Memorandum Number: No. 291-M
MEMORANDUM FOR CORRESPONDENTS
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that construction has begun on a neutralization facility in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, to safely eliminate SS-19 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) scheduled for destruction under START. Each SS-19, if deployed, is capable of delivering six nuclear weapons to any location in the United States.
The facility at Yuzhnoye Design Bureau at Dnepropetrovsk, which formerly designed strategic missiles, is expected to begin neutralizing rocket motors and fuel tanks from three SS-19 ICBMs per month in October 1995. United States assistance in this project is funded under the Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) program. A $185 million implementing agreement for strategic arms elimination assistance was signed by the DoD and the Ukraine Ministry of Defense on December 15, 1993 and amended on March 21, 1994.
United States assistance includes construction of the neutralization facility, incinerators, heavy equipment, industrial tools, diesel fuel and gas. Ukrainian contributions include neutralization facility design and a large portion of its construction, construction of a missile storage yard and bridge cranes. The Defense Nuclear Agency recently awarded a $2.5 million contract to the Morrison-Knudsen construction firm of Cleveland, Ohio to integrate the neutralization facility design and construction and provide maintenance and training support to the project.
The entire SS-19 ICBM elimination process involves removing missile warheads, defueling missiles, removing the missiles from silos, and shipping missiles to Dnepropetrovsk for neutralization. As of November 3, 1994, DoD has ordered over $63 million worth of equipment to support Ukraine strategic nuclear arms elimination efforts.