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"I want to tell you that your fact sheet on the [Missile Technology Control Regime] is very well done and useful for me when I have to speak on MTCR issues."

– Amb. Thomas Hajnoczi
Chair, MTCR
May 19, 2021
U.S. and Soviet/Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

START I was signed July 31, 1991, by the United States and the Soviet Union. Five months later, the Soviet Union dissolved, leaving four independent states in possession of strategic nuclear weapons: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. On May 23, 1992, the United States and the four nuclear-capable successor states to the Soviet Union signed the "Lisbon Protocol," which makes all five nations party to the START I agreement. START I entered into force December 5, 1994, when the five treaty parties exchanged instruments of ratification in Budapest.

Under the treaty, the five parties semiannually exchange memorandum of understanding (MOU) data providing numbers, types, and locations of accountable strategic nuclear weapons and their associated delivery vehicles. The tables below compare the number of START-accountable deployed warheads declared in the initial September 1990 MOU with data from the January 2000 MOU, demonstrating the progress the parties have made in nuclear force reductions to date. —For more information, contact Philipp C. Bleek.


U.S. Strategic Forces:

Warheads by Delivery System1

  September

1990

January

2000

ICBMs
MX 500 500
Minuteman III 1,500 1,908
Minuteman II 450 1
Total 2,450 2,409
SLBMs
Poseidon (C-3) 1,920 320
Trident I (C-4) 3,072 1,536
Trident II (D-5) 768 1,920
Total 5,760 3,776
Bombers
B-52 (ALCM) 1,968 1,420
B-52 (Non-ALCM) 290 47
B-1 95 91
B-2 0 20
Total 2,353 1,578
Total Warheads 10,563 7,763

Soviet/Russian Strategic Forces:

Warheads by Delivery System1

  September

19902

January

20003

ICBMs
SS-11 326 0
SS-13 40 0
SS-17 188 0
SS-18 3,080 1,800
SS-19 1,800 900
SS-24 (silo) 560 100
SS-24 (rail) 330 360
SS-25 288 360
SS-27 (silo)4 20
SS-27 (road)4 0
Total 6,612 3,540
SLBMs
SS-N-6 192 0
SS-N-8 280 64
SS-N-17 12 0
SS-N-18 672 624
SS-N-20 1,200 1,200
SS-N-23 448 448
Total 2,804 2,336
Bombers
Bear (ALCM) 672 528
Bear (Non-ALCM) 63 4
Blackjack 120 64
Total 855 596
Total Warheads 10,271 6,472

Strategic Forces on Non-Russian Territory1

  Belarus Kazakhstan Ukraine
ICBMs 0 0 270 (SS-24)
SLBMs 0 0 0
Bombers 0 0 136 (Bear)

120 (Blackjack)

Total 0 0 526

NOTES

1. Warhead attributions are based on START I counting rules. This results in bombers having fewer warheads attributed to them than they actually carry. Even though all nuclear warheads from Ukraine have been transported to Russia, they remain START-accountable until their associated delivery systems have been destroyed. [Back to Table 1 , 2 or 3]

2. Includes weapons in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. [Back to Table]

3. Weapons in Russia only. [Back to Table]

4. Also known as the TOPOL-M or RS-12M Variant 2 ICBM. [Back to Table]

Sources: START I Memorandum of Understanding, September 1, 1990; START I Memorandum of Understanding, January 31, 2000; ACA.