The Members of the Nuclear Club and Their Arms
To recapitulate, when the Bush -- Yeltsin agreements are fully implemented, the American long-range nuclear warheads will total 3,500. The 500 Minuteman missiles will carry 500 warheads. The eighteen Trident submarines will carry 432 missiles with four warheads each, for a total of 1,728 warheads. The B-52H bombers will carry 950 cruise missiles with 950 warheads. The B-1B bombers will carry ninety-five nuclear bombs, and the B-2 bombers will carry twenty nuclear bombs.
The United States plans to keep twelve Trident submarines at sea at all times. To maintain this schedule, each submarine will have two crews, one at sea on patrol and one on shore training for its turn. Each submarine will carry twentyfour D-5 missiles with four warheads each. So the United States will keep on full alert a Trident force of twelve submarines armed with 1, 152 missiles.
In 1993, the Congressional Budget Office published a study asserting that even if none of the eighteen submarines in the current fleet are replaced, the Navy plan would cost $46.6 billion. The study made two major suggestions. The first was to retire the six oldest submarines instead of refitting them with new missiles. The second suggestion was to keep only six submarines at sea at all times, thereby reducing the crews needed from two to one per vessel. The study argued that these changes would not significantly lower the level of security provided, but would save $17.5 billion. However, neither Congress nor the Clinton administration expressed an interest in making the suggested changes.
Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Bush administration conducted a so-called "bottom-up" review of American nonnuclear, conventional military