Ballistic, Yes, Non-Ballistic, No

Conventionally armed ICBMs or submarine-launched ballistic missiles will fall under the counting rules for launchers under the New START Treaty with Russia, James Miller, deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday. However, since the US has already concluded they “should be limited to a niche capability,” the US will still be able to retain “a robust nuclear triad” even with conventional missiles counting toward the treaty’s limits, he said. The Obama Administration submitted the treaty to the Senate in May for ratification. New START would allow the US and Russia each up to 800 nuclear launchers (i.e., ICBMs, SLBMs, heavy bombers), 700 of which may be deployed. Miller said DOD is also exploring conventionally-armed, long-range systems not associated with ICBMs or SLBMs that fly non-ballistic trajectories, such as boost-glide systems. He said the US would not consider such systems to be accountable under the treaty. (Miller prepared statement)