Military > WMD > Missile: Countries Compared

DEFINITION: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of missile weapons of mass destruction.
Argentina Argentina dismantled its medium-range ballistic missile program, the Cóndor II, in the early 1990s. The Cóndor missile program received technical support from a consortium of European firms and funding from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq. Argentina’s intent was to develop the Cóndor II not only for its own use—which was largely motivated by its loss in the Falklands/Malvinas War with Great Britain—but for export as well. Concerns that missile technology was reaching the Middle East caused the United States to pressure Argentina to end the program, which it did in 1992. Argentina became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 1993.
Brazil Brazil curtailed the military potential of its space launch vehicle (SLV) program in the early 1990s and joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Previously, however, military control over the SLV program and an ambitious export program of short-range rockets had raised concerns that Brazil might develop ballistic missiles and supply other countries with them.
China China has produced and deployed a wide range of ballistic missiles, ranging from short-range missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). China's missiles are operated by the Second Artillery Corps, and include about 650 DF-11 (M-11) and DF-15 (M-9) missiles opposite Taiwan; several dozens of DF-3, DF-4, and DF-21 medium-range missiles that can reach Japan, India, and Russia; and 18-24 DF-5 ICBMs that can reach the United States and Europe. A transition is currently underway from relatively inaccurate, liquid-fueled, silo/cave-based missiles (DF-3, DF-4, DF-5) to more accurate, solid-fueled, mobile missiles (DF-11, DF-15, and DF-21, and a new ICBM [the DF-31] and SLBM [the JL-2], which are currently under development). China is replacing its older DF-5 missiles with new DF-5A variants, which may eventually be equipped with multiple warheads. A key question is how US deployment of ballistic missile defense (former known as theater and national missile defense) will affect the pace and scope of Chinese strategic modernization. Chinese missile exports have been a problem for more than a decade. China transferred 36 DF-3 medium-range missiles to Saudi Arabia in 1988, and supplied Pakistan with 34 M-11 short-range missiles in 1992. China has provided technology and expertise to the missile programs of several countries, including Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea. China has not joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), but has pledged to abide by its main parameters. In November 2000, China promised not to assist any country in the development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. In August 2002, China issued regulations and a control list restricting the export of missiles and missile technology. Since 2004, China has been engaged in consultation with the MTCR; however, its application for membership was not successful in the regime's latest plenary meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in October 2004. Concerns about Chinese missile technology transfers continue.
Egypt Egypt's missile program began in earnest in the 1960s. With West German assistance, Egypt began developing three missile systems: al-Zafar (375-km range), al-Kahir (600-km range) and al-Raid (1,000-km range); however, with the withdrawal of West German assistance in 1966, these programs were abandoned. In the 1980s, Egypt aligned with Iraq and Argentina in an effort to develop a short-range, solid-fueled missile known in Argentina as Condor-II and in Iraq as Badr-2000 (the internal Egyptian designation is not known publicly). In 1989, Cairo ended the cooperative relationship with Baghdad, but it is likely that domestic-based efforts continue on this missile. Egypt has been more successful in its pursuit of Scud-B and perhaps Scud-C manufacturing capabilities. With the assistance of North Korea, Egypt was able to develop an indigenous Scud-B production capability, and there are reports that it has developed an enhanced Scud-C missile. In 2001, Egypt reportedly signed an agreement with North Korea to purchase its 1000km-range Nodong missile system. Egypt is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
France France has an estimated 60 operational Air-Sol-Moyenne Porte (ASMP) supersonic missiles with a 300-kilometer range. The ASMP Ameliore (ASMP-A), with a range of 500 kilometers, is expected to enter service in 2007. The ASMPs are carried on 3 squads (60 total) of Mirage 2000N bombers and carrier-based aircraft. France's four operational nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) carry a total of 48 M4 and M45 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with 288 total warheads. A new SLBM, the M51, will enter service in 2010 and eventually will be carried on all four operating SSBNs. The M51 will have a range of 8,000 to 10,000 kilometers and be capable of carrying up to six warheads. In December 2004. the French Arms Procurement Agency (DGA) placed a 3.0 billion euro order with EADS Aeronautics Company for new M51 ballistic missiles. The French government was also in its final stages of development of the ASMP-A ramjet-powered air-launched cruise missile as of January 2005. France deactivated and dismantled its 18 S3D intermediate-range missiles on the Plateau d'Albion in the 1990s. France is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime.
