AUTHORPolmar, Norman / Norris, Robert S.
TITLEThe U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: A History of Weapons and Delivery Systems Since 1945
PUBLISHERNaval Institute Press
CITYAnnapolis, MD
DATE PUBLISHED2009
ISBN978-1-55750-681-8


This book provides a comprehensive survey of U.S. nuclear weapons development and delivery systems, from 1945 to 2008. The authors link the development of strategic and tactical delivery systems to the evolution of weapons design. The initial chapter is a historical overview relating the U.S. nuclear arsenal to U.S. foreign policy. It explains the U.S. nuclear triad of the Cold War – which consisted of bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) – and the U.S. President George W. Bush administration's proposed new triad, wherein nuclear forces are one leg of a broader structure that includes a national missile defense system and highly responsive conventional forces, all linked by upgraded command-control, intelligence, and planning activities. The remainder of the book presents the history, design, operation, and production of each type of nuclear weapon. Weapons and delivery systems are grouped in the following categories: nuclear warheads, strategic aircraft, tactical aircraft, strategic missiles, tactical missiles and rockets, artillery, and anti-submarine weapons. The warheads and delivery systems in each category are presented in a uniform format accompanied by photographs. Appendices contain brief discussions of the U.S. nuclear stockpile (2007) and the effects of nuclear weapons. The book also includes a table cataloging U.S. strategic offensive forces from 1945 to 2008.


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