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WASHINGTON, March 9. /TASS/. Russia has huge arsenal of tactical nuclear weapon, which outnumbers the US arsenal, Gen. John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, said at a meeting of the armed forces committee of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday.
"The Russian numbers are huge and our numbers are small," Hyten said when responding to the question about the numbers of the arsenal. At the same time he noted that the US stockpile of tactical nuclear weapon allows Washington "to provide an effective strategic deterrent."
The General stressed the need to hold discussions between nuclear powers on control over armaments.
"That's why I agree with the vice chairman in his discussions earlier about the need for future bilateral verifiable arms control discussions with Russia, China, all of the players in so that we can look at exactly where we're going in the future. And all of those things should be discussed," he said.
A tactical nuclear weapon comprises ground, air and ship missile systems with a range of up to 1000 km. This is opposed to strategic nuclear weapons which are designed to be mostly targeted in the enemy interior away from the war front against military bases, cities, towns, arms industries, and other hardened or larger-area targets to damage the enemy's ability to wage war.
Earlier, Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told TASS that currently the US has about 180 tactical nuclear warheads in Europe. According to him, they are stockpiled in five countries: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey.