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Nunn-Lugar Program Eliminates Nine More Nuclear-Capable Missiles

(Sep. 29) -U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) inspects a Soviet-era ICBM prepared for destruction in 2002. Last month, the Cooperative Threat Reduction program eliminated one ICBM and eight submarine-launched ballistic missiles (U.S. Senator Richard Lugar photo). (Sep. 29) -U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) inspects a Soviet-era ICBM prepared for destruction in 2002. Last month, the Cooperative Threat Reduction program eliminated one ICBM and eight submarine-launched ballistic missiles (U.S. Senator Richard Lugar photo).

The U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction program eliminated eight submarine-launched ballistic missiles and one land-based ICBM last month, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) announced yesterday (see GSN, June 26).

The SS-N-23 missiles were used to arm Soviet Delta IV-class submarines during the Cold War. Each weapon was designed to carry as many as 10 independently targeted warheads, but the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty prohibits the deployment of more than four warheads on one of the missiles.

Since its inception in 1991 to secure and eliminate weapons of mass destruction in one-time Soviet states, the Nunn-Lugar program has deactivated 7,514 strategic nuclear warheads and destroyed 755 ICBMs, 498 ICBM silos, 143 mobile ICBM launchers, 651 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, 476 SLBM launchers, 31 ballistic missile-capable submarines, 155 strategic bombers, 906 nuclear air-to-surface missiles and 194 nuclear test tunnels.

In addition, the program has safeguarded 458 nuclear-weapon train shipments -- including four in August -- boosted security at 24 nuclear weapons storage facilities and constructed 18 biological agent monitoring stations. It removed all nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, nations that once respectively held the world's third-, fourth- and eighth-largest nuclear arsenals (U.S. Senator Richard Lugar release, Sept. 28).

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