Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces

Edited by Pavel Podvig

Foreword by Frank N. von Hippel





This encyclopedic book provides comprehensive data about Soviet and Russian strategic weapons, payloads, and delivery systems and on the nuclear complex that supports them. The data are drawn from open, primarily Russian sources. All the information is presented chronologically, arranged by individual systems and facilities, and is not available elsewhere in a single volume.

Following an overview of the history of Soviet strategic forces, the book discusses the structure of the political and military leadership in the Soviet Union and Russia, the structure of the Russian military and military industry, nuclear planning procedures, and the structure of the command and control system. It describes the nuclear warhead production complex and the Soviet nuclear weapon development program. It then focuses on the individual services that constitute the so-called strategic triad—land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, the strategic submarine fleet, and strategic aviation. It presents an overview of Soviet strategic defense, including air defense systems, the Moscow missile defense system, the radar and space-based early warning networks, and the space surveillance system. The book also includes a description of the Soviet nuclear testing program, including information on test sites and on all Soviet nuclear tests and peaceful nuclear explosions. It concludes with a look at the future of strategic nuclear weapons in Russia.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262162029 716 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 57 illus.


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262661812 716 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 57 illus.


Pavel Podvig

Pavel Podvig is a Research Fellow at the Center for Arms Control Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.


Frank N. von Hippel.


  • This is certainly the best recent book in this field due to its depth of research and solid scholarship. The book will be a critical resource for scholars and policymakers because of its exceptionally detailed, carefully documented, and thorough analysis of the Soviet/Russian nuclear complex and weapons.

    Bradley A. Thayer

    Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Duluth

  • No previous volume matches this book in comprehensive detail not only on the Russian nuclear forces themselves but also on the course of their development and the development of their supporting infrastructure.

    Celeste A. Wallander

    Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC

  • A veritable treasure trove of information for all students of Russian nuclear weapons and strategic policy questions.

    Sidney D. Drell

    Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

  • An extremely useful volume.

    Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky

    Director Emeritus, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University