Verification of limits on long-range nuclear SLCMs

Valerie Thomas, "Verification of limits on long-range nuclear SLCMs," Science & Global Security, 1, no. 1-2, (1989): 27-57.
Arms control negotiators have identified a number of problems in verifying limits on long-range nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). These are the difficulties of counting deployed SLCMs, of distinguishing nuclear from non-nuclear SLCMs, and the possibility of secret production or stockpiles. On-site inspection measures to monitor either a limit or a ban on nuclear SLCMs could include inspection of: ships and submarines where SLCMs are deployed or being loaded; production facilities; maintenance operations; and storage sites. While verification plans that involved either very few inspections or, at the other extreme, frequent inspections of ships and submarines might be acceptable, a reasonably effective verification plan with an intermediate level of intrusiveness is also possible. This would include monitoring of the production and maintenance of any non-nuclear long-range SLCMs and any nuclear long-range SLCMs not banned by the agreement. Tagging of these missiles to allow identification at subsequent inspections at shore-based maintenance depots would significantly decrease the probability that undetected SLCMs could be deployed or that non-nuclear SLCMs might be covertly converted to nuclear.

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