Strategic nuclear weapon
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They are contrasted with tactical nuclear weapons, which are designed for use in battle, as part of an attack with conventional forces. Strategic nuclear weapons generally have significantly larger yields, at least over 100 kilotons and up to many megatons. Yields can overlap, though, and many weapons, such as the B61 nuclear bomb, are used in both roles. Indeed, the strategic Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings utilized weapons of about 20 kilotons.
A feature of strategic nuclear weapons is their greater range, giving them the ability to threaten the enemy's command and control structure even when the weapons are based in friendly territory. Intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads are strategic weapons, while short-range missiles are tactical. In addition, while tactical weapons are designed to meet battlefield objectives, the main purpose of strategic weapons is in the deterrence role, under the theory of mutually assured destruction.
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