A Russian military commander says Moscow is drafting a plan to deploy rail-mounted nuclear missiles in response to the United States’ Prompt Global Strike program.
Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology will draft the plan in the first half of next year, Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakaev, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, said on Wednesday.
“A Defense Ministry report has been submitted to the president and the order has been given to develop a preliminary design of a rail-mounted missile system,” Karakaev said.
Rail-mounted missiles — unlike their silo-based counterparts — can be hidden and camouflaged among commercial rail traffic.
After analyzing the American system, Russian officials affirmed “there is a need to reconsider the issue of a rail-mounted missile system given its increased survivability and the extent of our railway network,” Karakaev added.
The statements follow similar remarks made by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin last week when he said that Moscow reserves the right to use nuclear weapons if a new US military strategy threatens its security.
The official noted that the Prompt Global Strike program was “the most important new strategy being developed by the United States today.”
The United States Prompt Global Strike program entails a new fast-attack weapons platform capable of striking targets anywhere in the world in as little as an hour.
The US abandoned plans for a rapid global strike capability under President George W. Bush, following fears that the weapons would trigger an accidental nuclear war.
Russia amended its military doctrine years ago to allow for the possibility of using nuclear weapons in retaliation to a non-nuclear attack.