Is China Planning To Build More Missile Submarines?

By Hans M. Kristensen Is China increasing production of nuclear ballistic missile submarines? Over the past few months, several US defense and intelligence officials have stated for the record that China is planning to build significantly more nuclear-powered missile submarines than previously assumed. This would potentially put a bigger portion of China’s nuclear arsenal out to sea, a risky proposition, and further deepen China’s unfortunate status as the only nuclear-armed state party to the nuclear […]

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New Nuclear Notebook: Russian Nuclear Forces 2015

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian nuclear weapons have received a lot of attention lately. Russian officials casually throw around direct or thinly veiled nuclear threats (here, here and here). And U.S. defense hawks rail (here and here) about a Russian nuclear buildup. In reality, rather than building up, Russia is building down but appears to be working to level off the force within the next decade to prevent further unilateral reduction of its strategic nuclear force […]

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FAS Roundup: April 6, 2015

From the Blogs New START Treaty Count: Russia Dips Below U.S. Again: According to the latest data released by the State Department, Russian deployed strategic warheads counted by the New START Treaty once again slipped below the U.S. force level. Russia deployed 1,582 warheads on 515 strategic launchers and the United States deployed 1,597 warheads on 785 launchers. Russia and the United States are slowly – very slowly – reducing their deployed forces to meet the […]

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New START Treaty Count: Russia Dips Below US Again

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian deployed strategic warheads counted by the New START Treaty once again slipped below the U.S. force level, according to the latest fact sheet released by the State Department. The so-called aggregate numbers show that Russia as of March 1, 2015 deployed 1,582 warheads on 515 strategic launchers. The U.S. count was 1,597 warheads on 785 launchers. Back in September 2014, the Russian warhead count for the first time in the […]

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H-Bomb History Published Over Government Objections

Physicist Kenneth W. Ford, who participated in the design of the hydrogen bomb in the early 1950s, has published a memoir of his experiences despite the objections of Energy Department reviewers who requested substantial redactions in the text. “Building the H Bomb: A Personal History” was released this month in softcopy by World Scientific Publishing Company. Hardcopy editions are to appear in May. The dispute between the author and the government over the book’s publication was […]

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FAS Roundup: March 9, 2015

US Nuclear Forces, 2015 Over the next decade, the United States plans to spend as much as $350 billion on nuclear force modernization and maintenance. In the latest Nuclear Notebook, FAS’ Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris estimate that the United States maintains about 4,760 nuclear warheads. Of this total, 2,080 warheads are deployed while 2,680 are in storage for potential upload onto missiles and aircraft. Additionally, there are 2,340 retired (but still intact) […]

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New Interactive Nuclear Notebook

A new interactive infographic detailing information on the world’s nuclear arsenals from 1945 to 2013 is now live on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The Nuclear Notebook is published in the Bulletin and is written by FAS’ Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris. The research and data provided in the Notebook by Kristensen and Norris gives reliable information on worldwide nuclear force levels and trends that is widely cited by scholars, […]

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FAS Roundup: March 2, 2015

From the Blogs Battle of the Bands: Army Music Doctrine: The U.S. Army has issued a new doctrine on the role of music in military operations. Secrecy News has obtained a copy of the doctrine which “provides key guidance pertaining to the mission, organization, and operation of music performance units (MPUs)” — otherwise known as Army bands. “This manual should serve as a guide for training and operations based on the tenets of music supporting unified […]

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The INF Crisis: Bad Press and Nuclear Saber Rattling

By Hans M. Kristensen Russian online news paper Vzglaid is carrying a story that wrongly claims that I have said a Russian flight-test of an INF missile would not be a violation of the INF Treaty as long as the missile is not in production or put into service. That is of course wrong. I have not made such a statement, not least because it would be wrong. On the contrary, a test-launch of an […]

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Seeking China-U.S. Strategic Nuclear Stability

“To destroy the other, you have to destroy part of yourself. To deter the other, you have to deter yourself,” according to a Chinese nuclear strategy expert. During the week of February 9th, I had the privilege to travel to China where I heard this statement during the Ninth China-U.S. Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics in Beijing. The Dialogue was jointly convened by the China Foundation for International Strategic Studies (CFISS) and the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). While the statements by participants were not-for-attribution, I can state that the person quoted is a senior official with extensive experience in China’s strategic nuclear planning. The main reason for my research travel was to work with Bruce MacDonald, FAS Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Technology, on a project examining the security implications of a possible Chinese deployment of strategic ballistic missile defense. We had discussions with […]

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