India For almost two decades, India has sought to develop and deploy ballistic and other missiles. User trials of the Prithvi-1 (150 km-range) and Prithvi-2 (250 km-range) ballistic missiles have been completed; both variants have been "inducted" into the Indian Army and Air Force respectively. India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) announced in September 2002 that the naval variant of the Prithvi (Dhanush) has completed sea trials and is ready for "induction." Five tests of different versions of the intermediate-range Agni ballistic missile were conducted between May 1989 and January 2001. Limited series production of the Agni-TD-I (1,500 km-range) and Agni-II (2,000-2,500 km-range) has commenced, and the Indian Army is raising a missile group to take possession of the missiles. In January 2003, DRDO conducted a second test of the single-stage, solid-fuel, 700-800 km-range version of the Agni. This new missile has been dubbed the Agni-1; it will be the likely successor to the Prithvi-series, which will henceforth be used in a battlefield support role. India reportedly will test a 3,500-4,000 km-range variant of the Agni (Agni-III) by the end of 2003. 'Development flight-trials' of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos/PJ-10, which India is co-developing with Russian assistance, are likely to continue through 2003, with serial production expected to begin in 2004. However, India's sea-launched ballistic missile, Sagarika, is not expected to become operational before 2010. India is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR); in November 2002, it rejected a draft of the International Code of Conduct (ICOC) on ballistic missile proliferation on grounds that it is discriminatory and interferes with the peaceful uses of space technology.
Iran Iran possesses one of the largest missile inventories in the Middle East and has acquired complete missile systems and developed an infrastructure to build missiles indigenously. It has purchased North Korean Scud-Bs, Scud-Cs, and Nodong ballistic missiles. Meanwhile, Iran has also developed short-range artillery rockets and is producing the Scud-B and the Scud-C—called the Shehab-1 and Shehab-2, respectively. Iran recently flight-tested the 1,300 km-range Shehab-3, which is based on the North Korean Nodong. The Shehab-3 is capable of reaching Israel. Following this most recent flight-test, the Shehab-3 was placed in service and revolutionary guard units were officially armed with the missiles. There are conflicting reports about the development of even longer-ranged missiles, such as the Shehab-4 and the Kosar intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). U.S. intelligence agencies assess that barring acquisition of a complete system or major subsystem from North Korea, Iran is unlikely to launch an ICBM or satellite launch vehicle (SLV) before mid-decade. At present, Iran's capabilities in missile production have kept in line with its doctrine of protection from regional threats. Iran has developed new missiles including the Ra'ad and Kosar and continues to test its Nodong based, Shehab-3 missile. On October 20, 2004, Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani confirmed the latest successful test of Iran’s Shehab-3 with a 2,000-kilometer range in front of observers. Iran has openly declared its ability to mass produce the Shehab-3 medium-range missile. Intelligence reports regarding Iran's expansion of capabilities and persistent interest in acquiring new technologies have led the United States to seek other options in dealing with Iran as a regional threat.
Iraq Iraq purchased considerable numbers of short-range Scud missiles and launchers from the Soviet Union beginning in the early 1970s. Towards the end of the Iran-Iraq War, Baghdad extended the range of the Scud to 650km; many of these modified missiles (known as the al-Husayn) were used during that war and, later, in Desert Storm. With extensive assistance from foreign companies, Iraq pursued a variety of other missile projects; these efforts were largely halted by UN weapon inspections that began in 1991. From 1991 to 1998, working under the proscriptions contained in the UN ceasefire resolution, Iraq developed various types of ballistic missiles with ranges of less than 150km, including the al-Ababil and the al-Samoud. During their time in Iraq, UNMOVIC inspectors destroyed 72 al-Samoud-2 missiles that violated the 150km-range limit, as well as certain equipment for the production of solid rocket motors. Following the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, David Kay’s Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) learned that a version of the al-Ababil exceeding the permitted range had been in the midst of development. In addition, the ISG ascertained the existence of two cruise missile programs to convert the HY-2 Seersucker into a land-attack system. The first program extended the range from 100km to 150-180km; two of 10 of these completed prototypes were delivered to the Iraqi military just before the invasion and are known to have been fired against coalition targets. The second program, designed to increase the range to 1000km over land, began in late November 2001 but was halted approximately one year later, just prior to the arrival of UNMOVIC inspectors. Under the subsequent leadership of Mr. Charles Duelfer, the ISG released its three-volume Comprehensive Report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction on 30 September 2004.[1] According to the report, between 1997 and 2003, Iraq maintained undeclared programs to convert SA-2 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) with proscribed range capabilities. By 2000 or 2001, Iraq also began to focus its efforts on developing a long-range, solid-propellant ballistic missile that would have exceeded the 150km range limit imposed by the UN Security Council. In addition, the report confirms prewar intelligence that Iraq had engaged in secret negotiations with North Korea to acquire dangerous missile technology. A number of other governments, sub-state entities, and individuals also provided Iraq assistance in its secret efforts to develop illicit missile systems since 1997. Moreover, inspectors discovered that the UN-run Oil-for-Food program was rife with corruption and holes through which Saddam's regime could gain the financial and logistical means to continue these secretive efforts in past years. Overall, the report concludes that prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq's efforts relating to illicit missile programs remained at a developmental, not production, stage. The inspectors argue, however, that Iraq fully intended to restart its missile program pursuits once international sanctions were lifted and inspections terminated.
