Nuclear Weapons

Nine Nuclear Nations:

  • USA

    • Strategic nuclear triad, largely deployed in the 1980s or earlier, consists of:

      • Subsurface Based: Submarines (SSBNs) armed with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM);

      • Land Based: Land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

        • ICBM force consists of 400 single-warhead Minuteman III missiles deployed in underground silos and dispersed across several states. The United States has initiated the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to begin the replacement of Minuteman III in 2029. The GBSD program will also modernize the 450 ICBM launch facilities that will support the fielding of 400 ICBMs.

      • Air Based: Strategic bombers carrying gravity bombs and air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs).

        • The bomber leg of the triad consists of 46 nuclear-capable B-52H and 20 nuclear-capable B-2A “stealth” strategic bombers. The United States has initiated a program to develop and deploy the next-generation bomber, the B-21 Raider.

    • Arsenal

      • W76-1

      • B61-11: Gravity Bomb

      • B61-12 

      • W88

      • W80-4

      • B83-1: Gravity Bomb

      • W78

  • Russia

  • UK

  • France

  • China

  • India

  • Pakistan

  • Israel

  • North Korea

World Stockpile: There are 13,865 warheads in existence at the start of 2019 were owned by nine nations.

Fission Weapons

Plutonium

oWeapons grade Pu-239 has a half life of 24,410 years.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

oA Pu weapon contains a single fissionable ball that must be forcibly, exactly compressed to at least twice its density to explode.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

Uranium

oDepleted U-238 has a half life of 4.5 billion years.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

oNaturally occurring U-235 has a half life of 704 million years.-The World Without Us by Weisman.