New Start Treaty

New Start Treaty

What is the New START?

  • The name START comes from the original “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty”, known as START-I, which was signed between the US and the erstwhile USSR in 1991, and came into force in 1994.
  • START-I, which capped the number of nuclear warheads and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that each side could deploy at 6,000 and 1,600 respectively, lapsed in 2009, and was replaced first by the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), also known as the Treaty of Moscow), and then by the New START treaty.
  • The New START, officially, the “Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms”, entered into force on February 5, 2011, and placed new verifiable limits on intercontinental-range nuclear weapons.
  • The two countries had to meet the treaty’s central limits on strategic offensive arms by February 5, 2018, and then stay within those limits for the period the treaty remained in force.
  • The US and Russia subsequently agreed to extend the treaty through February 4, 2026.

What limits did the New START impose on the two countries?

  • 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments;
  • 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments (each such heavy bomber is counted as one warhead toward this limit);
  • 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped with nuclear armaments.


  • Detailed procedures for the implementation and verification of the central limits, and all treaty obligations, are part of the treaty terms.
  • The treaty provides for 18 on-site inspections per year for US and Russian inspection teams.
  • Type One inspections focus on sites with deployed and non-deployed strategic systems (up to 10 per year), and Type Two inspections focus on sites with only non-deployed strategic systems (up to 8 per year).
  • Since the New START Treaty entered into force, as of February 1, 2023, the two parties have conducted 328 on-site inspections, exchanged 25,311 notifications, held 19 meetings of the Bilateral Consultative Commission, and held 42 biannual data exchanges on strategic offensive arms subject to the treaty.

Related Links: Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)