III. Russian nuclear forces
As of January 2010 Russia had an estimated 4500 operational nuclear warheads (see table 8.3). Russia continues to reduce its strategic nuclear forces in accordance with its commitments under SORT and as part of a doctrinal shift away from a ‘substantially redundant’ (suschestvenno izbytochnyi) towards a ‘minimally sufficient’ (garantirovanno dostatochnyi) deterrence posture. Russia’s new National Security Strategy, approved in May 2009, states that it will maintain parity with the USA in the area of offensive strategic weapons in the most cost-effective way28. According to a senior Russian military planner, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces can guarantee ‘minimally sufficient’ deterrence until 2015–20 within the force ceilings imposed by SORT, even if the USA develops a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system. However, he added that the strategic forces would need qualitative improvements to enhance their survivability and ability to penetrate missile defences in the future29. As explained by a Russian missile designer, ‘enhanced survivability’ refers to the newer missile systems’ ability to deliver both launch-on-warning and second-strike capabilities in response to a nuclear attack30. In light of these criteria, Russia has prioritized the development and deployment of a road-mobile ICBM with multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) and a new type of SLBM.
- Citation (MLA):
- Kile, Shannon N., Vitaly Fedchenko, Bharath Gopalaswamy, and Hans M. Kristensen. "8. World nuclear forces." SIPRI Yearbook 2010. SIPRI. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2010. Web. 18 Jun. 2013. <http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122/sipri-9780199581122-div1-72.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Kile, S., Fedchenko, V., Gopalaswamy, B., & Kristensen, H. (2010). 8. World nuclear forces. In SIPRI, SIPRI Yearbook 2010. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 Jun. 2013, from http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122/sipri-9780199581122-div1-72.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Kile, Shannon N., Vitaly Fedchenko, Bharath Gopalaswamy, and Hans M. Kristensen. "8. World nuclear forces." In SIPRI Yearbook 2010, SIPRI. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). Retrieved 18 Jun. 2013, from http://www.sipriyearbook.org/view/9780199581122/sipri-9780199581122-div1-72.xml