Israel Israel's missile program began in the 1960s. Israel has a varied missile industry, having developed ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as missile defense systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The Jericho ballistic missiles series was initiated in the 1960s with French assistance, beginning with the short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) Jericho-1 with a 500 km range. In the 1970s, Israel developed the intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) Jericho-2, a two-stage, solid-fueled missile with a range of 1,500 to 3,500 km. There are some unconfirmed reports that suggest the existence of a 4,800 km-range Jericho-3 missile that may stem from Israel's space launch vehicle, the Shavit. Israel has also developed, with U.S. financial assistance, the Arrow theater defense missile, which has become one of the only functioning missile defense systems in the world. In addition to these systems, Israel has become a leading exporter of UAVs. Israel is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), though it has pledged to abide by the MTCR Guidelines. Israel has recently reported to have successfully tested the Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missile system, as well as new long-range guided missiles.
Japan Japan does not have a ballistic missile development program, but its space program includes a number of technologies that could potentially be adapted to long-range missiles. The solid-fueled M-5 rocket system, first launched in 1995, includes technologies that could be adapted to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities roughly similar to those of the U.S. MX Peacekeeper missile. Japan's two-stage H-2 rocket is capable of placing a two-ton payload into orbit, but the H-2 is not optimal for ballistic missile applications due to its reliance on cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel. Japan lacks sophisticated command and control systems, as well as some guidance and warhead technology that would be necessary to develop operational missiles. Japan has partnered with the United States to research ballistic missile defenses (BMD), but has yet to make a final decision on future development and deployment. Many in Japan argue that a missile defense system would compliment the U.S. nuclear deterrent and defend against possible belligerents such as North Korea. Others argue that the system's costs outweigh the benefits, especially since the system's effectiveness is unproven. Missile defense also raises potential legal issues regarding Japanese legislation barring the military use of space. Japan is an active member of the MTCR and was involved in drafting the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC).
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan inherited 104 SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from the Soviet missile complex. All ICBMs were transferred to Russia for dismantlement by September 1996 and missile silos and silo structures were destroyed under the U.S. Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program by September 1999. Gidromash, an Almaty-based Soviet-era producer of submarine-launched missiles, was converted to a civilian commercial enterprise under CTR's Industrial Partnerships Program.
Kyrgyzstan The Dastan facility in Bishkek, which produces Shkval torpedoes and self-guidance and control systems, is the largest missile-related production facility in Kyrgyzstan. In November 2004, the Kyrgyzstani parliament voted to sell the state share in Dastan to Russian companies, including Rosoboronexport. The facility would reportedly produce torpedoes for the export market.
Libya Libya first acquired Scud-B missiles in the early 1970s from the Soviet Union. In the early 1980s, Libya accelerated its efforts to obtain a longer-range ballistic missile with the al-Fatah, reportedly with a range of 950km. Germany and China allegedly provided technical and material assistance to the al-Fatah program. The al-Fatah missile system has not been completed and remains untested. In November 2000, as part of a $600 million agreement, Libya allegedly acquired the first shipment of a total of 50 North Korean Nodong ballistic missiles, including launch capabilities. North Korea also allegedly provided more than 10 scientists to work on the Libyan missile program. This complemented other missile component shipments that reportedly began in 1999. Also, after the lifting of the 1999 sanctions, reports of increased technical and structural assistance from countries like Iran, North Korea, China, India, and Russia have raised concerns over Libya's growing ability to manufacture ballistic missiles. In 2003, US experts were given access to Libya's missile arsenal and to a number of missile research facilities. In December 2003, Libya pledged to eliminate ballistic missiles capable of traveling more than 300km with payloads of 500kg. Libya is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). In April 2004, Libya told American officials that it plans to convert hundreds of its Scud-B missiles into short-range defensive weapons and discontinue all military trade with North Korea. In October, the US State Department announced that it had verified the complete dismantling of Libya's WMD programs, including MTCR-class missiles.
