America behind, China ahead
According to all the activities of China, which have been noticed by the command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, it has moved towards preparing a nuclear triangle of land, sea and air-based delivery platforms. The US currently has 400 Minuteman III ICBMs deployed at Air Force bases in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. The US Air Force is also engaged in developing the new ICBM.
The US Air Force plans to replace all missiles and ground launch control facilities with new ICBMs. By the end of this decade, China is estimated to have more than 1000 weapons. This figure is much higher than the estimated 410 it has till January. This will bring China at par with America and Russia.
If Russia and China join hands?
General Anthony Cotton, head of the Strategic Command, presented several important points to the media at an event held in Omaha on Wednesday. He said, ‘We do not see any such indication that China has reduced the pace of making nuclear weapons.’ Cotton said that in February this year, he told Congress that China’s ground-based systems, including both road mobile and silo-based, were more in number than the US.
General Cotton worries that America will be at a loss if China and Russia unite.
General told the truth
American General Cotton had expressed concern to the lawmakers in a letter to the Congress earlier this year. He had said that the number of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) with China is less than that of the US but the number of land-based and mobile ICBM launchers has increased. Silo-based systems are fixed in place and harder to conceal but are less destructive than mobile systems. At a Congressional hearing in March, Cotton testified that China had built hundreds of new ICBM silos within the past three years. Cotton told that China has fitted three new missiles on more than 300 silos.