Thursday, March 23

Radiography of Russia’s nuclear arsenal: 1,600 strategic weapons ready to be used at any time

Last Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear force on high alert and shocked the world. The times of the Cold War, which seemed buried forever under the rubble of the Berlin Wall, were back. Experts agree that this is just a show of force, probably to dissuade third countries from helping Ukraine, but the truth is that the fact that the state with the largest number of warheads in the world is threatening to use them scares anyone .

Russia’s Arsenal. Russia currently has approximately 6,200 nuclear warheads, also known as warheads. Of all of them, some 1,600 are deployed and ready for use, another 3,000 are in storage and around 1,700 have been withdrawn and are in the process of being dismantled, according to estimates by the International Institute for Peace Studies in Stockholm.

The United States, the second country with the most nuclear weapons in the world, has some 5,800 warheads and some 1,800 waiting to be dismantled, although its attack capacity is greater than that of Russia, since it has some 1,800 nuclear warheads deployed and ready to be used. Third on the list, China, is far behind with 350 warheads, followed by France (290), the United Kingdom (215), Pakistan (160), India (150), Israel (90), and North Korea (among 30 and 40).

Types of nuclear weapons. The arsenal of any of the countries possessing nuclear warheads is divided into strategic and non-strategic weapons. The former are designed to attack targets that damage the enemy’s war capacity, generally static, such as cities or factories, and are those that are deployed and ready to be used offensively. The latter, on the other hand, are conceived as a support for conventional weapons on the battlefield, so they are more designed to damage military forces on the move, they have less power and can also be used to defend the territory and one’s own forces. .

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Thus, Russia currently has some 2,600 strategic warheads for large targets such as cities, of which some 1,600 are deployed and ready to be used, and around 1,900 non-strategic, which are located in air, naval or coastal and anti-missile defense bases. .

Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons. Approximately half of the strategic nuclear warheads currently deployed by Russia, some 800, are housed in long-range ballistic missiles, some of which can reach the United States in about 15 minutes and have a planetary range, according to the Russian authorities themselves. . In addition, Putin’s army has a type of missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads at a time to hit multiple targets at the same time, or hit a single one harder.

It also has a fleet of 68 long-range bombers with the capacity to carry approximately 580 warheads, and 11 ballistic missile submarines with the capacity to deploy some 600 nuclear warheads.

Russia’s non-strategic nuclear weapons. As for non-strategic weapons, the Russian Navy is the body of Putin’s army with the greatest capacity to deploy nuclear warheads, around 920, integrated into cruise missiles, land-attack missiles, anti-ship missiles, submarine rockets, depth bombs and torpedoes.

Aviation, for its part, has some 500 nuclear warheads for medium-range bombing; the coastal, air and anti-missile defense bases about 380; and the Army about 90, integrated into short-range ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles.

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Arsenal in continuous renovation. Both the United States and Russia are constantly renewing their nuclear arsenal, although in recent years Vladimir Putin’s have been much more active in this regard, at least publicly. Despite the fact that the Russian Federation has some 1,700 warheads that are obsolete and in the process of being dismantled, the technology of another important part of its nuclear arsenal is cutting-edge and, as we have previously mentioned, it can place a bomb of mass destruction anywhere in the world. in a very short time. In the United States in just 15 minutes with a ballistic missile that reaches 27 times the speed of sound.

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The Americans, for their part, are in a similar situation, with an important part of their nuclear arsenal in the process of being dismantled and constantly being renewed.

A new cold war. Thus, the reality is that both powers currently have some 4,500 nuclear warheads each, approximately, and a technology to launch them at the enemy with high capacity, range and precision, sufficient to guarantee mutual destruction in the event that one decides attack the other. Just like in the Cold War.

Approximate data. At present it is difficult to know the exact number of nuclear weapons held by the various states that have warheads in their national arsenals. For this reason, all the data that exists in this regard is approximate. One of the most authoritative sources on this matter is the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Studies, which every year analyzes the publicly available information on the matter (aerial photographs, intelligence reports, official statements, industry information and interviews with military officers) to make estimates in this regard.

Thus, the lack of transparency of the different states about the most powerful weapons in their respective arsenals makes it impossible to know the exact number of nuclear warheads that each one of them possesses.

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