USA Nuclear Weapons Count

Discussion in 'Modern' started by beaupower32, May 3, 2010.

  1. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    US says it has 5,113 nuclear warheads

    I still dont believe thats the true count, im sure there is more they are not telling us about.
     
  2. Pong

    Pong Active Member

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    #2 Pong, May 3, 2010
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
    Oh crap. :shock:

    Even if it isn't the true count, that's a helluva lot of nukes.
     
  3. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I thought it was 3K and they were shooting for bringing it down to 1700.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if they include items such as nuclear depth charges
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I think we should reduce our amount, we have more than enough. I however do not believe we should get rid of all of them. Believe it or not, it is still a damn good deterrent to some nations out there that might have some bad ideas. As long as other nations have theirs, we should keep some of ours as well.
     
  6. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    If it is an accurate figure, it is still way too much. The planet would be totally uninhabitable before you had used 10% of that lot. I hope that they do reach the 1700 target soon, it may persuade the political right here in the UK to reduce or scrap our Trident force - even the navy are now starting to question how much use ICBMs could ever be in dealing with Afghan insurgents. Getting rid will also save us £100 billion over the next 25 years, which would make a serious dent in the budget deficit...
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Don't disagree with that call Chris, the US will certainly never allow themselves to be at the short end of the stick!
     
  8. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I'm with Adler and WayneLittle on this one. Yes, we need to reduce, but I'd go with just getting rid of the old obsolete stuff. Being the first superpower to set the stage for everyone else and get rid of the vast majority of our defenses is really nothing more than being the first guy to drop the soap in the shower. Its just inviting some tin-hat dictator or crazy-eyed Taliban wannabe to shove an old Russian black-market nuke up our cornholes.

    And in the interest of national security, I sincerely hope that the present administration isn't giving out accurate numbers of what we do have on hand. International good-will is good and all, but not at the expense of American citizens getting that aforementioned cornholing.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The strategic nukes can be reduced. I'd still keep plenty of tactical nukes though.
     
  10. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    The vast bulk of numbers are outdated types now considered obsolete and replaced by improved guidence and specialised conventional systems since the 80's. These are the nuclear depth charges, mortars, land mines, artillery shells, SAM's and AIM's and older high yield tactical warheads. They were all designed in a less accurate guidence technologies environment.

    They're no longer needed, the Pentagon would probably only want to keep its Peacemaker and Pershing II systems, whilst SLBM's are universally exempt from nuclear defence treaties. The W80-series warheads in other words, which can also be fitted to Tomahawks or modified as strategic free falls, and the B61-series tactical dumb bombs (the standard equip).
    These all top out at about 1Mt, with 100kt yields more common.

    All the ubiquitous variety of other warheads aforementioned are older, dirtier and less accurate and not really more effective than modern precision weapons with specialised construction. The biggest numbers of warheads in service are the B61 stockpiles, at around 3000 warheads spread among NATO (most under direct US control and safeguards). To be honest you could get away with like, 200.

    The biggest difficulty with the nuclear treaties are obsolescence, what is obsolete for a nation with the defence expenditure of the US is not necessarily obsolete for say, Kazakhstan. So whilst the US hasn't got a problem with mothballing or disassembling older warheads, Kazakhstan might be left with no suitable replacements. And their argument is that the US would never consider reducing their nuclear armaments unless it had minimal impact on their defence capabilities, ie. with suitable nuclear or conventional replacements.
    So basically the argument goes like this, say with the Russian Federation. Sure, we'd love to disassemble all our SS-18 ICBM 27+ Mt warheads to make you feel safer about the universe, why don't you just go ahead and give us an equivalent number of your Peacemaker ICBM's and we'll call it even, yes?

    Naturally the Pentagon response is along the lines of spitting out mouthfulls of coffee all over the table.

    That about roughly characterises the nuclear defence treaties.
     
  11. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    US should keep the SLBMs, a hundred ICBMs and a few hundred cruise missle nukes. Free fall is 1950s folly. Get rid of them, short range tactical missiles and artillery based nukes (do we REALLY still have those????). I'm not aware of any air-to-air nukes left in existence in the US arsenal.

    What worries me is the UK perhaps dropping their nuke program. If they give up their boomers, what strategic deterrent would they have? I know their is internal pressure to drop them. Lord I hope not.
     
  12. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    #12 vanir, May 27, 2010
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
    AFAIK the Brits are relying on BGM-109G Tomahawks these days (they've still got their custom Polaris mods tho)
    The Pershing II's were based in west Germany but I suspect some have been moved to Bulgaria (rumour has it B61 dumb bombs are stockpiled in Rumania under safeguards and treaties, which is like the new Turkey).
    A lot of older tactical nukes (eg. shells, Genie) have been mothballed since the mid-80's (when F-16's took over in the Air National Guard sqns), I think it's only a disassembly thing for whatever is still stacked in warehouses. I know tactical warhead options are stocked in carrier battlegroup magazines, as well as most strategically important forward bases, these include W84 for the Tomahawk and older W60-series for the SAM-standard.

