Defense

June 21, 2012

Agency officials praise new START Treaty progress

by Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

Work taking place under the 16-month-old new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and Russia fosters transparency and predictability for the world’s two largest deployed nuclear arsenals, federal officials told a Senate panel June 21.

Among those testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations were Rose Gottemoeller, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, and Madelyn R. Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs.

“Our experience so far demonstrates that the New START’s verification regime works and will help push open the door to new and more complicated verification techniques in the future,” said Gottemoeller, who led the U.S. treaty negotiating team as assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance.

The Senate approved the treaty in 2010, and the related legislative process produced a federal commitment to spend $185 billion over 10 years to modernize nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

“When the treaty is fully implemented, it will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear warheads since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age,” Gottemoeller said, “and 1,550 warheads deployed on or counted on 700 delivery vehicles — that is, intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launch ballistic missiles and bombers.”

When the first START treaty was signed in 1991, she added, the United States and the Soviet Union each had deployed about 10,550 nuclear warheads.

During the first year of the new treaty, the United States and Russia kept pace with each other in conducting inspections, she said, both completing the yearly maximum of 18 inspections. Today, each side can make 25 short-notice inspections a year, and inspections have taken place involving intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, heavy bombers at their operating bases, storage facilities, conversion or elimination facilities, and test ranges.

“Through inspection activities, we have acquired new and valuable information,” Gottemoeller told the panel. “For example, New START includes intrusive reentry vehicle inspections that are designed to confirm the exact number of re-entry vehicles, or warheads, on individual missiles selected for inspection. We are now able to confirm the exact number of warheads on any randomly selected Russian ICBM and SLBM – something we were not able to do under the 1991 START treaty.”

The exhibition process, another aspect of treaty implementation, gives both parties a chance to see new kinds of strategic offensive arms, view distinguishing features and confirm declared data.

“The United States and Russian Federation have also been sharing a veritable mountain of data with each other,” the undersecretary said.

“Since entry into force we have exchanged over 2,500 notifications through our Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers,” she added. “They help track movement and changes in the status of systems on a day-in, day-out basis.

“That,” Gottemoeller continued, “combined with the databases that we exchange every six months, gives us an opportunity to have a kind of living database – a truly real-time look at what is going on inside the Russian strategic forces.”

Testifying on the implications for U.S. nuclear forces and policy of the new START treaty, Creedon said implementation is proceeding successfully and the Defense Department is fully engaged in meeting its treaty obligations.

DOD has hosted multiple inspection activities at U.S. strategic facilities and has participated in reciprocal activities at Russian strategic facilities, the assistant secretary added.

“The United States is on track to complete the reductions necessary to comply with the New START treaty’s central limits by February 2018,” Creedon said, adding that DOD plans to retain 240 deployed Trident SLBMs on Ohio-class submarines, up to 60 deployed heavy bombers and up to 420 single-warhead Minuteman III ICBMs.

“To meet the treaty’s central limits,” she said, “the Obama administration plans to convert or eliminate a yet-to-be-determined combination of ICBM launchers and SLBM launchers [and] our nuclear-capability heavy bombers.”

The service life of the department’s Trident II D5 SLBMs is being extended to 2042, and construction of the first Ohio-class replacement submarine is scheduled to begin in 2021, she added.

The administration plans to sustain Minuteman III ICBMs through 2030, and the United States will maintain two nuclear-capable B-52H strategic bomber wings and one B-2A wing.

The department also is working to complete a comprehensive drawdown plan, a substantial portion of which will be completed to support the fiscal 2014 budget request, Creedon added.

“As the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2013 makes clear, DOD is committed to modernizing the delivery systems covered by the New START treaty that underpin nuclear deterrents,” the assistant secretary said.

Maintaining strategic stability, assuring allies and sustaining a safe, secure and effective deterrent requires a partnership between the executive branch and Congress, she added.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>