Lithuania Lithuania does not possess or produce ballistic missiles and is a signatory to the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missiles. In August 2003, Vilnius submitted an application for membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime.
North Korea North Korea began its missile development program in the 1970s and tested an "indigenous" Scud-B ballistic missile in April 1984. Pyongyang subsequently produced the 500km-range Scud-C, the 800km-range Scud-D, and a 1300km-range missile known as the Nodong. In August 1998, North Korea flight-tested the Paektusan-1 (Taepodong-1) in a failed attempt to place a small satellite into earth orbit. North Korea is continuing to develop the so-called “Taepodong-2,” which is estimated to have intercontinental range. The Taepodong-2 has not been flight-tested, but U.S. intelligence analysts believe it could be ready for testing at any time. Pyongyang has deployed as many as 600-750 ballistic missiles, including about 175-200 Nodongs. In December 2002, Spanish and American naval forces intercepted a North Korean ship loaded with Scud missiles, but then allowed the ship to proceed to deliver the missiles to Yemen. There were rumors in 2003 of Burmese plans to purchase ballistic missiles from North Korea, but it is unclear whether any transactions have been completed. In late January 2004, North Korea and Nigeria reportedly agreed to a missile deal, but Nigeria backed out of the agreement in early February under U.S. pressure. North Korea has exported missiles, missile components, and technology to Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen. In September 1999, Pyongyang agreed to a moratorium on missile flight tests and later announced that it would maintain the moratorium until at least 2003. North Korea is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
Pakistan Pakistan is developing both solid- and liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, based extensively on foreign systems. In the early 1990s, Pakistan purchased a small number of 300km-range M-11 ballistic missiles from China; Beijing also built a turnkey ballistic missile manufacturing facility at Tarwanah, a suburb of Rawalpindi. By the late 1990s, China helped Pakistan develop the 750km-range, solid-fueled Shaheen-1 ballistic missile, which was last tested in October 2002. In the late 1990s, Pakistan also acquired a small number of 1,500km-range Nodong ballistic missiles from North Korea. The Pakistani version of the Nodong, known as the Ghauri, was flight-tested in April 1998 and April 1999. The ballistic missiles are being developed by two rival agencies, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and the Khan Research Laboratories, which fall under the aegis of the National Development Complex.
Serbia and Montenegro Yugoslavia has acquired and developed short-range tactical rockets and anti-aircraft systems, including the 262mm M-87 Orkan multiple rocket launcher produced at the Vogosca facility north of Sarajevo. Timer fuses for the rocket are produced at the Binas facility. Prior to Desert Storm, Yugoslavia worked cooperatively with Iraq in the latter's efforts to manufacture this rocket indigenously and others. The 2002 Boka Star incident included the confiscation of 208 solid-propellant rocket fuel components, as well as undocumented reports that the shipment included missiles. Belgrade and Baghdad cooperated on other military projects, including Iraq's transfer of production plans for the Al-Taw'han medium-range air-to-air missile and Yugoslavia's reported assistance with Iraq's Al-Samoud ballistic missile. There are unconfirmed reports that Serbia had a ballistic missile development program during the 1990s, which it may have abandoned due to financial constraints, while other companies were contracted though Jugoimport-SDPR for Iraq to provide for maintenance and adaptation of SA-2 and SA-6 anti-aircraft missiles. Yugoslavian air defenses extensively utilize Soviet/Russian short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM), and Belgrade used the SA-2 SAM as a ballistic missile during the recent Balkan conflicts. Other medium-range missile systems employed by Belgrade include the Russian-made FROG-7 and the Swedish RBS-15F air-to-ship missile. The U.S. Embassy's 2002 non-paper claimed the FRY assisted both Libya and Iraq with their "long range" missile/rocket programs, sighting the presence of FRY missile specialists in Iraq throughout 2001. Other scientists from Belgrade have developed a plethora of dual-use technologies suitable for a "poor-man's" cruise missile, and are rumored to have helped Iraqi scientists convert Iraqi MiG-21 and other training vehicles into unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In January 2004, Serbia began destroying approximately 1,200 heat-seeking Strela shoulder-fired missiles after Russia, the United States, and 31 other nations pressured Belgrade to remove the obsolete weapons, fearing they might be diverted and used by terrorists. In a related development, NATO announced in March 2004 that it had destroyed 3,000 surface-to-air missiles in Croatia. In December of 2004, however, three Strela 2 missiles were intercepted by Albanian police en route to Macedonia. November 2004 events indicate the United States acquired a S-300 Russian missile defense system from Croatia. None of the former republics of Yugoslavia is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
South Africa It is not clear when South Africa began ballistic missile-related efforts, but reportedly by the mid-1980s, some missile infrastructure existed in the country. It appears that Israel collaborated with South Africa in development of this program, but the nature and extent of this relationship is unknown. Following a July 1989 flight-test of what Pretoria described as a “booster rocket” in a space-launch program, U.S. intelligence noted striking similarities between this system and Israel’s intermediate-range Jericho-2 ballistic missile. Facing U.S. opposition to missile proliferation and the end of its apartheid government, South Africa abandoned its missile and space launch programs in 1991 and dismantled associated facilities under international observation. South Africa became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 1995.
