§ Lord Astor of Hever
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their assessment of Russia's continuing capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles. [HL965]
§ Lord Bach
Russia routinely conducts test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), as part of its programme of maintaining a credible and significant strategic nuclear arsenal. The Russian strategic nuclear forces possess over 3,500 deployed strategic nuclear warheads, made up of some 600 silo-based and mobile ICBMs, armed with more than 2,000 warheads; 200 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with some 800 warheads; and 700 single warhead air-launched cruise missiles. Under the terms of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT—the Treaty of Moscow) ratified by the US and Russia in 2003, Russia will reduce its deployed strategic nuclear warheads from the current level of over 3,500 to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 31 December 2012.