(Reporting by Melissa Fares in Palm Beach, Florida and Lewis
Krauskopf in New York; Writing by Susan Heavey and Roberta
Rampton; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Frances Kerry)