United States was the first nation to use an atom bomb and become a nuclear power. It also has one of the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons along with Russia. Under its nuclear program, U.S kept increasing its nuclear strike capability after the end of Second World War. Today, U.S has the most advanced nuclear weapons arsenal.
The urge to build nuclear weapons started when German scientists successfully discovered nuclear fission in mid-1940s to build a nuclear bomb and win the war. This had American scientists in an uproar. So, U.S started its own nuclear program on 21st October 1939. This program was called the ‘Manhattan Project’.
Germany surrendered before it could successfully build a nuclear bomb. By the time U.S successfully tested its first bomb, the war was over in Europe. So, to end the war in the pacific, they dropped two bombs on the Empire of Japan making the U.S world’s first nuclear power. This made U.S the only country to use nuclear weapons during combat.
U.S was the first country to acquire a nuclear triad, that is, the capability to fire a nuclear weapon by land, air and sea. This makes it one of the few countries that have a nuclear triad. Other countries which have successful nuclear triads are Russia, United Kingdom, France, China and India.
This bombing officially ended the Second World War and officially declared U.S as a Nuclear Power.
U.S successfully tested its first thermonuclear weapon on 1st November, 1952. The largest nuclear test ever conducted by U.S was the testing of Castle Bravo bomb. This humongous bomb yielded 15 Megatons of TNT.
United States is the only country to have conducted more than a thousand nuclear tests. U.S has detonated 1054 nuclear bomb until now. Currently, U.S has 3800 nuclear warheads. It U.S has 1750 strategically deployed nuclear warheads.
The highest range a U.S nuclear weapon can reach using a surface to surface missile is 15,000 km and 12,000 km by water (by Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines).
The ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) capable of traveling 15,000 km is the ‘ LGM-30 Minuteman- III’ the U.S Strategic Command. By water, UGM-133 Trident II is the SLBM (Submarine Launch Ballistic Missile) that can travel 12,000 kms.
U.S has mostly disarmed its Free-Fall type Nuclear bombs. The reason behind this is that bombers can no longer breach far into enemy territories because of air-defences.