Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year

U.S. cut warheads by 57 in same period

Russia deployed 153 strategic nuclear warheads over the past year under the New START arms treaty while the U.S. military pared its nuclear forces by 57 warheads, according to State Department figures released last week.

The increase in warheads by Moscow appears to be part of Moscow’s large-scale strategic nuclear forces buildup.

Defense officials disclosed last week that Russia is doubling the number of strategic nuclear warheads and remains over the 1,550 warhead limit set by the 2010 New START arms treaty.

The Russian increases are due to the deployment of new, multiple-warhead SS-27 Mod 2 road-mobile missiles and SS-N-32 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, officials said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced last month that its nuclear forces will add 20 new SS-27 Mod 2 missiles, known as Yars, this year. New SS-N-32s, called Bulava by Russia, also are being fielded. Both missiles can be equipped with up to 10 warheads each. The SS-N-32s are deployed on new Borei-class missile submarines.

The treaty requires the United States and Russia to reduce their arsenal of deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 by February 2018.

The warhead numbers include weapons used on land-based intercontinental missiles, submarine-launches missiles and on bombers.

Additionally, the latest data released by the State Department on Friday shows the Russians added six new missiles over the past year, while reducing its launchers by 34 nuclear missile launchers or bombers.

For the United States, 20 missile launchers or bombers were eliminated over the past year under the treaty, along with eliminating 44 systems, either intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), sub-launched missiles, or nuclear-capable bombers.

The large Russian warhead buildup, combined with official statements from Moscow questioning the utility of continued adherence to the treaty, are raising concerns about a break-out from the treaty limits.

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear forces policymaker, said the increase by Russia in deployed warheads is greater than analysts expected and signals Moscow is set to violate New START in the coming months.

“Russia is now at 198 more deployed warheads than at entry into force [of the New START treaty],” Schneider said.

“Russian leaders appear to view nuclear weapons as the ultimate way to make the world ‘fear,’ or at least respect Russia, and provide a political lever to intimidate, coerce, and deter Western states from attempting to interfere militarily against Russian expansionism,” states the report, co-written by Schneider and Mark Payne, another former Pentagon nuclear forces expert.

In addition to the new SS-27s and SS-N-32s, Moscow is building a new heavy ICBM called Sarmat that will have up to 15 warheads; another long-range missile called the RS-26 with MIRVs, and a railroad-launcher missile called Barguzin.

Moscow has also showcased a developmental drone submarine called Kanyon with a megaton-sized nuclear warhead capable of blowing up harbors and ports.

Full article: Russia Deployed Over 150 New Warheads in Past Year (Washington Free Beacon)

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