Elimination Schedules    
The scheduling of missile eliminations was at the discretion, within the time lines prescribed in the treaty, of the respective governments. No missiles, launchers, or support equipment could be eliminated unless an inspection team was present to record and report on the destruction. The most significant of the treaty schedules were those mandating the elimination of the shorter-range missiles within 18 months and of the intermediate-range missiles in three years. Another important treaty provision addressed the unique INF problem of both parties' maintaining operational parity in the number of warheads. The SS-20 missile had three reentry vehicles, the Pershing II, one. To achieve parity in the final elimination months, treaty negotiators included a provision that, no later than the 29th treaty month, the number of deployed intermediate-range missile launchers should not exceed the number of launchers capable of carrying missiles with 171 warheads. This meant that the Soviet Union had to eliminate sufficient SS-20 missile launchers so that at the beginning of the 29th treaty month no more than 57 of the three-warheaded SS-20 missiles remained deployed.4  
All INF missiles, launchers, and
support equipment had to be eliminated in accordance with the treaty's protocol on eliminations. Here, Soviet soldiers are cutting the aft section, trunion block, of an SS-20 missile transporter-erector-launcher vehicle at the Sarny Elimination Facility, USSR.


Rate of INF Missile Eliminations: 1988-1989

Note: Difference in percentages reflect two treaty disparities: the USSR had more shorter range missiles (SS-23, SS-12) which had to be destroyed within 18 months, and the Soviet SS-20 had 3-warheads per missile.

  Another treaty requirement involved the time period for either party to exercise its right to destroy up to 100 of its missiles by launching them to destruction. The period was six months following entry into force. The Soviet Union exercised this treaty right; the United States did not. Within the first six months the Soviets launched 72 SS-20 missiles from Chita and Kansk. All of these launches were observed by American on-site inspection teams.5

For all scheduled eliminations of the INF missiles, launchers, and associated equipment, the treaty required that the inspecting party be notified 30 days in advance. This official notification was to contain the name and coordinates of the elimination facility and an estimated date for beginning the eliminations. Because the actual process had to be observed by on-site inspectors, the date became, in effect, the arrival date of the inspection team. The notification also contained an estimated date of completion. For its part, the inspecting party had to provide the inspected party with a 72-hour notice before arriving in the country. Once there, the inspectors would travel to the elimination site under escort and would remain there until the eliminations were completed.


Record of INF Eliminations    
The purpose of the on-site elimination inspections was clearly defined in the treaty. Article 10, Paragraph 2, stated that "verification" by "on-site inspection" of the elimination of missile systems specified in the Protocol on Eliminations "shall be conducted" in accordance with the treaty and its protocols. The missile systems specified in that protocol included INF missiles, missile stages, front sections, launch canisters, launchers, missile transporter vehicles, missile erectors, launch stands, support structures, and propellant tanks.   Rate of INF Missile Eliminations: 1990-1991


Previous Section | Table of Contents | Next Section