Russia has 4,477 nuclear warheads of various power at its disposal, of which 1,588 are already deployed and ready for use. To these can be added the warheads listed for decommissioning, but still potentially usable, for a total of 5,977. These are the estimates by the independent think tank Federation of American Scientists (Fas).
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published by Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda on February 25, 812 nuclear warheads are installed on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), 576 on missile submarines and about 200 on bombers. About 977 other nuclear warheads are in stock, along with another 1,912 tactical warheads, i.e. short-range and reduced-power warheads to be hypothetically used on the battlefield. “In addition to the military escort for the operational forces – write the two researchers – a large number, about 1,500, of disused but still operational warheads are waiting to be dismantled, for a total of about 5,977 nuclear warheads”. Russia has also long boasted of having successfully tested hypersonic cruise missiles, potentially capable of carrying nuclear warheads – a field where the United States is currently lagging behind on its schedule.
For the United States, the Federation of American Scientists instead estimates an arsenal of nuclear warheads of various power which amounts to a total of 5,428, of which 1,744 are deployed and ready for use: of these 1,644 are strategic and 100 tactics, that is guarded in military bases with short or medium range and reduced power. To these must be added those in reserve, that is, not ready for use, to form the total.
Given that the atomic arsenal of each country is kept secret and it is difficult to have precise data, according to another think tank, the World Population Review, Russia currently has 6,257 nuclear warheads, of which 1,458 are ready for use, 3,039 in warehouse and 1,760 withdrawn but not yet dismantled, at the source of a US arsenal which amounts to 5,550 total warheads, of which 1,389 ready, 2,361 in reserve and 1,800 withdrawn.
As for the other nuclear powers in the world, the FAS estimates, in order, that China holds 350 warheads, France 290, the United Kingdom 225, Pakistan 165, India 160, Israel 90 and North Korea 20.