The range of a US nuclear weapon depends on numerous factors, including the type of warhead and delivery system used. In general, US nuclear weapons can travel thousands of miles with precision accuracy.
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Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) have a maximum range of up to 8,000 miles, while submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) have a range of up to 6,000 miles. Cruise missiles, meanwhile, can travel up to 900 miles, although their range can be extended with mid-air refueling.
It’s important to note that the exact range of US nuclear weapons is classified, so these figures are approximate.
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Which country has longest range missile?
The country with the longest range missile is believed to be the United States, with the LGM-30 Minuteman III missile. This intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) can travel a distance of approximately 6,900 miles, which is significantly greater than some of the other long-range missiles from other countries.
Russia reportedly has a missile, the R-36M2 Voyevoda, that can travel up to 6,800 miles. China holds the record for the longest missile range for a land-based missile, with the DT-N05 Dongfeng-41 able to reach any target at a distance of nearly 9,300 miles.
What US cities would Russia target?
Russia would most likely target major cities in the United States when it comes to targeting US cities. These would likely include the country’s capital Washington D.C, large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco as well as highly populated military-industrial complexes such as Norfolk, Virginia.
San Diego also has a large concentration of military personnel, making it another likely target. Additionally, cities that contain strategic military installations and national monuments such as the Statue of Liberty or the Pentagon might also be at risk.
If a conflict were to escalate, potential targets could include any of the 50 states’ capitals, or even nuclear production or research facilities. Given the great number of cities in the US, it is hard to draw definitively what cities Russia would target specifically.
Ultimately, the targets would depend on Russia’s objectives and the context in which the conflict arises.
Where is the safest place in the US during nuclear war?
The safest place to be in the US during a nuclear war would depend on several factors. Firstly, the most important factor is distance—staying as far away as possible from any target locations would be key.
That being said, the location of any underground shelters would also be important, as the closer one is to a shelter, the less radiation they would be exposed to. Additionally, geographical features such as mountains and bodies of water would be beneficial, since they could provide some shelter from the fallout.
Lastly, the level of preparation in a certain area would also be important, as certain locations may be more prepared for nuclear attack with activities such as shelter construction or educational outreach.
To sum it up, finding a safe spot during a nuclear war may be difficult. That being said, the safest places to be in the US would likely be rural areas that have minimal targets and are far away from any major cities, have access to shelter, take advantage of geographical features, and have higher levels of preparedness.
How long would it take a nuclear missile to reach the US from Russia?
The exact amount of time would depend on a variety of factors, such as the distance between the launch point and the target, the speed of the missile, the type of propulsion used, and the type of warhead carried.
Ballistic missiles travel at extremely high speeds and as such a launch from Russia to the United States could be completed within about 20-30 minutes. However, the US and Russia maintain strategic nuclear forces which involve both long-range ballistic missiles with multiple warheads and submarine-launched ballistic missiles that could, in the worst-case scenario, take less than an hour to arrive at their targets.
The flight time of a missile is also dependent on the terrain, as the missile may fly at higher altitudes over mountainous and populated regions, and then dip lower over an open target region. Additionally, the flight time of a missile might be lengthened as part of an attempt to deceive potential missile defence systems.
Therefore, it could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for a nuclear missile to reach the United States from Russia.
What country has the nuclear defense system?
Many countries around the world possess nuclear defense systems or are in the process of developing them. The U.S., Russia, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea are the countries currently known to possess nuclear weapons.
The U.S. has the most robust nuclear defense system in the world. The U.S. operates a vast array of nuclear weapons, delivery vehicles, and defensive measures, including anti-ballistic missile systems.
Russia is the only country with a larger nuclear arsenal than the U.S., though its arsenal is aging. France has an advanced nuclear defense system as well, with a total of 300 operational warheads. China has the third-largest nuclear arsenal and an active tactical nuclear weapons program.
India has 110-120 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan has an estimated 130-140 warheads. Israel is estimated to possess up to 80 nuclear weapons, and North Korea has around 20 nuclear warheads, though it is difficult to verify due to the regime’s secretive nature.
What is the range of a US nuclear missile?
The range of a US nuclear missile can vary according to the particular missile model. Different U.S. missile models have a range from less than 300 miles up to intercontinental ranges of 6,000 miles or more.
