[FPSPACE] Re: Missiles for everybody
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 18 19:28:51 EST 2004
From: Pavel Podvig <podvig at stanford.edu>
>Not at all. SS-18s will be around until about 2016. With 10 warheads each.
As for SS-19s, the plans are not clear, but it is possible that Russia will
deploy about 30 missiles it got from Ukraine, in which case these missiles
will be with us for 20 more years.
My mind is hazy about this, and I'm too lazy to look up the details, but I believe that the situation is like this:
The Russians are indeed supposed to retire these multi-warhead missiles.
They are supposed to replace them with smaller, fewer-warhead missiles.
They cannot afford to do this.
They want to keep the multi-warhead missiles because it is cheaper to do.
The multi-warhead missiles are getting old and cranky.
The US would like the Russians to retire the missiles.
The logic of this, as I understand it, is that there are treaties calling for limits on the number of warheads in each arsenal. But the problem for the Russians is that their missiles are rather big and so they would have to retire more of them than they want. It's complex. But they're stuck between a rock and a hard place on this--(for the non-Americans, this is a phrase meaning "they are stuck in a difficult situation.")
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