Defense Department officials today announced a U.S. strategic force structure designed to comply with the New START Treaty.
The treaty limits the total number of deployed and nondeployed strategic delivery vehicles to 800. By Feb. 5, 2018, the total deployed and nondeployed force will consist of 454 intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, 280 submarine-launched ballistic missile launchers and 66 heavy bombers.
U.S. deployed forces will consist of 400 deployed ICBMs and 240 deployed SLBMs. The Defense Department also will maintain 60 deployed nuclear-capable heavy bombers, for a total of 700 deployed strategic delivery vehicles, the treaty limit.
In a statement announcing the strategic force structure, Pentagon officials called it a capable, survivable and balanced force that fully supports the president’s national security and nuclear weapons employment strategies and maintains strategic stability and deterrence, extended deterrence and allied assurance.
The force structure maintains the commitments set forth in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the report to Congress on the president’s new nuclear employment guidance, and the most recent Quadrennial Defense Review that the United States will maintain a triad of ICBMs, SLBMs and nuclear-capable heavy bombers within the central New START Treaty limits, officials said.