US, Russia nuclear arsenal data released

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Parthy, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2010
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    The United States has 30 percent more deployed long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads than former Cold War foe Russia, according to new data released Wednesday by the State Department.

    Both countries are required to report key figures from their nuclear weapons arsenals as part of the landmark new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) adopted by Moscow and Washington on February 5.

    The United States has 882 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers, compared with 521 for Russia, according to the State Department, which published the new START aggregate numbers.

    The United States also has 1,800 deployed warheads and 1,124 launchers, as well as deployed and non-deployed heavy bombers, compared with Russia's 1,537 deployed warheads and 865 launchers and heavy bombers, according to the figures.

    The figures are current as of February 5, 2011, "as drawn from the initial exchange of data by the parties" that was required within 45 days of the treaty coming into force.

    The new START limits each side to 1,550 deployed warheads and 700 deployed ICBMs and SLBMs and heavy bombers, meaning the United States would still need to reduce its arsenal under the terms of the treaty.

    The first nuclear pact in two decades has been feted as vital to global security because it reduces old warhead ceilings by 30 percent from a limit set in 2002, and establishes a streamlined new inspection procedure designed to eliminate cheating.

    In October 2009, two months before the end of the original START treaty, the State Department issued strategic offensive arms figures that showed the United States possessed 5,916 "attributed" warheads, compared to Russia's 3,897.

    A person familiar with START described it as a "totally different counting system" than the new START, which uses a more accurate counting in listing 1,800 actually deployed US warheads on ICBMs, SLBMs or heavy bombers.

    A more realistic comparison, the person told AFP, would be with the approximately 2,150 operationally deployed strategic US nuclear warheads listed as of last December.

    In May 2010, after extensive debate within President Barack Obama's administration, the Pentagon revealed the extent of its nuclear arsenal for the first time.

    It said the US stockpile of nuclear weapons consisted of 5,113 warheads, including active warheads ready for deployment at short notice, as well as "inactive" warheads maintained at a depot in a non-operational status.

    The new START accord limits still allow for enough weaponry to blow up the world many times over.

    Obama has described the treaty as a modest step toward "a world without nuclear weapons," but stressed he knew the goal would not be reached quickly and would take "patience and persistence."

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  3. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

    Aug 18, 2010
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    Russia Cuts Nuclear Arsenal Before Deadline

    Russia has already cut its nuclear arsenal below the level required in an arms control treaty signed with the United States last year, according to figures released by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

    Russia has 1,537 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, just under the 1,550 ceiling it is obliged to reach by 2018 under the New START nuclear arms reduction pact, while the United States has 1,800, according to a State Department fact sheet.

    The figures are accurate as of Feb. 5, 2011 and drawn from an exchange of data required under the treaty, which was signed on April 8, 2010 and entered into force on March 22, 2011.

    Under the treaty, each side agreed to reduce its deployed nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 within seven years of the treaty’s entry into force.

    Each also agreed to limit its intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, submarine ballistic missile launchers and heavy bombers to no more than 800, whether deployed or not.

    The United States has 1,124 of these and Russia 865, according to the State Department figures.

    Finally, each committed to deploy no more than 700 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine ballistic missiles or heavy bombers. As of Feb. 5, the United States had 882 of these and Russia 521.

    Tom Collina, research director of the nonpartisan Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan Washington-based group that seeks to promote arms control, welcomed Russia’s cuts and said the United States should speed up its reductions.

    “New Start is working,” he wrote in a blog post, saying Russia was previously estimated to have 2,000 deployed warheads.

    “Russia has already deactivated hundreds of nuclear weapons that otherwise could have been aimed at the United States, and the United States is using on-site inspections to verify these reductions,” he said. “This is good news for U.S. security.”

    “If Russia can accelerate its reductions, so can the United States,” he added. “There is no need for the Pentagon to wait until 2018 to get to New START levels. As a confidence-building measure, the United States should speed up its reductions.”

    Russia Cuts Nuclear Arsenal Before Deadline | AVIATION WEEK

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