In the latest potential snag in European nuclear arms-control, Soviet and US officials have offered conflicting counts of Britain's atomic warheads. US diplomats and published Western sources say British submarines carry a total of 64 missiles, each with three warheads. Thus: 192 in all.
A Soviet arms control expert, explaining to the Monitor a recently published Soviet count for total European warheads, says 48 of the British submarine missiles actually carry six warheads. Thus, the Soviets put the British total at 336.
The discrepancy is potentially important because Soviet leader Yuri Andropov has offered to cut Soviet Euromissile warheads to the combined sum of British and French weaponry. US and Soviet counts of French warheads agree.