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The Nation

August 19, 1986

The Air Force has begun to modify its 131st B-52 bomber to carry cruise missiles, a step that will carry the United States beyond the limits of the SALT II arms accord, the Air Force's new chief of staff said. Gen. Larry D. Welch said modifications would be completed within the next three months. Officials had said the United States would surpass the SALT II limits on nuclear weaponry this fall in the course of modernizing its B-52s. But Welch's comments were the first to confirm that modifications had been under way.

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