Examples of shorter-range missiles include the Pershing and MGM-140 missiles which have a range of about 300 and 600 miles respectively. The longest-ranging missiles include the Minuteman II and III which have ranges of approximately 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
In addition, the U.S. has also developed and tested anti-ballistic missiles that can reach distances of up to 7,400 miles away. These are designed to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles.
Can Russian nuclear missiles reach the US?
No, Russian nuclear missiles are not able to reach the United States mainland due to the long distances involved and the limitations of current Russian technology. The farthest range of a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the RS-24 Yars, is estimated to be less than 10,000 km, which is well short of the more than 8,000 km required for it to reach the United States.
Even Russia’s newest ICBM, the RS-28 Sarmat, is not expected to be able to reach the United States. Furthermore, the current US-Russia strategic arms control treaty prohibits both countries from developing and deploying ICBMs with the capability to reach the territory of the other party, meaning no Russian ICBM can legally be designed to reach the United States mainland.
So while Russia has an extensive nuclear arsenal and could theoretically threaten the United States with launches from submersible vessels or aircraft, its nuclear missiles are inherently unable to reach the US mainland.
Can the US shoot down nukes?
Yes, the United States has the capability to shoot down nuclear missiles. This is done through a layered defense system that includes a combination of ground-based interceptors, ship-based Aegis systems, and airborne platforms such as the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3).
While missile defense is still an imperfect system and can’t guarantee the destruction of all incoming missiles, it has proven to be effective and is constantly being improved. The US is also working on the development of more advanced defense systems such as the hypersonic interceptors being developed by the Missile Defense Agency as well as laser weapons.
These advanced systems would enable the US to shoot down nuclear missiles faster and more reliably than currently possible.
Can a nuclear bomb destroy a whole country?
Yes, depending on the size, reach and payload of the nuclear bomb, it is possible that a nuclear bomb could have the capability to decimate an entire country and its inhabitants. In the case of an extremely powerful weapon, a nuclear detonation could cause immense destruction to a country, killing large numbers of the population and leaving vast areas uninhabitable.
Moreover, the radiation that would result from such a blast could cause long-term damage to the health of people, livestock and the environment. The most extensive example of this kind of disaster is the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which resulted in more than 120,000 deaths and significant property damage across a large area.
Although it is unlikely that a single nuclear bomb would be capable of destroying an entire country, the risk of such weapons is a very real and dangerous threat to the security of nations around the world.
Does the US have long range nuclear missiles?
Yes, the United States does have long range nuclear missiles. The U.S. arsenal consists of both land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
The U.S. currently has about 400 deployed ICBMs ands about 250 SLBMs. Each ICBM is capable of travelling a maximum range of about 5500–5600 miles, while each SLBM can travel approximately 2400–4500 miles.
The nuclear warheads of some of these missiles can deliver up to 8 megatons of nuclear explosive yield, making them the most powerful and destructive weapons ever developed by humankind. The U.S. has a three-tier defense system of nuclear missiles that are differentiated by their range and their yield (the amount of explosive power each missile is capable of delivering).
This strategy allows the U.S. to target enemies throughout the world with different types of warheads for various strategic scenarios.
The U.S. also has shorter-range nuclear missiles, such as short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, but these are not intended for use in long-range scenarios. In addition, the U.S. has nuclear warheads that can be mounted on sea-launched and air-launched cruise missiles, as well as tactical nuclear warheads that are stored at several arsenals throughout the country.
Which US cities would be targeted in a nuclear war?
Predictions about which U.S. cities could be targeted in a nuclear war vary depending on the level of conflict, of course. In a full-on, mutually-assured destruction (MAD) scenario targeting could include the following major cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Miami.
Other strategic targets like nuclear power plants, nuclear storage facilities and military installations can also be included.
In a less severe level of conflict the targets would likely be scaled back, but could still include large cities with important political, financial or military targets. This could include Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.
It’s important to realize that the extent of the damage caused by a nuclear attack would not be limited only to the target area. Fallout and radiation could spread to neighboring cities and other areas throughout the nation.
This means that even cities not directly targeted could be impacted by a nuclear attack.
How many square miles does a nuclear missile destroy?
