The United States has an estimated 4,650 nuclear warheads available for delivery by more than 800 ballistic missiles and aircraft. Approximately 2,700 retired but still intact warheads await dismantlement, for a total inventory of roughly 7,400 warheads. The stockpile includes an estimated 2,130 operational warheads, about 1,150 on submarine-launched ballistic missiles and 470 on intercontinental ballistic missiles. Roughly 300 strategic warheads are located at bomber bases in the United States, and nearly 200 nonstrategic warheads are deployed in Europe. Another 2,530 warheads are in storage. To comply with New START, the United States is expected to eliminate land-based missile silos, reduce the number of launch tubes on its missile submarines, and limit its inventory of nuclear-capable bombers in coming years. Coinciding with a revised nuclear weapons strategy, the Obama administration is also planning an upgrade of all nuclear weapons systems. The three-decade-long plan would cost more than $200 billion in the first decade alone.

Air Force Magazine (2011) No weapons storage area for Barksdale. February 23. Available at: www.airforce-magazine.com/DRArchive/Pages/2011/February%202011/February%2023%202011/NoWeaponsStorageAreaforBarksdale.aspx.
Defense Department (2013) Report on nuclear employment strategy of the United States. June 12. Available at: www.defense.gov/pubs/ReporttoCongressonUSNuclearEmploymentStrategy_Section491.pdf.
Draper Laboratory (2006) Keeping Trident ever ready. Explorations (Spring): 8–10.
Ferrell J (2012) No nukes at BAFB creates readiness worries. KSLA-TV, February 16. Available at: http://www.ksla.com/story/16955777/no-nukes-at-bafb-global-strikes-home.
Kristensen HM (2011a) British submarines to receive upgraded US nuclear warhead. FAS Strategic Security Blog, April 1. Available at: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2011/04/britishw76-1.php.
Kristensen HM (2011b) B61 LEP: Increasing NATO nuclear capability and precision low-yield strikes. FAS Strategic Security Blog, June 15. Available at: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2011/06/b61-12.php.
Kristensen HM (2012) Modernizing NATO’s nuclear forces: Implications for the alliance’s defense posture and arms control. Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, November. Available at: http://tacticalnuclearweapons.ifsh.de/pdf/Nuclear_Policy_Paper_No11.pdf.
Kristensen HM (2013a) New START data shows Russia reducing, US increasing nuclear forces. FAS Strategic Security Blog, October 2. Available at: http://blogs.fas.org/security/2013/10/newstartsep2013/.
Kristensen HM (2013b) US nuclear war plan updated amidst nuclear policy review. FAS Strategic Security Blog, April 4. Available at: http://blogs.fas.org/security/2013/04/oplan8010-12/.
Kristensen HM, Norris RS (2011) US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, 2011. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 67(1): 6473. Google Scholar
Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (2008) Underwater wonder, Submarines: A powerful deterrent. Warfighter Solutions (Fall): 12–14.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (2012) Deterrence and defense posture review. Press release, May 20. Available at: www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_87597.htm.
Pampe C (2012) Life extension programs send missiles into the future. Inside AFGSC, October 24. Available at: www.afgsc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123323606.
White House (2013) Fact sheet: Nuclear weapons employment strategy of the United States. June 19. Available at: www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/19/fact-sheet-nuclear-weapons-employment-strategy-united-states.

Your Access Options


Purchase

1 day access for $36.00

Vol 70, Issue 1, 2014

Recommended Citation


US nuclear forces, 2014

Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Vol 70, Issue 1, pp. 85 - 93

First published date: January-01-2014


If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click on download.

For more information or tips please see 'Downloading to a citation manager' in the Help menu.

Format

Download article citation data for:
Hans M. Kristensen, Robert S. Norris
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 2014 70:1, 85-93

Request Permissions

View permissions information for this article

Share

Email