South Korea In December 1971, South Korean President Park Chung Hee issued a directive to reverse-engineer the US Nike Hercules air defense missile, a system that can also be used in a surface-to-surface role. Following several failures, South Korea's first successful test of its own version, known as "Paekkom," was conducted in September 1978. In 1979, South Korea entered into a bilateral agreement with the United States that limited South Korean ballistic missiles to a range of 180km with a 500kg payload. The Paekkom program was slashed in December 1982, but was restored in late 1983; an improved version of the Paekkom, called the "Hyonmu," was subsequently developed. South Korea joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in March 2001; membership in the organization supersedes the missile-range agreement concluded earlier with Washington. In January 2002, South Korea announced procurement of the 300km-range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) from the United States; South Korea will buy 110 ATACMS by 2004. Seoul is also developing a space launch vehicle with a plan to place a small satellite into low-earth orbit in 2005.
Syria Syria's missile program began in the early 1970s as a means to counter Israel’s superior conventional military capabilities; since that time, the missile program has grown in tandem with the development of chemical weapons (CW). Syria now has one of the largest arsenals of ballistic missiles in the region, made up of hundreds of Scud-derived missile systems. In the 1970s and 1980s, Syria relied on Soviet technology and support for its missile program and imported the Soviet FROG-7, Scud-Bs, and the solid-fueled Scarab SS-21 missiles. In the 1990s, Syria looked to other states to supply it with missile technology and found willing partners in Iran and North Korea. Iran provided Syria with technical assistance for solid-fueled rocket motor production, while North Korea supplied it with equipment and technical assistance for liquid-fueled missile production. Syria, however, has had difficulty creating an indigenous production capability and has had to rely on continued imports from countries such as North Korea and China. Syria reportedly purchased 150 Scud-C missiles from North Korea in 1991. In September 2000, Syria tested a North Korean, 700 km-range Scud-D, revealing its commitment to expanding its missile capability. Syria is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
Taiwan Taiwan's short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) program is based at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, which has developed a range of missiles including the Hsiung Feng series of anti-ship missiles, the Tien Chien series of air-to-air missiles, and the Tien Kung series of surface-to-air missiles. These systems have provided Taiwanese scientists with experience and a technological base in areas such as composite materials and guidance and fire control systems, which are essential for development of longer range surface-to-surface missiles. Taiwan has two SRBM programs. The liquid-fueled, single-stage Ching Feng has a range of 130 km with a 270 kg payload. Initially deployed in the early 1980s, it is unclear how many Ching Feng missiles were built and whether they are still operational. The Tien Chi, first test-fired in 1997, is a solid-fueled, two-stage missile with a 300 km range that can reach China's southeastern coast. The Tien Chi incorporates global positioning system technology and has an estimated payload of 100-500 kg. One report claims that as many as 50 Tien Chi missiles have been deployed on Tungyin Island and at an unidentified second location. Development of the Tien Ma, a ballistic missile with a range of 950 km, was reportedly discontinued in the early 1980s due to U.S. pressure.
