In the exchange of New SALT Treaty data between the U.S. and Russia on October 1, it was evident that during the last year, Russia has added 243 deployed nuclear warheads to its northern fleet.
Besides the raw increase in nuclear warheads, the Barents Observer reports that Russia’s number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), Submarine Launched Nuclear Missiles (SLBMs), and Heavy Bombers (Tu-95 and Tu-160) “increased from 473 in the autumn of 2013 to 528 this autumn.”
While details about the exact locations of the missiles, launches, and warheads were not disclosed, the Observer recently reported that Russia’s most advanced submarine–the “Yury Dolgoruky”–appeared to be getting all of her 16-missile payload. And since each missile can carry up to six warheads, the Yury’s payload alone represents 96 warheads for the Northern Fleet.
This means the number of warheads between the northern fleet’s two Borey-class subs–the “Yury” and the “Vladimir Monomakh”–could be 192. There is a chance that each of the two submarines are carrying an unarmed missile for the purposes of test launches, in which case the number of warheads aboard the vessels would be reduced.
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