Key Point: Neither the United States nor Russia currently deploys rail-mobile ICBM launchers. If a Party develops and deploys rail-mobile ICBMs, such missiles, their warheads, and their launchers would be subject to the Treaty.
Definitions: The New START Treaty defines an ICBM launcher as a “device intended or used to contain, prepare for launch, and launch an ICBM.” This is a broad definition intended to cover all ICBM launchers, including rail-mobile launchers if they were to be deployed again in the future. There is no specific mention of rail-mobile launchers of ICBMs in the New START Treaty because neither Party currently deploys ICBMs in that mode. Russia eliminated its rail-mobile SS-24 ICBM system under the START Treaty. Nevertheless, the New START Treaty’s terms and definitions cover all ICBMs and ICBM launchers, including a rail-mobile system should either Party decide to develop and deploy such a system.
Accountability: A rail-mobile launcher containing an ICBM would meet the definition of a “deployed launcher of ICBMs,” which is “an ICBM launcher that contains an ICBM.”
Applicable Provisions: Separate from the status of the rail-mobile ICBM launcher, all ICBMs associated with the rail-mobile system would be Treaty-accountable, whether they were existing or new types of ICBMs, and therefore would, as appropriate, be subject to initial technical characteristics exhibitions, data exchanges, notifications, Type One and Type Two inspections, and the application of unique identifiers on such ICBMs and, if applicable, on their launch canisters.