The United States has continued to reduce its counts of deployed strategic nuclear warheads and delivery systems as it moves to meet the limits set by the New START treaty with Russia, State Department figures released on Wednesday show.
As of March 1, the Defense Department had 1,654 warheads fielded on 792 active ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers. That is down from 1,722 deployed warheads and 806 delivery vehicles counted on Sept. 1 of last year.
The treaty requires Russia and the United States by 2018 to field no more than 1,550 strategic warheads on 700 missiles or bombers, with another 100 delivery vehicles allowed in reserve.
Russia is already below its cap levels. At the beginning of March it had 1,480 deployed warheads and 492 ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers in service.
The Obama administration has said it hopes to pursue further nuclear arsenal cuts with Russia that would also cover nonstrategic and reserve weapons. The White House is reported to have received a Pentagon report that found the United States could maintain a viable deterrent with between 1,000 and 1,100 long-range warheads.