Russian Nuclear Forces, 2016


Hans M. Kristensen & Robert S. Norris | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – TRANSCEND Media Service

Published online: 15 April 2016

Type/name Russian designation Launchers Year deployed Warheads × yield (kilotons) Total warheads
Strategic offensive weapons
SS18 M6 Satan RS-20V 46 1988 10 × 500/800 (MIRV) 460
SS-19 M3 Stiletto RS-18 (UR-100NUTTH) 20 1980 6 × 400 (MIRV) 120
SS25 Sickle RS-12M (Topol) 90 1988 1 × 800 90a
SS-27 Mod. 1 (mobile) RS-12M1 (Topol-M) 18 2006 1 × 800? 18
SS-27 Mod. 1 (silo) RS-12M2 (Topol-M) 60 1997 1 × 800 60
SS-27 Mod. 2 (mobile) RS-24 (Yars) 63 2010 4 × 100? (MIRV) 252
SS-27 Mod. 2 (silo) RS-24 (Yars) 10 2014 4 × 100? (MIRV) 40
SS-27 Mod. ? (mobile) RS-26 (Yars-M) (2016) 3 × 100? (MIRV)
SS-27 Mod. ? (rail) Barguzin ? 4 × 100? (MIRV)
SS-? “heavy” (silo) RS-28 (Sarmat) (2020) 10 × 500? (MIRV)
Subtotal 307 1040
SSN18 M1 Stingray RSM-50 2/32 1978 3 × 50 (MIRV) 96b
SS-N-23 M1 RSM-54 (Sineva) 6/96 2007 4 × 100 (MIRV)c 384d
SS-N-32 RSM-56 (Bulava) 3/48 2014 6 × 100 (MIRV) 288
Subtotal 11/176 768e
Bear-H6 Tu-95 MS6 27 1984 6 × AS-15A ALCMs, bombs 162
Bear-H16 Tu-95 MS16 30 1984 16 × AS-15A ALCMs, bombs 480
Blackjack Tu-160 13 1987 12 × AS-15B ALCMs 156
or AS-16 SRAMs, bombs
Subtotal 70 798f
Subtotal strategic offensive forces ~2600g
Nonstrategic and defensive weapons
ABM/Air/Coastal defense
S-300 (SA-10/20)h ~1000 1980/2007 1 × low ~400
53T6 Gazelle 68 1986 1 × 10 68i
SSC-1B Sepal 33 1973 1 × 350 ~15
Land-based air
Bombers/fighters (Tu-22M3/Su-24M/Su-34) ~390 1974/2006 ASM, bombs ~570
Short-range ballistic missiles (SS-21/SS-26) ~140 1981/2005 1 × ? ~140
GLCM ? n.a. 1 × ? ?
Submarines/surface ships/air SLCM, ASW, SAM, DB, torpedoes ~760
Subtotal nonstrategic and defensive forces ~1950k
Total ~4500l

ABM, antiballistic missile; ALCM, air-launched cruise missile; AS, air-to-surface; ASM, air-to-surface missile; ASW, antisubmarine weapon; DB, depth bomb; GLCM, ground-launched cruise missile; ICBM, intercontinental ballistic missile; MIRV, multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle; SAM, surface-to-air missile; SLBM, submarine-launched ballistic missile; SLCM, sea-launched cruise missile; SRAM, short-range attack missile.

aIt is possible that more of these SS-25 regiments at bases undergoing upgrades to RS-24 have been inactivated.

bThe remaining Delta IIIs in the Pacific are being replaced by new Borei SSBNs.

cThe Sineva is a modified SS-N-23 and probably carries four MIRVed warheads. In 2006, US intelligence estimated that the missile could carry up to 10 warheads, but it lowered the estimate to four warheads in 2009.

dAt any given time, only 320 of these warheads are deployed on five operational Delta IV submarines, with the sixth boat in overhaul.

eAt any given time, two thirds of the 11 SSBNs are in overhaul and do not carry nuclear weapons, so not all 798 warheads are deployed.

fBomber weapons are not deployed on the aircraft under normal circumstances. We estimate that a couple hundred weapons are present at the two bomber bases, with the remainder in central storage.

gOnly about 1800 of these warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases. New START counts fewer deployed warheads because it does not count weapons in storage and because at any given time, some SSBNs are not fully loaded.

hIt is unknown whether the SA-21 on the S-400 system has nuclear capability. If it does, the number of air-defense warheads could be higher.

iAll 32 Gorgon missiles have apparently been removed from the Moscow ABM system.

jRussia is replacing the SS-21 with the SS-26.

kNumbers may not add up due to rounding. All nonstrategic warheads are in central storage. The 1950 listed make up the estimated nominal load for nuclear-capable delivery platforms.

lIn addition to these warheads, we estimate that an additional 2800 retired warheads are awaiting dismantlement, for a total inventory of nearly 7300 warheads.

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