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Nuclear Weapons

Volume 75: debated on Tuesday 12 March 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many Pershing II and cruise missiles have been deployed in Western Europe since the cessation of the intermediate nuclear forces talks in Geneva, giving the number in each country;(2) if he will give the current balance of intermediate nuclear forces in Europe.

I have been asked to reply.I refer my hon. Friend to figure 11 "The Balance of Nuclear Forces" on page 43 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1984 (Cmnd. 9227, Vol I). I also refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's reply to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Thomas) on 27 November 1984 at column

416. This data will be revised in the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1985.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reductions in tactical nuclear weapons in Europe have been made by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Warsaw pact.

I have been asked to reply.I refer my hon. Friend to page 6, paragraph 123 of the Statement on the Defence Estimates 1984 — (Cmnd. 9227, Vol. I).

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will estimate how many Soviet SS20 missiles are targeted against western European countries, giving the number targeted against each country;

(2) if he will estimate the current number of Soviet SS20 missiles deployed in eastern Europe and the rate of deployment since the cessation of the intermediate nuclear forces talks in Geneva.

I have been asked to reply.I cannot at present add to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman) on 13 November 1984 at columns

523–24.

The number of SS20 missile warheads facing west in November 1983 when the Soviet Union withdrew from the INF negotiations was 729. Since then the Soviet Union has started more than 10 new SS20 bases, facing both east and west. This is the largest number of SS20 bases begun in any one year since this missile was first deployed in 1977.

It is not possible to say how many SS20s are targeted against each individual Western European country, and in any case the targeting could be altered rapidly. The SS20s range enables it to cover targets throughout the European NATO area from bases inside the Soviet Union. There are no SS20s deployed outside the Soviet Union.