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Russia is deploying a new series of nuclear tipped missiles with warheads designed with the aid of US supercomputers. The new Russian SS-X-27 missile is being moved directly into deployment with an advanced 550 kiloton nuclear warhead made by the Arzamas-16 nuclear design bureau.
In early 1997 Russian Atomic energy officials (MINATOM) admitted that an IBM super-computer was purchased from Europe by MINATOM in late 1996 for $7 million. The IBM super-computer was transferred directly to the nuclear weapons center in Arzamas-16. In addition, MINATOM official admitted that that Silicon Graphics, Inc., sold four computers to Chelyabinsk-70, another Russian weapons facility in the fall of 1996 for $650,000 each.
Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) stated the US computers would be used for nuclear stockpile maintenance and to simulate nuclear weapons tests. The rapid deployment of the Arzamas-16 nuclear SS-27 warhead appears to be the result of successful simulated Russian tests staged using the US computers.
The mobile Russian SS-27 also raises serious proliferation questions since the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is providing the SS-27 design to China. China intends to produce the TOPOL-M missile under the designation "Dong Feng" (East Wind) DF-41. The DF-41 is expected to be deployed with Chinese manufactured nuclear warheads also designed with the aid of US super computers.
Over 46 US super computers have been exported to China. Commerce Bureau of Export Administration Director William Reinsch testified in 1997 before the Senate that US officials could not determine the location of many of the computer sold to China. The Commerce Department authorized the additional export of a US super computer in 1997 even though they were denied access to inspect the Chinese site. In addition, Chinese officials denied access in 1998 to US inspectors who wanted to verify the exported super computers were not being used for military purposes.