New START Data Shows Russian Increases and US Decreases

By Hans M. Kristensen [Updated April 3, 2016] Russia continues to increase the number of strategic warheads it deploys on its ballistic missiles counted under the New START Treaty, according to the latest aggregate data released by the US State Department. The data shows that Russia now has almost 200 strategic warheads more deployed than […]

Read More

Questions About The Nuclear Cruise Missile Mission

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on March 16, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the committee, said that U.S. Strategic Command had failed to convince her that the United States needs to develop a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile; the LRSO (Long-Range Standoff missile). “I recently met with Admiral Haney, the head of Strategic […]

Read More

New B-21 Bomber or B-2 Mod 1?

By Hans M. Kristensen The US Air Force has published the first official image of the next-generation bomber, formerly known as LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber). Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James revealed the image during her talk to the 2016 Air Warfare Symposium and gave it its official designation: B-21. The “21” refers to the […]

Read More

PBS Newshour Takes On The Holy Nuclear Triad

By Hans M. Kristensen It has almost become dogma: the United States needs to keep a Triad of strategic nuclear forces. Therefore, expensive modernization of every leg is necessary plus a fourth leg of non-strategic fighter-jets. Oh, and don’t forget nuclear command and control systems such as terminals and satellites. Without that, deterrence of potential adversaries […]

Read More

Pentagon Portrays Nuclear Modernization As Response to Russia

By Hans M. Kristensen The final defense budget of the Obama administration effectively crowns this administration as the nuclear modernization leader of post-Cold War U.S. presidencies. While official statements so far have mainly justified the massive nuclear modernization as simply extending the service-life of existing capabilities, the Pentagon now explicitly paints the nuclear modernization as […]

Read More

RAND Report Questions Nuclear Role In Defending Baltic States

By Hans M. Kristensen The RAND Corporation has published an interesting new report on how NATO would defend the Baltic States against a Russian attack. Without spending much time explaining why Russia would launch a military attack against the Baltic States in the first place – the report simply declares “the next [after Ukraine] most […]

Read More

Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons At Sea

By Hans M. Kristensen Remember during the Cold War when US Navy warships and attack submarines sailed the World’s oceans bristling with nuclear weapons and routinely violated non-nuclear countries’ bans against nuclear weapons on their territories in peacetime? The weapons were onboard ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines, aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, frigates and supply […]

Read More

Video Shows Earth-Penetrating Capability of B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

By Hans M. Kristensen and Matthew McKinzie* The capability of the new B61-12 nuclear bomb seems to continue to expand, from a simple life-extension of an existing bomb, to the first U.S. guided nuclear gravity bomb, to a nuclear earth-penetrator with increased accuracy. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) previously published pictures of the drop […]

Read More

North Korea’s Fourth Nuclear Test: What Does it Mean?

By Charles D. Ferguson North Korea’s boast on January 5 about having detonated a “hydrogen bomb,” the colloquial name for a thermonuclear explosive, seems highly hyperbolic due to the relatively low estimated explosive yield, as inferred from the reported seismic magnitude of about 4.8 (a small- to moderately-sized event). More important, I think the Korean Central […]

Read More