Fact Sheet
Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance
December 13, 2010

(As compiled by the Department of Defense)

Key Point: The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on current or planned U.S. conventional prompt global strike capability.

As part of the Administration’s efforts to strengthen deterrence and war-fighting capabilities, the United States is evaluating conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) capabilities to develop the capability to precisely strike time-sensitive, high value targets. Current Department of Defense (DoD) plans call for investing well over $1 billion for research and development of possible CPGS capabilities over the next five years (fiscal years 2011 to 2015).

DoD is currently conducting a study of long range strike options, including those that would provide CPGS capabilities. The results of this study will be reflected in the Department’s Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) budget submission.

In August 2010, the Department submitted the Review of Fiscal Year 2010 Conventional Prompt Global Strike Concepts Report to Congress, which reviewed the CPGS concepts funded in the FY 2010 President’s budget request ($165.6 million). FY 2010 expenditures focused on the development and demonstration of technologies that could support a CPGS system deployed in the continental United States. (Submarine-based capabilities are also under consideration.) Current efforts include the following:

  • Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 (HTV-2) Technology Experiments. DoD will invest $308 million from FY 2003 through FY 2011, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the HTV-2 and complete two flight experiments. Costs associated with updates resulting from the first flight last April have not been finalized.

  • Conventional Strike Missile (CSM). DoD plans to invest $477 million from FY 2008 through FY 2013, for the Air Force to complete the CSM operational demonstration.

  • Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) Technology Experiment. DoD will invest $180 million from FY 2006 through FY 2011 for the Army to complete the AHW flight experiment.

The New START Treaty allows the United States to deploy CPGS systems, and does not in any way limit or constrain research, development, testing, and evaluation of such concepts and systems, which offer the prospect of striking any target in the world in less than an hour. Intercontinental ballistic missiles with a traditional trajectory would be accountable under the Treaty; however, the Treaty’s limits would accommodate any plans the United States might pursue during the life of this Treaty to deploy conventional warheads on ballistic missiles. Further, the United States made clear during the New START negotiations that we would not consider non-nuclear, long-range systems, which do not otherwise meet the definitions of the New START Treaty (such as boost-glide systems that do not fly a ballistic trajectory), to be accountable under the Treaty.