The exact number of square miles a nuclear missile can destroy is not easy to determine due to the numerous factors that can influence the extent of destruction. The size of the weapon, the altitude at which it is detonated, surrounding terrain, and a variety of other variables all play a role in the levels of destruction caused by a nuclear weapon.
The detonation of the most powerful nuclear weapon ever exploded, the 50,000 kiloton Tsar Bomba, would have been capable of destroying an area of more than 4,000 square miles. This is equivalent to an area the size of Rhode Island.
The most powerful nuclear weapon that the US has ever detonated was the Castle Bravo bomb, which had a yield of 15 megatons and was capable of flattening an area of more than 1,000 square miles.
Despite the amount of destruction that can be caused by a single nuclear missile, it is important to remember that it is difficult to predict the exact amount of destruction that a nuclear bomb can cause and the resulting effects can differ greatly depending on the particular situation.
How far can our nuclear missiles travel? ›
Recent News. ICBM, in full intercontinental ballistic missile, Land-based, nuclear-armed ballistic missile with a range of more than 3,500 miles (5,600 km). Only the United States, Russia, and China field land-based missiles of this range.Does the US have long range nuclear missiles? ›
The Minuteman III inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) has the longest range of operational missiles in the United States, with a range of 13,000 kilometers. With a range of 12,000 kilometers, the submarine-launched Trident missile has the second-longest range among American missiles.Which country has longest range missile? ›
- Trident II (USA) 7 800 km with a full load and 12 000 km with reduced load.
- R-36M2 Voyevoda (Russia) 11 000 km.
- RS-24 Yars (Russia) 12 000 km.
- LGM-30G Minuteman III (USA) 13 000 km.
- R-29RMU2.1 Layner (Russia) ...
- M51 (France) ...
- DF-41 (China) ...
- DF-31AG (China)
Irwin Redlener at Columbia University specialises in disaster preparedness and notes that there are six cities in the US that are more likely to be targeted in a nuclear attack – New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.How fast can a nuke travel from Russia to USA? ›
It would take a land- based missile about 30 minutes to fly between Russia and the United States; a submarine-based missile could strike in as little as 10 to 15 minutes after launch.How many miles do you need to be away from a nuclear bomb? ›
The dangerous fallout zone can easily stretch 10 to 20 miles (15 to 30 kilometers) from the detonation depending on explosive yield and weather conditions.Can the US stop a nuclear missile? ›
To increase the probability of an intercept, the United States has to shoot multiple interceptors at each incoming ballistic missile. At present, because its inventory of interceptors is limited, the United States can shoot down only a handful of ballistic missiles that have relatively unsophisticated countermeasures.Can air defense stop a nuke? ›
A new study sponsored by the American Physical Society concludes that U.S. systems for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles cannot be relied on to counter even a limited nuclear strike and are unlikely to achieve reliability within the next 15 years.Does Russia have long range nuclear weapons that can reach the US? ›
Can Russian missiles reach the US? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Russian land-based missiles could reach the U.S. in as little as 30 minutes, with submarine-based missiles striking 10 or 15 minutes after they are launched.Which country has the best air Defence system in the world? ›
The United States Armed Forces have deployed its Air Defence System in some of its most strategic locations like Hawaii, Guam Island, Wake Island, etc. South Korea also deployed THAAD to protect its territory from a potential attack from North Korea. The missiles of this system can reach up the speed of Mach 8.2.
Which is the No 1 missile in the world? ›
Russia's 200-Ton 'Monster Missile' RS-28 Sarmat ICBM That Can Fire Hypersonic Weapons Enters Serial Production. The RS-28 Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), which Russia has projected as the “world's deadliest missile,” has now entered serial production.Where would a nuke most likely be dropped in the US? ›
A nuclear attack on US soil would most likely target one of six cities: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Washington, DC. But a public-health expert says any of those cities would struggle to provide emergency services to the wounded.What states are most likely to get hit by a nuclear bomb? ›
Redlener identified six cities that have the greatest likelihood of being attacked: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. Only New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles' emergency management websites give ways to respond to a radioactive disaster.Where in the US is safest from nuclear war? ›
According to some estimates, the places that are likely to survive nuclear war in the US are Maine, Oregon, Northern California, and Western Texas. The estimate is based on the fact that these areas are in far proximity from nuclear power plants and lack large urban centers.What would happen to America in a nuclear war? ›
Short-term effects. A single nuclear weapon can destroy a city and kill most of its people. Several nuclear explosions over modern cities would kill tens of millions of people. Casualties from a major nuclear war between the US and Russia would reach hundreds of millions.Which countries would survive nuclear war? ›
The study published in the journal Risk Analysis describes Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as the island countries most capable of producing enough food for their populations after an “abrupt sunlight‐reducing catastrophe” such as a nuclear war, super volcano or asteroid strike.Can nukes be stopped once launched? ›
A: No. There is no way to recall a nuclear ballistic missile once it has been launched, and they do not have self- destruct mechanisms. Even if the military or president realized immediately that a launch was mistaken, there would be nothing they could do to stop the missile from reaching its target.Would you survive a nuclear blast 20 miles away? ›
At a distance of 20-25 miles downwind, a lethal radiation dose (600 rads) would be accumulated by a person who did not find shelter within 25 minutes after the time the fallout began. At a distance of 40-45 miles, a person would have at most 3 hours after the fallout began to find shelter.
