Nuclear Warhead Listing: Introduction

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated September 2000

The listing includes all types of nuclear warheads deployed, built but not deployed, cancelled, currently proposed, or presumed/suspected. Relatively complete information is available for the US, UK, France, South Africa, Sweden. Less complete information is available for the USSR or Russia (which inherited the Soviet nuclear arsenal) and the PRC. For other countries, much information is speculative.

Explanation of terms

weapon name: designation and/or name assigned by respective country

warhead designation (for US, UK, and France): designation for nuclear warhead

Western designation (for all other countries): U.S. and NATO designations

weapon type:

stock entry: date when first warheads entered nuclear stockpile

IOC: initial operational capability, or date of first alert capability

off alert: date when alert capability ended

retire stock: date when last warheads dismantled

wh type: type of nuclear device:

no. built: total number of warheads built

yield: explosive yield in kilotons (kt) or megatons (mt), with notes as follows:

  • DV - different versions (warhead stocks include separate versions with different yields)
  • S - selectable yield (individual warhead yield may be selected from several options)
  • SC - separate cores (individual warhead yield determined by which of several interchangable fissile cores is used)
  • V - variable yield (individual warhead yield may be set within a continuously variable range)
  • MRVs, MIRVs, or MARVs - multiple reentry vehicles, multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles, and maneuverable reentry vehicles, respectively (figures indicate warhead loading per missile)

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    © 2000, 2001 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
    Last modified 2001.
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