second-strike capability


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Related to second-strike capability: First strike capability

second-strike capability

[′sek·ənd ¦strīk ‚kā·pə′bil·əd·ē]
(ordnance)
The ability to survive a first strike with sufficient resources to deliver an effective counterblow (generally associated with nuclear weapons).

second-strike capability

(STRATEGIC THEORY) the ability of a defending STATE to absorb a nuclear ‘first strike’ and to have a capability to guarantee a counterattack of sufficient force to inflict massive destruction against an aggressor. During the 1960s the US and the USSR sought to maintain a second-strike capability by both increasing their nuclear arsenals and protecting nuclear weapons by siting them in underground silos, nuclear submarines, and constantly airborne aircraft. A consequence of the attempt to maintain a second-strike capability was an acceleration of the ARMS RACE. See also NUCLEAR DETERRENCE, MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION.
References in periodicals archive ?
Second-strike capability depends on more than just the size of one's military forces; factors like decision making and response times, the ability to penetrate enemy active and passive defenses, and the effectiveness of defensive systems mean that even a stockpile of weapons several times larger than necessary to destroy the enemy does not ensure overkill.
Improvements in the US ability to track nuclear-armed submarines contribute to this danger, since that raises the tantalising possibility of destroying the enemy's second-strike capability in a surprise assault.
Technically the best mode of second-strike capability is submarine launched ballistic missile, which neither India nor Pakistan have deployed as yet, Cheema said.
This second-strike capability defines the baseline for US deterrence capability, but it is not the only option of which US forces are capable.
37) According to Chinese experts, a few main reasons lurking behind Chinese concerns were the traditionally small size of its nuclear arsenal and that arsenal's questionable second-strike capability.
These 'K' class cruise missiles are predominantly significant for India's nuclear deterrent arsenal because they provide India with a much more idyllic and invulnerable second-strike capability thus, transforming the balance of power in India's favour in South Asia.
China is close to having a secure nuclear second-strike capability, which heightens the importance of the conventional balance.
Israel would require new submarines and ballistic launch facilities to ensure second-strike capability.
4) Since Israel is considered to have more than 100 nuclear weapons, how credible is the argument that Iran might attack Israel without first itself acquiring a significant nuclear arsenal, including a survivable second-strike capability, a prospect that is at least some years away?
According to recent reports (which emerged from German sources connected to the recent expansion of the underwater force through the acquisition of a sixth Dolphin-class submarine equipped with air-independent propulsion system) on the Israeli capability to maintain a nuclear second-strike capability with cruise missiles on board its Type 800 Dolphin conventional-propulsion submarine force, the new Strategic Israeli Command has sub-launched long-range weapon systems tipped with both nuclear and conventional warheads.
One of the key issues in considering this question is assessing each side's second-strike capability, about which an enormous amount of ink was spilled over the course of the Cold War.
There is no second-strike capability and if the pistol fails to fire it is necessary to work the slide to re-cock the hammer and chamber a new round.