What cities would be nuked first? Redlener identified six cities that have the greatest likelihood of being attacked: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston.How many hours away from a nuke is safe? ›
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends staying indoors for at least 24 hours in the event of a nuclear explosion. After 48 hours, the exposure rate from a 10-kiloton explosion (the type that might damage but not destroy a city) goes down to just 1%.
Can Russian missiles reach the US? ›
Can Russian missiles reach the US? According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Russian land-based missiles could reach the U.S. in as little as 30 minutes, with submarine-based missiles striking 10 or 15 minutes after they are launched.How long would it take a nuclear missile to reach the US from North Korea? ›
Missile experts estimate its range at 8,100 miles, and say a North Korean ICBM could hit the U.S. mainland less than 30 minutes after launch. Pyongyang is more than 5,000 miles away from the U.S. West Coast. In January 2021, Mr. Kim outlined a goal of extending the flight range to about 9,300 miles.How far can Russian nukes reach? ›
For example, the 2S7 gun - 203mm calibre - has a range of about 37km [22 miles] and fires a shell that weighs 110kg.What can shoot down a nuke? ›
The Aegis ballistic missile defense-equipped SM-3 Block II-A missile demonstrated it can shoot down an ICBM target on 16 Nov 2020.What happens if a nuke is shot down? ›
If an interceptor missile actually destroys a nuclear missile in mid-air, it could cause a plutonium or uranium core to fall to the ground. This causes the radiation to fall on the surface and propagate.Can any country stop a nuclear bomb? ›
Halting an atomic weapon is theoretically possible, say experts, but in reality is an enormous challenge. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised the fear of nuclear weapons to a level not seen since the Cold War.What would happen if the US went to war with Russia? ›
A full-scale nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia would see global food systems obliterated and over 5 billion people die of hunger.Would West Virginia be safe in a nuclear war? ›
But Burns doubts West Virginia is in much danger of a nuclear strike, even if North Korean missiles could reach this far. During the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, West Virginia's chemical industry would have been among the Soviet's top 20 targets, but not so much any more.How long does nuclear fallout last? ›
The particles that are swept up into the atmosphere and fall back down to Earth are called fallout. Fallout can circulate around the world for years until it gradually falls down to Earth or is brought back to the surface by precipitation. The path of the fallout depends on wind and weather patterns.What country has the best fighting force? ›
With military bases in many parts of the world, the US armed forces remain the most powerful of any on the globe.
Why is the US military so powerful? ›
The U.S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States.Does the US have a good missile defense system? ›
The US only has a limited ability to destroy an incoming nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile, a study released last month by the American Physical Society concluded.Which country has most advanced Defence technology? ›
The United States of America (U.S.A) has the most advanced military technology in the world. The other countries which have the most advanced military technology in the world are Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom (U.K.).Where is the US missile defense system located? ›
The current ICBM force consists of Minuteman III missiles located at the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Contractor: Boeing Co.What is the best anti missile system in the world? ›
Multi-Mission C-RAM, V-SHORAD and Naval Area Defense System
RAFAEL's IRON DOME™ is the world's most deployed missile defense system, with more than 2,000 interceptions and a success rate greater than 90%.
