MOSCOW – Russia and the United States together hold about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, with Moscow’s total inventory of 8,500 warheads slightly surpassing Washington’s 7,700, the latest available figures from early this year show.
Russia’s inventory comprises 4,500 warheads in its military stockpile and about 4,000 retired but largely intact warheads awaiting dismantlement, the May-June 2013 report by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published in the U.S. says. A total of 1,800 strategic warheads are on missiles and at bomber bases, with 700 stored, along with 2,000 nonstrategic warheads.
ICBMs: Russia has 326 intercontinental ballistic missiles with around 1,050 warheads deployed. This force is scheduled to change as Moscow plans to retire over half of its ICBM force, mainly the 140 SS-25 Topol missiles made in the late 1980s.
SLBMs: Russia has a total of 624 submarine-launched ballistic warheads deployed on 160 missiles on a total of 10 submarines in its fleet, which includes a new Borei-class ballistic missile sub that entered service this year in its northern fleet.
Bombers: Russia’s strategic offensive forces also include warheads on 72 Tupolev heavy bombers that could carry an estimated 810 weapons. This figure has not been officially updated since 2009. The tactical nuclear force has about 2,000 warheads for delivery by air, naval and other defensive forces, including about 730 air-to-surface missiles and bombs, and ABM systems around Moscow. The number of nonstrategic nuclear weapons hasn’t been officially updated since 2005.