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​US announces cuts to nuclear forces

Published time: April 09, 2014 03:59
B-2 stealth bomber (AFP Photo)

B-2 stealth bomber (AFP Photo)

Washington has announced plans to reduce the number of strategic nuclear bombers, submarine launchers and deployed ballistic missiles to meet the limits set on nuclear arsenals by the New START treaty signed with Russia 4 years ago.

On Tuesday the Pentagon announced the exact cuts it is planning in order to comply with the limits set by the bilateral agreement by 2018.

“US deployed forces will consist of 400 deployed ICBMs. There will also be 240 deployed SLBMs. DoD will also maintain 60 deployed nuclear capable heavy bombers, for a total of 700deployed strategic delivery vehicles, the treaty limit,” Department of Defense press release reads.

Under the nuclear arms reduction treaty (New START) signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague between Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, the total number of deployed and non-deployed strategic delivery vehicles and launchers should be no more than 800.

Strategic nuclear-weapons arsenal for both Russia and US has been limited to a total of 1,550 warheads each, down from the previous cap of 2,200. Both parties also agreed to reduce the maximum number of ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers deployed at any given time to 700.

The Department of Defence said that it will reduce its deployed silo-based nuclear missiles to 400 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles from the current 450. However, those 50 launch silos vacated of missiles won’t be destroyed but maintained in a “warm” status ready to be to re-activated if needed. The Pentagon said that keeping the silos inactive will cost the budget $19.3 million over five years. The removed rockets will be stored at their bases or be transferred to nuclear depot for maintenance.

The Navy meanwhile will cut the total number of submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers to 280. The Pentagon will alter four launch tubes on each of the 14 Trident submarines to render them unusable, AP reports. Two Trident submarines will be in overhaul at any given time to meet the limit of deployed launchers.

The Air Force will slash its strategic bomber fleet to 60 from the current 93, while additional six aircraft will be in reserve in a non-deployed status. The force is to maintain 19 B-2 stealth bombers and 41 B-52H Stratofortress heavy bombers.

Sources in the US administration told Reuters that currently the US is in possession of 886 deployed and non-deployed delivery systems. They include 96 B-2 and B-52 bombers, 454 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and 336 Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

According to the US Bureau of Arms Control, Russia has already fully implemented its part of the treaty and currently has a total of 498 delivery systems deployed, including ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers.

Comments (40)


T2000 02.07.2014 16:07

Washington has announced plans to reduce the number of strategic nuclear bombers, submarine launchers and deployed ballistic missiles [..]
Translation (what they mean): Washington has plans to raise the number of strategic nuclear bombers, submarine launchers and deployed ballistic missiles


Reuben Black 02.07.2014 10:09

Nick Blomme 09.04.2014 10:57

An other funny story. Russia was 1 of the last countries on the old continent that prohibited "serfdom". It was in the late 19th century. After that they went for serfdom under the USSR. And now under Putin.


Emancipatio n of the serfs under the Russian Empire was in 1861.

Incidental ly the US emancipation proclamation for African slaves was made in 1863. The civil rights act wasn't passed until 1964 over 100 years later. Not that it's ever made much of a difference... What does that tell you about the US?


Johan Krüger Haglert 09.04.2014 12:27

UA for EU 09.04.2014 11:31

usa will still be most powerful while china will be second russia will be drunk and bitter and without ukraine anymore


China will be able to be #1 if they want to (once they have the biggest economy and the largest production capacity why not?) Whatever they want to waste as much resources into being it as the US I don't know.

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