An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with a range greater than 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi), primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery (delivering one or more thermonuclear warheads).Which country has world's fastest missile? ›
The Zircon missile is capable of flying at a speed of more than 11000 kilometers per hour. This hypersonic cruise missile of Russia has a range of over 1000 kilometers. Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed the world's fastest missile Zircon in the Atlantic Ocean amidst the Russia-Ukraine war.What is the biggest nuclear target in the US? ›
Blue =most safe. The six most likely target cities in the US are as follows: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These countries will stay prepared to combat any type of nuclear attack shortly. The nuclear impact could destroy the city and this will lead to a disaster.How far away from a nuclear blast do you have to be to survive? ›
The resulting inferno, and the blast wave that follows, instantly kill people directly in their path. But a new study finds that some people two to seven miles away could survive—if they're lucky enough to find just the right kind of shelter.What states are least likely to get nuked? ›
This map recommends:
- Eastern Montana.
- North Dakota.
- South Dakota.
- Parts of Nebraska and Kansas.
Where is the safest place to go during a nuclear bomb? ›
In a study published in Physics of Fluids, scientists simulated an atomic bomb explosion to determine the best and worst places to be in a concrete-reinforced building during such an event. The safest place: the corners of a room, author Ioannis Kokkinakis of Cyprus' University of Nicosia said in a statement.Where is the best place to go if a nuclear bomb? ›
"Radiation levels further afield will rise too, in a longer term." So the absolute safest place to be in the case of a nuclear blast would be as far away as possible, with mountains and hills to protect against the blast wave and block rainy weather.What is the blast radius of a nuclear bomb in miles? ›
The heat from a 1 KT detonation could cause 50% mortality, from thermal burns, to individuals within an approximate 0.4 miles (610 m) radius. This radius increases to approximately 1.1 miles (1800 m) for a 10 KT detonation.Can a basement survive a nuke? ›
The safest place in your home during an radiation emergency is a centrally located room or basement. This area should have as few windows as possible.Can we survive a nuclear war? ›
But the vast majority of the human population would suffer extremely unpleasant deaths from burns, radiation and starvation, and human civilization would likely collapse entirely. Survivors would eke out a living on a devastated, barren planet.How long would it take for the Earth to recover from nuclear war? ›
Recovery would probably take about 3-10 years, but the Academy's study notes that long term global changes cannot be completely ruled out. The reduced ozone concentrations would have a number of consequences outside the areas in which the detonations occurred.How far can the farthest nuclear missile go? ›
It is believed to be based on the Shavit space launch vehicle and is estimated to have a range of 4,800 to 11,500 km (3,000 to 7,100 mi). In November 2011 Israel tested an ICBM believed to be an upgraded version of the Jericho III. India has a series of ballistic missiles called Agni.How far can you survive a nuclear missile? ›
The resulting inferno, and the blast wave that follows, instantly kill people directly in their path. But a new study finds that some people two to seven miles away could survive—if they're lucky enough to find just the right kind of shelter.Can a nuclear missile reach US? ›
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Russian land-based missiles could reach the U.S. in as little as 30 minutes, with submarine-based missiles striking 10 or 15 minutes after they are launched.How many square miles does a nuclear missile destroy? ›
The volume the weapon's energy spreads into varies as the cube of the distance, but the destroyed area varies at the square of the distance. Thus 1 bomb with a yield of 1 megaton would destroy 80 square miles. While 8 bombs, each with a yield of 125 kilotons, would destroy 160 square miles.
What US cities would Russia target? ›
A nuclear attack on US soil would most likely target one of six cities: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Washington, DC.What to do if a nuke is coming? ›
For a nuclear explosion, if you have warning, take cover from the blast behind anything that might offer protection. If you are outside, lie face down to protect exposed skin from the heat and flying debris. After the shockwave passes, go inside the nearest building as quickly as possible.Where is the safest place in the US during nuclear war? ›
The safest place in the U.S. for nuclear war is considered to be the state of Maine. Maine is deemed to be safe due to its lack of nuclear plants and urban areas. Other potentially safe areas include Oregon, Northern California, and Western Texas.How long would it take the US to launch a nuclear missile? ›
Under the strategy, a retaliatory strike is launched upon warning of enemy nuclear attack while its missiles are still in the air and before detonation occurs. US land-based missiles can reportedly be launched within 5 minutes of a presidential decision to do so and submarine-based missiles within 15 minutes.