Key Point: Strong verification measures are built into the New START Treaty to monitor compliance with the Treaty.
The New START Treaty can be effectively verified with a verification regime that builds on lessons learned from 15 years of implementing START. The regime, which will be simpler and less costly to implement than START, provides for data exchange and notifications regarding strategic systems and facilities covered by the Treaty, two types of on-site inspections, exhibitions, and as a transparency measure provides for the exchange of telemetric information.
- NATIONAL TECHNICAL MEANS (NTM) – The Treaty provides for the use of and non-interference with national technical means of verification (e.g. satellites). There are explicit provisions that prohibit interference with NTM and the use of concealment measures that may impede monitoring by NTM. As in the 1991 START Treaty, the prohibition against concealment measures does not apply to cover or concealment practices at ICBM bases or to the use of environmental shelters.
- DATA EXCHANGE AND NOTIFICATIONS – The sides will exchange data on numbers, locations, and technical characteristics of weapons systems and facilities that are subject to the Treaty and will provide regular notifications and updates.
- ON-SITE INSPECTIONS – The Treaty provides for 18 on-site inspections per year. There are two basic types of inspections. Type One inspections focus on sites with deployed and non-deployed strategic systems; Type Two inspections focus on sites with only non-deployed strategic systems. Permitted inspection activities include confirming the number of reentry vehicles on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs, confirming numbers related to non-deployed launcher limits, counting nuclear weapons onboard or attached to deployed heavy bombers, confirming weapon system conversions or eliminations, and confirming facility eliminations. Each side is allowed to conduct ten Type One inspections and eight Type Two inspections annually.
- UNIQUE IDENTIFIERS – Each ICBM, SLBM, and heavy bomber will be assigned a unique identifier (number), which will be included in the applicable notifications and may be confirmed during inspections.
- TELEMETRIC INFORMATION – During ICBM and SLBM flight tests, measurements of various technical parameters are made to monitor missile performance. To enhance transparency and supplement verification provisions, the Parties have agreed to an annual exchange of telemetric information on a parity basis, for up to five ICBM and SLBM launches per year.
- COMPLIANCE – The Treaty establishes the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) as a compliance and implementation body that will meet at least twice each year, unless otherwise agreed. Compliance or implementation questions may be raised by either Party in the BCC.