Moreover, deterrent forces must be able to strike back after the first aggressor’s missile attack. So there is marked distinction between first and second strike weapons. The nuclear deterrent is said to be the ultimate deterrent, because nuclear weapons are the most advanced form of weapons.

2. Nuclear or Thermonuclear Bomb:

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It means a bomb or a missile with an explosive power measured in megatons, i.e., one million times more powerful than the bomb used during the Second World War. A ten megaton bomb contains the equivalent of a train of railway wagons filled with high explosive stretching from London to New York and of course with fall-out and other genetic effects.

3. ABM:

An Anti-Ballistic Missile defence system, whereby missiles are launched to destroy the mis­siles of the enemy-anti-missile. Both the former USSR and USA had developed an ABM system.

4. MIRV:

It is the American Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle. When it re-enters the atmosphere it fires off up to ten warheads, each of them aimed with precision at a different target. Its purpose is to penetrate an anti-missile defence.

5. Electro-magnetic Pulse Bomb:

It would block out communications but not kill the people.

6. SS-20:

It is propelled by solid fuel, range is up to 5000 kms and it is mobile. It carries three 150 kilotons warheads. It is a replacement for SS-4 and SS-5.

7. U.S. Pershing II:

These were all to be deployed in the erstwhile West Germany range 1600 kms. These missiles are very accurate. The first lot reached West Germany in Dec. 1983. Peace marches were held in the West German cities against the deployment of these missiles.

8. Cruise Missiles:

SS-20 and US Pershing II are ballistic missiles. Cruise missiles are more like un­manned jet planes, these were being installed in many West European countries. The cruise missiles would ensure stealth, remarkable mobility and accuracy.

Demonstrations were organised by the British pacifists in an area around Greenham Common, where these missiles were to be deployed. Deployment of these missiles has been prohibited under the INF treaty signed in November 1987 between Reagan and Gorbachev. They were used both in Afghanistan and Iraq with devastating effects.

9. MX System:

This is a multimillion dollar extravaganza. It seeks to replace the US land-based Minuteman and Titan missiles. MX system is said to be more accurate and less vulnerable to an enemy attack.

The missiles are likely to be stored in mobile underground tracks. MX system is a good security against a surprise enemy attack. In March 1985, both the US Senate and House of Representatives approved late Presi­dent Reagan’s plan to install MX missiles.

10. Neutron Bomb:

This weapon would be humane to inhuman beings and inhumane to human beings. It would kill all within a limited radius, but spare the structures etc. The United States had perfected this weapon system. China claims to have developed the bomb, India announced that it could also make one shortly.

Other Terms:

Escalation is a term used for the belief that once a conflict involving nuclear powers begins, the contesting parties are riding on an escalator from which there is no escape and rising to an all- out thermonuclear war. A weapon is said to be credible when it is trustworthy and can be relied upon for this purpose. Atomic devices are described as tactical when they are in support of ground forces and strategic when they are part of an all-out major strike force.