'America's strategic triad had remained unmodernized throughout the1970s . . . Seven new Trident submarines have been built since we came to Washington.'' -- Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger before the Detroit Economic Club, Jan. 30, 1986.
THE FACTS ARE . . . The strategic triad is comprised of missile submarines, bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)
In fact, five of the seven Trident missile submarines were started before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 1981, according to the Navy -- one in 1976; two in 1977; one in 1979 and one the day before Reagan took office.
The modernization of the B52 bomber fleet with air-launched cruise missiles, a new high-technology weapon that can hug the earth's terrain before striking its target with great accuracy, began in the 1970s. The Air Force said it conducted its first successful test of a bomber-launched cruise missile on Feb. 29, 1976. Former President Jimmy Carter accelerated the cruise missile program after canceling the B1 bomber on June 30, 1977.
The Minuteman III ICBM force was modernized in the 1970s with the addition of the more accurate and powerful three-warhead Mark 12A warhead. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a Republican, announced on Jan. 13, 1977 that he had directed the Air Force to put the new warhead into production, and it was deployed steadily throughout the Carter years