imagesThe U.S. will keep its current force of 450 land-based nuclear missiles but remove 50 from their launch silos as part of a plan to bring the U.S. into compliance with a 2011 U.S.-Russia arms control treaty, the Pentagon said Tuesday. The resulting launch-ready total of 400 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles would be the lowest deployed ICBM total since the early 1960s. The decisions come after a strong push by members of Congress from the states that host missile bases — North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana — to not eliminate any of the silos from which the missiles would be launched. Fifty silos will be kept in “warm” status — empty of missiles but capable of returning to active use. Sen. John Tester, a Montana Democrat, called the Pentagon’s announcement “a big win for our nation’s security and for Malmstrom Air Force Base,” home of the 341st Missile Wing with 150 Minuteman 3 missiles. “ICBMs are the most cost-effective nuclear deterrent, and keeping silos warm is a smart decision and the kind of common sense Montanans expect from their leaders,” Tester said. More