Page 52eight warheads. Any U.S. or Soviet bombers with ALCMs above the 150 and 180 limits will count as actually loaded.
(5) heavy bombers equipped with up to 20 or more gravity bombs and short-range attack missiles will count as carrying one warhead each;
(6) separate “politically binding” agreements will limit sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) with ranges above 600 kilometers to 880 for each side and Soviet Backfire medium bombers to 500.
Under these terms, the total U.S. strategic warheads subject to the treaty will be reduced by 20-25 percent, while Soviet warheads will be reduced by 30-35 percent. The actual reductions will depend on the future force structures the two nations adopt. Soviet heavy missiles will be cut by 50 percent, and Soviet ballistic missile warheads will also be reduced by roughly 50 percent. The United States will reduce its ballistic missile warheads by about 35 percent. However, because bomber-carried weapons are discounted and sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) are not included, the percentage of total strategic warheads reduced will be considerably smaller. Beyond this, if the two countries chose to exercise all the options available under the treaty, strategic arsenals could grow significantly, but the current political climate and the budget constraints on both sides make this very unlikely.
Figure A-1 shows current U.S. and Soviet forces and a projection of what the two forces might look like in the late 1990s after the implementation of START. Given that the range of choice for bomber-carried weapons is quite large, that reaching the outer limits of those choices is highly unlikely, and that both the United States and the Soviet Union face a number of significant procurement and modernization decisions whose outcomes are uncertain, the projections about future U.S. and Soviet forces make assumptions, described below, about the most probable choices based on the best available current knowledge. The U.S. force structure projection is taken from testimony given in March 1991 before the House Armed Services Committee by Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. The Soviet force projection is based on publicly available intelligence estimates of current Soviet forces and trends.
U.S. ICBM/SLBM Breakdown: START will limit the United States and the Soviet Union to 4,900 ballistic missile warheads. The chart assumes that the United States will have a total of 1,423 ICBM warheads, including 500 warheads on 50 MX missiles and 923 warheads on some combination of Minuteman III (both three-warhead and “downloaded” versions) and Midgetman missiles as the latter are deployed. The balance of the U.S.