Ukraine Ukraine inherited significant ICBM design and production capabilities from the Soviet Union. These included the Pivdenne (formerly Yuzhnoye) Design Bureau, responsible for the design of the SS-18 and the SS-24 ICBMs, and the Pivdenmash (formerly Yuzhmash) Machine-Building Plant, which produced a wide range of Soviet ICBMs, including the SS-18 and SS-24. Other former Soviet missile-industrial complex facilities in Ukraine include the Pavlohrad Chemical and Mechanical Plants, which were also involved in ICBM manufacture, and the Khartron Production Association, which produced guidance systems. These enterprises have since become involved in a variety of space projects, including converting SS-18 ICBMs to space launch vehicles (SLVs) in cooperation with Russian firms, participating in the international Sea Launch program, and cooperating with Russian enterprises on new SLV designs. In July of 2003, the Ukrainian National Space Agency sold 30 RS-18 ICBMs to Russia and simultaneously promised to destroy 55 Soviet-era missile silos. In March 2004, Ukraine joined the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) which has been in effect since November 2002 and signed by over 100 countries.
United Kingdom The United Kingdom's sole nuclear deterrent is based on four new Vanguard-class submarines, each outfitted to carry 16 U.S.-supplied Trident II sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and 48 warheads. Britain shares a pool of missiles with the United States at the Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, Kings Bay Submarine Base, Georgia. The Royal Navy retrieves missiles from the U.S. storage area and places warheads on the missiles onboard. Missiles are serviced by the United States. Although Britain has title to 58 SLBMs, it technically does not own them. The nuclear role of Britain's Tornado aircraft was terminated in 1998, bringing to an end a four-decade history of Royal Air Force aircraft carrying nuclear weapons. In 2004, British and U.S. officials conducted negotiations concerning the development of new "mini-nukes" to replace Britain's aging Trident system, a politically sensitive subject in the country.
United States The United States has the capability to produce highly sophisticated liquid- and solid-fueled missiles of all ranges. It currently deploys 500 Minuteman and 10 MX/Peacekeeper nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at three bases in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming. The number of warheads on Minuteman missiles was scheduled to be reduced from three to one by 2007 under the defunct START II agreement, but this plan may be revised to assign between 700 to 800 warheads to the 500 Minutemen missiles. Deactivation of the MX/Peacekeeper force began in October 2002 and will conclude in 2005, at the cost of $600 million. In 2004, the Defense Department retired 17 additional MX/Peacekeeper missiles as part of this plan, and the final 10 MX missiles will be withdrawn from alert status by October 1, 2005. These remaining missiles will not be destroyed as prescribed under START II, but will be retained as stipulated in the 2001 NPR for potential use as space launch vehicles, target vehicles, or for redeployment. The Minuteman missile force is also undergoing a $6.0 billion modernization program to improve the weapon's accuracy, reliability, and to extend its service life beyond 2020. A new, longer-range ICBM, to be ready in 2018, is being considered by the Pentagon. As of early 2005, the U.S. Navy had 14 operational Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), having reduced its level by one in 2004 to meet NPR specifications. The four oldest subs in the original class of 18 have been converted to carry non-nuclear cruise missiles. The 14 operational SSBNs carry a total of 336 Trident-1 and Trident-II submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), each carrying between six and eight warheads, for an estimated total of 2,016. All SSBNs will be modified to carry the Trident II missiles, and the navy has extended the service life of the Trident-II from 30 to 49 years. The Pentagon is planning to introduce a new SSBN in 2029 when the oldest of the current subs will be retired. Previous predictions indicated that the U.S. Navy would station the 14 SSBNs evenly among the Atlantic and Pacific fleets; however, recent planning shifts have called for an SSBN fleet of 9 to be stationed in the Pacific with only 5 submarines in the Atlantic. Also, in 2004, the Navy initiated the Enhanced Effectiveness (E2) Reentry Body Program that would allow missiles to be targeted within 10-meter accuracy, expanding the list of potential targets to be attacked by W76 warheads. Finally, the Navy plans to resume SLBM flight tests in 2005 and plans to develop a submarine-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile (SLIRBM) that would carry nuclear and conventional payloads. The U.S. bomber force consists of 94 B-52 bombers stationed at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and Minot AFB in North Dakota, and 21 B-2 bombers stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The B-52 can deliver air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM), advanced cruise missiles (ACM), or gravity bombs. The B-2 carries only gravity bombs. It is estimated that 450 ALCMs are deployed as well as around 400 operational ACMs, which have a longer range, greater accuracy, and more difficult to intercept than an ALCM. The B-2s are scheduled to undergo upgrades allowing them to make mission and target changes in route. The U.S. Air Force intends to expedite the process of finding a replacement for its current bomber force, considering long- and mid-range options, unmanned aircraft, and new bombers. The United States is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), whose goal is to control the transfer of nuclear-capable missiles and unmanned delivery systems capable of carrying all types of WMD.


"Countries Compared by Military > WMD > Missile. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Military/WMD/Missile

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