The United States Navy successfully test fired two 130,000 pound nuclear capable ballistic missiles from an Ohio Class submarine off the coast of Southern California last week. The successful test was a part of an ongoing effort to upgrade and modernize America’s aging nuclear stockpile.

Although North Korea’s nuclear capable ballistic missile programs have drawn the vast majority of media coverage in recent months, the threat posed by Kim Jong Un’s regime is entirely different than that represented by looming nuclear powers like Russia and China. Both nations have advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles that were developed with American missile defense capabilities squarely in mind.

While the governments helming these missiles appear to be more reserved than than the often boisterous Kim, the capabilities of these platforms dwarf that of North Korea’s prized Hwasong-15. Russia’s RS-28 Sarmat, also known as the Satan II, had a reported range of over 6,800 miles, and is equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRV, allowing the platform to deploy as many as 24 individual nuclear warheads as it begins its descent to its target. All told, the RS-28 is capable of delivering as much as 50 megatons of nuclear destruction. Its Chinese cousin, the recently unveiled DF-41, brings similar capabilities to the table, though with fewer deployable warheads and a shorter range.

The United States, on the other hand, has only recently begun devoting resources to expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal. This massive undertaking that is assessing and upgrading America’s stockpile of nuclear weapons could be among the few Obama era efforts that President Trump has embraced since taking office – though President Obama was perhaps more reserved in his discussion of the endeavor. With countering and deterring new and extremely powerful nuclear weapons being fielded by the nation’s competitors, the U.S. hopes upgrading the components of its legacy platforms will be suffice