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"...the Arms Control Association [does] so much to keep the focus on the issues so important to everyone here, to hold our leaders accountable to inspire creative thinking and to press for change. So we are grateful for your leadership and for the unyielding dedication to global nuclear security."

– Lord Des Browne
Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
October 20, 2014
U.S. and Russian/Soviet Strategic Nuclear Forces

Since START I entered into force December 5, 1994, the treaty parties have substantially reduced their deployed strategic nuclear forces to comply with treaty limits that must be reached by December 2001. START I will limit the United States and Russia to 1,600 deployed strategic delivery vehicles (bombers and land- and submarine-based missiles) carrying 6,000 nuclear warheads, to be counted according to rules delineated in the treaty text.

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. (Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan also agreed to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states.)

Under START I, the five parties semiannually exchange memoranda of understanding (MOUs) containing numbers, types, and locations of treaty-accountable strategic nuclear weapons. The tables below compare information from the initial September 1990 MOU with data from the January 2001 MOU, demonstrating the progress the parties have made.

Soviet/Russian numbers for 1990 apply to the Soviet Union, while current numbers are provided separately for Russia and Ukraine. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine have transferred all of their nuclear warheads to Russia, but Ukraine continues to dismantle associated delivery vehicles and hence has "START-accountable" weapons on its territory.

—For more information, contact Philipp C. Bleek.

U.S. Strategic Forces
  Delivery Vehicles Warheads
  September 1990 January 2001 September 1990 January 2001
ICBMs
MX/Peacekeeper 50 500 500 500
Minuteman III 500 550 1,500 1,650
Minuteman II 450 1 450 1
Subtotal 1,000 601 2,450 2,151
SLBMs
Poseidon (C-3) 192 16 1,920 160
Trident I (C-4) 384 192 3,072 1,536
Trident II (D-5) 96 240 768 1,920
Subtotal 672 448 5,760 3,616
Bombers
B-52 (ACLM) 189 137 1,968 1,370
B-52 (Non-ALCM) 290 47 290 47
B-1 95 91 95 91
B-2 20 20
Subtotal 574 295 2,353 1,528
Total 2,246 1,344 10,563 7,295
Soviet/Russian Strategic Forces
  Delivery Vehicles Warheads
  September 19901 January 20012 September 19901 January 20012
ICBMs
SS-11 326 0 326 0
SS-13 40 0 40 0
SS-17 47 0 188 0
SS-18 308 174 3,080 1,740
SS-19 300 150 1,800 900
SS-24 (silo) 56 6 560 60
SS-24 (rail) 33 36 330 360
SS-25 288 360 288 360
SS-273(silo) 24 24
SS-28 (road)
Subtotal 1,398 750 6,612 3,444
SLBMs
SS-N-6 192 0 192 0
SS-N-8 280 48 280 48
SS-N-17 12 0 280 48
SS-N-18 224 176 672 528
SS-N-20 120 100 1,200 1,000
SS-N-23 112 112 448 448
Subtotal 940 436 2,804 2,024
Bombers
Bear (ALCM) 84 63 672 504
Bear (Non-ALCM) 63 2 63 2
Blackjack 15 15 120 120
Subtotal 162 80 855 626
Total 2,500 1,266 10,271 6,094
Current Strategic Forces in Ukraine
January 2001 Delivery Vehicles Warheads4
ICBMS
SS-24 16 160
Bombers
Bear (ALCM) 5 40
Blackjack 1 8
Total 22 208

Key: ICBM: Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, SLBM: Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile, ALCM: Air-Launched Cruise Missile

 

NOTES:

1. Includes weapons in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

2. Weapons in Russia only.

3. Also known as the TOPOL-M or RS-12M Variant 2 ICBM.

4. Even though all nuclear warheads from Ukraine have been transported to Russia, they remain START accountable until their associated delivery systems have been destroyed.

Sources: START I Memorandum of Understanding, September 1, 1990; START I Memorandum of Understanding, January 31, 2001; Arms Control Association.