    ASROC is of course a nuclear torpedo system, attack subs have nuclear options not just in torps but now most are sporting SLCM options (the Russians started that but yanks caught on quick). The ASROC replacement is basically the same thing.
    SRAM's were really only ever an interim on BGM-84 and the like, giving tactical nukes to FB-111A fleets at standoff now retired. You'd ship/sub launch Tomahawks now for the same mission requirement. There will definitely be SRAM stockpiles but they're definitely obsolete.

    The thing about Russian cruise missiles is their being a generation ahead in weapon performance where the US is a generation ahead in guidence performance. But pretty much every Russian SLCM out there is a ramjet powered 600+kg payload capacity designed for 200kt upwards (delivered at high mach), the guidence thing is a bit muted. US gear has TACOM but much smaller payload and subsonic, it's easy for dedicated modern Russian warplanes to intercept over home territory (most anybody else would have trouble though).

    There's no real intermediary point defence system in the shipborne NATO fits at this time, where the Russian Navy is a step ahead there too (with the Kashtan/Kynshal pairing and AK-630 backup). You've got basically slow track SeaSparrow and nuclear capable SAM-standard which is like comparing 80's fit to 90's fit for the Russian current equipment. In surface actions and naval interdiction the Russians are way tough right now, though they can't compete in air power force projection which is wholly the realm of the US/NATO.
     
  13. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    #13 vanir, May 27, 2010
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
    forum troubles, some sort of post lag
     
  14. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    forum post troubles, triple damn post
     
  15. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Anybody know what the smallest nuclear weapon was? Just interested in finding out in terms of delivery system and yield. I know there was a nuclear mortar. Also the famous "backpack nuke". I'm guessing both of them had a yield of about one kiloton.

    Anybody have any good info on this?
     
  16. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    We have absolutely no use for nukes other than keeping the readership of the Daily Mail happy. They will be no use in Ireland, no use in Afghanistan, no use in the Falklands and no use in Bolton, Bradford, London, Birmingham or all of the other towns and cities up and down the UK where wannabe terrorists are planning to bomb civilian targets. Trident deters no-one and even the MoD has started to realise this.

    There is massive internal pressure to scrap trident, for a number of reasons

    Firstly, it will cost us £125 billion over the next 25 years (we need new subs and we need missile upgrades, plus c. £2 billion per year on maintenance/upkeep of missiles and subs).

    Secondly, we have a massive budget deficit and most people would rather scrap Trident than see the NHS or other public services suffer death by a thousand cuts, which is what will happen if Trident is renewed

    Thirdly, it is an item of common knowledge to most people that, as I said above, Trident is of absolutely no value in confronting the real threats to our security. It simply isn't worth the money required and the only real argument that the new government has made for keeping it is that France has nukes so we should too :rolleyes:
     
  17. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Those are all good arguments in a world where nation states no longer wage all out war upon each other. Didn't realize that such concepts are now a thing of the past.
     
  18. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that wars between nation states are a thing of the past - there might well be just that kind of war brewing in the Falklands again.

    However, the wars that Britain seems most likely to fight are not ones where strategic nuclear weapons have a role. Homegrown terrorism and small-scale, low-intensity conflicts are on the cards for the foreseeable future, and we know we can win the latter with conventional arms alone - the Falklands being a case in point. The threat of a huge global war between large coalitions grows less likely as NATO slowly disintegrates and the US and China grow in stature as the new global rivals. Any such conflict seems more likely to develop in Asia, where Britain has neither the interests of the military resource to participate. Sure, we could lob nukes at Beijing in a Third World War, but why would we want to when we have a much more present and active threat on our own soil?
     
  19. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    ...because a solid defense is built upon near-, mid- and far-term planning. It is the war that you don't plan for that you ultimately fight. Offensively, I agree with you. But defensively, a nuke can be a trump card when all else fails. 99%+ of the world gov'ts are rationale and don't worship death. The other <1% that do will never garner enough military equipment to threaten a full out occupation. Not sure that I would put the vast majority of my defensive budget to battle the <1%.
     
  20. Zniperguy114

    Zniperguy114 Member

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    I agree with both of you. Wars of the 21st century are to be fought against insurgents and militias of developing countries. I don't see at all why people could think the third world war ( if there even will be one) will be against NATO( mainly the USA) and China. If anything , China is more of a friend than a "horrible communist enemy" that everybody used to think in the 50's. CQB is the battle of the future.
     
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