Tbe Director of Central Iniellicence
Russian Strategic Forces Under START II
eliminalion of MIRVed ICBMs and lhe questionable status of the heavy bomber force reduce Russia's options fororce closearheads. However, ICBM provisions negotiated laic in the process give the Russians additional flexibility to achieveorce.
Russia's cheapest option in the short term would be to ketip older SLBMs,arge force of single-RV ICBMs, and attempt to retrieve all of its bombers from Ukraine. If this option were pursued, significant portions of the strategic nuclear forces would be obsolete0
The more likelycost effective in the longbe tomaller, but more modern, forcearheads or less.
Russian Strategic Forces Under START II
nuclear arms reduction agreement signed3 by Presidents Bush and Yel'tsin accelerates cuts in strategic nuclear forces. Moreover, il requires3 the elimination of all land-based MIRVcd ICBMs. includingreentry vehicle (RV)eavy ICBM.
Conservative miliiary and political elements expressed dissatisfaction with Yd'tsin's agreement in June to eliminate all MIRVcd ICBMs. Their desire toore robust ICBM force and to give Russia the option to reacharhcad limit probably led the Russians to insist on the hghl to convert someilos currently housing MIRVcd missiles for anlass single-warhead ICBM. and to download some six RVinglc-RV missile. I
The START II Agreement
Under the terms of START II. Russia and the: United States are required to reduce their strategic offensive nuclear forces in rwo phases:
Phaseears after START entry into force -Reductions0 MIRVed ICBM0 reentry vehicles on heavy ICBMs (SS-ISs)SLBM warheads
-Reductionsarheads -All land-based MIRVs0 SIJiM warhead sublimit
Russians, as evidenced by their efforts late in the negotiations, want to maintain as large an ICBM force as possible, as cheaply as they can. START II allowsilos to be converted to houselass missiles and permits the downloadingix-RVingle RV
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Under START II, conversion ofilosive-meter reduction in the usable depth of the silo-to be accomplished by pouring concrete in the bottom of thethe installationollar near the top of the silo with an aperture diameter no greatereters. These measures would make it impossible to install anithout reversing the conversion:
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Moreover, START II requires the elimination of all deployed and nondeployedissiles andany converted for space-launch purposes-prior to January
Silo-Based. Russia plans to base anlass ICBM, now in development, in existingndilos. Such plans reflect the desire totrong ICBM force-traditionally the heart of Soviet strategic forces-by using the existing silo-based infrastructure, rather than incurring the high resource and manpower costs associated with significant additional mobile basing. I
A larger force of 3S0 silo-based ICBMs is also possible,
The right ioubstantial number of its hardest silos for new ICBMs and to retain downloadedill enable Russia to deploy, at relatively loworceilo-based, single-RV ICBMs-inilosilos in Russia. I
To go, Russia would probably build new silos, an option the Treaty does not preclude. However, we believe construction of new silos is unlikely because of the significant new investment that would be required. I
Road Mobile. The current road-mobile force consists ofWe expect these
missiles to be replaced i
Nevertheless, some Russians have discussed the possibility of deploying as manyCBMs under START II. Such numbers would require new ICBM silos or additional road-mobile bases.I
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The Russians will be able to retainilos-ofould house downloadedissiles. With refurbishment, these missiles could remain in the operational force well into the next
The Russians probably viewownloadeds an effective way to postpone the expense of producing another hundred or so new missilesJ
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SLBMs Russia's SSBN force will acquire greater relative significance under START Il-about half the permitted warheads. Even so, platforms, equipment, material, and personnel will be significantly reduced. Strategic naval forces will be substantially scaled back
We expect the Russian navy to experience major difficulties in safely reducing the SSBN force.
common missile, presumably for land-based and sea-based platforms. The sea-based version of this common missile and the solid-propellant missile for the new SSBN may be one and the same. |
We are uncertain whether the Typhoon will retain its current
s the possibility of another deeper reduction in strategic forces afterarheads. In this case, they might choose to eliminate the Typhoon SSBN.
In the absenceajor modernization program in, however, the Russian SLBM force will face block obsolescence in00 period. We believe it unlikely that the Russians would be capable of sustaining production and deployment programs to modernize both missile systems
bomber force under START II willigher percentage of the total warheads than under START I; however, we judge its role will not match its share of die weapons.
START II allows upon-ALCM-equipped heavy bombers to be reorientedonventional role. This provision was designed for US heavy bombers, but it could be used to reconfigure theombers in Russia to carry conventional armaments. Wc do not expect Bear Gs to be nuclear-equipped
Limited Options For Russian Leadership
Under the START II agreement, Russia will preserve its traditional force mix in which ICBM launchersajority. But with the elimination of MIRVcd ICBMs, half the warheads will be on SSBNs andercent on single-RV ICBMs. The future composition of Russia's strategic nuclear forces has not yet been finalized, and the provisions of START II were designed toumber of options. Nevertheless, the Russian emphasis on silo-based provisions in START IIoncerted effort by military planners totrong ICBM force as cheaply as possible. Russian strategic forces3 will still have the yield and accuracy needed to engage hardened targets. |
START II is likely to be ratified by the parliament but onlyontentious debate. Adjustments in the START II agreement made during endgame negotiations probably will make the deal more acceptable to the Russian parliament, but the Treaty will continue to serveightning rod for Yel'tsin's more extreme opponents and traditionally minded military officers. I
Since the announcement of the agreement in principle last June, START II has attracted broad criticism from opponents who argue that the agreement is inequitable and too costly to implement. Military commentators also argued that the Treaty would force Russia to surrender its historical advantage in MIRVed ICBMs in favor of SLBMs and mobile missiles, while the US will be permitted to keep itsrident SLBM force of MIRVed hard-target-capable missiles. I
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of Ihe Treaty could seize on such arguments as those presented onecember in The Washington Post, which editorialized,cuts unequally, shearing Moscow-and Moscowits first-strike capability. In short, the new treaty confirms American strategic
The biggest impediment to START II is the ratification ofy Ukraine.
Even if START II were not ratified, or if Ukraine did not accede lo START I, lhe Russians probably would unilaterally reduce toward theevels of START II, including reducingeavy ICBMs, by thee judge, however, that Russia would not unilaterally implement key provisions of START II. particularly the elimination of all MIRVcd ICBM
Although Russian officials have advocated deeper force reductions-downotal weapons, Moscow is unlikely to do so unilaterally, even ifnd START II were implemented smoothly. Negotiations on reductionsrobably would be linked to continued US adherence to the ABM Treaty (and the non-deployment of space-baseds well as the inclusion of Chinese, French, and British strategic nuclear forces. |
How Likelyarhead Force?
It was politically and practically imponam for the Russians to negotiate provisions that would enable them toorcearheads-equal to that permitted the United Stales. The Russians could demonstrate to their pariiament. during die ratification process, that they were capable of achievingc
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Thus, wcore likely, cost-effeciive choice in the long run wouldore modern, though smaller,oreapons. Defense Minister Grachev has admitted that the Russians are unlikely to reach the upper limit, and economic constraints will ultimately drive their decision.
niustrative Russian Strategic3
The following projections represent varying force structures under the constraints of the START II Treaty. We have uncertainties about:
The number of ICBMs Russia will deploy;
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