The number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads and launchers in the US inventory grew slightly in the most recent reporting period, announced the State Department. As of Sept. 1, the United States had 1,688 deployed warheads and 809 deployed launchers (i.e. heavy bombers, ICBMs, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles), along with 1,015 total deployed/non-deployed launchers, according to the State Department’s fact sheet, dated Oct. 1, with these data. The United States and Russia exchange this information biannually under the terms of the New START agreement. The most recent totals compare to the 1,654 deployed nuclear warheads (down 34), 792 deployed launchers (minus 17), and 1,028 deployed/non-deployed launchers (plus 13) that the United States declared on March 1 in the previous data exchange. As of Sept. 1, Russia had 1,400 deployed warheads (down 80 compared to March 1), 473 deployed launchers (minus 19), and 894 deployed/non-deployed launchers (minus six), according to the fact sheet. New START requires that each nation possesses no more than 1,550 deployed warheads, 700 deployed launchers, and 800 deployed/non-deployed launchers by February 2018.
Supply chain and vanishing vendor issues make supporting old nuclear systems increasingly difficult, Global Strike Command’s logistics and engineering chief Brig. Gen. Kenyon K. Bell said. Additive printing will be a big help but can be hampered by bureaucracy.