Burt, Richard
July 1978
Foreign Affairs;Jul1978, Vol. 56 Issue 4, p751
The article discusses the scope and limitations of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talk (SALT) agreement between the Soviet Union and the U.S. The treaty, lasting until 1985, will consist of 13 components. A ceiling of 2,250 is to be placed on the aggregate number of launcher vehicles possessed by each side. Within the 2,250 aggregate, a sub-ceiling of 1,320 will be placed on the number of land and sea-based multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicle (MIRV) missiles as well as bombers equipped with air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM). A sub-ceiling of 1,200 is to be placed on the numbers of land and sea-based MIRVed missiles. A sub-ceiling of 820 is to be placed on the numbers of MIRVed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). While permitted to MIRV its existing missile force, the Soviet will not be permitted to build additional ones. Nor will it be allowed to deploy systems with payloads exceeding those of the Soviet SS-18 ICBM. In order to aid in the verification of sub-ceilings placed on MIRVed launchers, it was agreed that any missile tested with a MIRV is to be counted as a MIRVed launcher when deployed. The testing and deployment of long-range ALCM are to be restricted to heavy bombers: American B-52s and Soviet Bear and Bison aircraft. A limit of 2,500 km. is to be placed on the range of ALCM deployed aboard heavy bombers. To prohibit the reloading of ICBM silos, the storage of excess missiles at launching sites is to be prohibited. Although the deployment of mobile ICBM is not banned in the draft treaty, the Soviet is prohibited from deploying the SS-16 ICBM in a mobile mode because of its similarity to the deployed SS-20 intermediate-range missile. Both sides have agreed not to circumvent the agreement, including not taking actions through other states that could weaken the provisions of the accord. Both sides are to provide each other notification of missile testing, and to refrain from interfering with national technical means of verification.


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