Nuclear weapon test Romeo (11 megaton) on the Bikini Atoll on April 15, 1954
Just how many nuclear bombs does the United States of America have? For thirty years, the exact number of bombs the Pentagon stockpiles has been a secret (though people have pretty much guessed correctly).
Now, for the first time ever, that number has been officially released by the Obama administration: it's 5,113 warheads.
From the Federation of American Scientists:
Disclosing the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile puts pressure on other nuclear weapon states to reciprocate. Russia, whose arsenal is more difficult to track and assess, should respond by divulging comparable information about the size and status of its nuclear stockpile. There is simply no national security justification for Russia and the United States to continue to classify nuclear warhead stockpile inventories. The declassification of such data is necessary to achieve deep reductions in the arsenals of all the nuclear weapon states.
The 5,113 warheads in the stockpile do not account for all assembled nuclear warheads currently in the U.S. inventory. We estimate that there is an additional 4,500 retired warheads in storage awaiting dismantlement for a total inventory of approximately 9,600 warheads.
How does this compare to other nations? Here's what the Federation of American Scientists' Status of World Nuclear Forces page tells us:
Enough to destroy every civilization on Earth several times over, I think. One wonders whether the Russians still keep the rumored suitcase nukes in their embassies around the world.Thanks Monica Amarelo!