State Department Confirms FAS Warhead Estimate

Retirement of the W62 warhead will be completed in 2009.

By Hans M. Kristensen

The U.S. State Department has confirmed the estimate made by FAS on this blog in February that the United States had already reached the limit of 2,200 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads set by the 2002 Moscow Treaty. The confirmation occurred earlier today in a fact sheet published on the State Department’s web site: “As of May 2009, the United States had cut its number of operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 2,126.”

This is a reduction of 77 warheads from the 2,203 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads deployed on February 5, 2009, and probably reflects the ongoing retirement of the W62 warhead from the Minuteman III ICBM force, scheduled for completion later this year.

The total U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile includes approximately 5,200 warheads.

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