Russia’s arsenal of strategic weapons.

Russia’s arsenal of strategic weapons is bigger, and technologically better, than the American arsenal (224 Trident-II SLBMs, 450 MMIII ICBMs and fewer than 200 bombers).

According to Wikipedia, the Russian AF has 56 Tu-95MS bombers, 16 Tu-160 bombers, and 70 or 120 Tu-22M3 bombers, whereas the Russian Navy has 15 Tu-142 bombers (derivatives of the Tu-95 type) and 83 Tu-22M3 bombers. That’s a total fleet of 290 bombers.

According to Wikipedia, as of the 1990s, Russia had 2 SS-25 regiments patrolling the country permanently, and 40 regiments garrisoned. One Russian SS-25 regiment has 9 missiles. That means that as of the 1990s, Russia had 378 SS-25 ICBMs. It probably still possesses 378 SS-25 ICBMs. Add to that 75 SS-18 ICBMs, 75 SS-27 ICBMs, and 136 SS-19 ICBMs, and you get 664 ICBMs.

Another Wikipedia page (the page on the RSVN) says that the RSVN have: 75 SS-18 missiles, 136 SS-19 missiles, 180 SS-25 missiles, and 75 SS-27 missiles, which means Russia has a grand total of 466 ICBMs. According to the former commander of the RSVN, 96% of these missiles can be launched 1 minute after an order to launch them would be issued. (

SS-18s are not comparable to their American counterparts. One SS-18 missile can deliver up to 38 nuclear warheads. One LGM-30 MMIII missile can deliver only 3 nuclear warheads. The modernization programs of the Russian military have prolonged the service lifetimes of SS-18, SS-19 and SS-25 missiles by at least a decade, allowing the Russian military to maintain these missiles until 2020; afterwards, the Russian military will replace these ICBMs with SS-27 “Stalin” (RT-2UTTH Topol-M) missiles.

Russia’s submarine fleet consists of 12 serving SSBNs, a number of reserve SSBNs, 8 serving SSGNs (as opposed to 4 American SSGNs), and dozens of SSNs (which can launch nuclear-armed cruise missiles). Russia also has a next-generation SSBN, the RFS Yuri Dolgoruki, but that vessel doesn’t have SLBMs and is therefore not counted towards the 12 SSBN total number.

America is currently the only country (other than the UK, whose government might or might not order new submarines and warheads) not modernizing its arsenal of strategic weapons and nuclear warheads. Every other nuclear state is modernizing its arsenal.

That is why 41 American Senators (including even John McCain) declared that they will vote for the START-3 treaty ONLY if Obama enacts a nuclear arsenal modernization program first.


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