Key Findings

SS-25 In Flight

Photo: TommaX, Inc./Military Parade Ltd.

  • Many countries view ballistic and cruise missile systems as cost-effective weapons and symbols of national power.
  • Many ballistic and cruise missiles are armed with weapons of mass destruction.
  • In 1999, both India and Pakistan flight-tested new ballistic missile systems. Both countries have longer range ballistic missiles in development, and all of these missiles are capable of being armed with weapons of mass destruction.
  • North Korea is continuing to develop the Taepo Dong 2 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which could reach at least Alaska and Hawaii.
  • With continued foreign assistance, Iran could have an ICBM capable of reaching the United States before 2015. Iraq probably will aggressively pursue long-range ballistic missile development if UN sanctions are lifted.
  • Russia still has several thousand nuclear warheads deployed on ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. Development of new ICBM and SLBM systems is proceeding.
  • China flight-tested the new DF-31 road-mobile ICBM for the first time in 1999. A longer range ICBM and a new submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) are in development.
  • Land-attack cruise missiles are highly effective weapon systems that can present a major threat to military operations.
  • At least nine foreign countries will be involved in land-attack cruise missile production during the next decade, and many missiles will be available for export.

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